No matter the industry, customers want to feel special. In the healthcare industry, your patients are your customers. It could even be said that patients have even more of a want to feel special as compared to customers in other industries. This is because we are dealing with something that is extra important to them, their health. It is important to keep this in mind every day when dealing with your patients, whether online or in person. “Customer service” always goes a long way in patient retention.
Here are 5 ways to keep your patients happy.
Make Sure You Are Easy to Reach
Whether it be answering phone calls, e-mails or social media messages, it is important to have someone (or several) on your team in charge of getting back to patient questions in a timely manner. Aim for by the end of the business day. The reality is that when your patients call you, they have important questions critical to their health and need answers quickly, whether you think they can wait or not. The same goes for voicemails, emails, and even social media messages. The easier you are to reach, the happier the patient will be having you as their health care provider. Leave clear expectations of when the patient should plan to hear back from you on your voicemail and e-mail answering systems.
Keep Track of Patient’s Interests
It is important to make sure you know what areas of medicine or what kind of procedures your patients are most concerned with or interested in. For example, if you have a patient who is concerned with their fine lines, make sure they are one of the first patients to know about the new laser therapy treatment your practice is now offering. The more aware your patients are of things that interest them, the more likely they’ll be in your office more often than their annual visits or when they have an immediate need. This will help the business side of your practice as well as make your patients feel appreciated and happy at the same time.
Appreciate Your Patients
Take your correspondence with your patients a step further than just informational. Share with your patient how much you care about their condition. Patients want to feel as if their health is just as important to their doctor as it is to them. Let them know how much you appreciate them choosing you to take care of such an important part of their lives. They are, after all, what keeps your practice in business.
Keeping track of milestones is an easy way to make your patients feel special. Simply keeping a calendar of patient birthdays can do the trick. At the beginning of each month, send out a special offer to those whose birthdays fall in that month. You could also keep a list of patients ages so that you can send them helpful tips when they reach those milestones of life (40, 50, 60 etc). Take some time and brainstorm what milestones would be noteworthy for your practice.
While it is important to make sure communication with your patients is fluid, you don’t want to overwhelm them. This is why it is important to truly get to know your patient’s want and needs in order to not over-share with them. Perhaps you have multiple e-mail lists based on interests. When it comes to social media, make sure you aren’t posting every hour of every day. Think about how you feel when a company is constantly clogging up your inbox or your Facebook newsfeed. Your patients will feel the same way about you.