Medical and Dental Marketing: Best Practices
Things happen. Medical professionals run late. Patients have a bad day. Papers get mixed up. The important thing in your practice is understanding how to turn these negative events around and learning how to increase patient satisfaction to retain your patients and expand your business – even on a bad day.Your front office is key to a positive patient relationship. Consider implementing these strategies to improve your approval rating and increase your medical marketing.
- Great service begins before your patient ever walks into your waiting room. Help prepare patients by calling them the day before their appointments, confirming their visit, and double-checking the reason(s) for coming in. Update the patient’s file as necessary with any new information. This will ensure that the doctor – and the patient – is prepared for the visit in advance.
- Once the patient walks through the door, how can you improve the waiting room experience? Greet the patients by name when they enter. Confirm their reason for coming in, and give them any updates on the doctor’s schedule (if there are any delays, it is important to update the patient every 15 minutes with an explanation for the delay). Having beverages – water, tea, coffee – can also help to make the waiting easier to bear and make the patient feel more relaxed.
- Long wait times, which are sometimes inevitable, are often the most common complaint from patients. Even updating patients during a delay may not appease them. When an extended delay is unavoidable, consider giving inconvenienced patients a small gift – such as a $5 gift card to a local restaurant. Showing patients that you are aware of the situation and understand their time is valuable is key to patient retention.
- Develop preprinted cards that can be used as apology letters when a patient has a negative experience. You can acknowledge the problem, thank the patient for bringing it to your attention, and mention the steps you will take to remedy the situation. In many cases, patients simply want acknowledgment that they have been inconvenienced and that you will try to address the issue.
- Implement a follow-up system. Having someone from the practice place a brief call to see how the patient is doing is important in establishing a feeling of rapport and a sense the practice truly cares about the individual. Such personalized care can be invaluable in growing your business.
- Use an online referral management solution so you will always have the most updated information about the patient and will not have to ask them to wait while you call the referring physician office to have them send additional paperwork by fax which will extend the waiting period even more.
Patient retention (and business expansion) can occur even before a patient steps foot into the examination room and well after he or she leaves. By improving the pre- and post-visit experience, your front office can help your practice can grow and thrive.
Check out more medical marketing techniques for your practice. 3 of the best medical marketing strategies
How have you improved your front-office experience?