We all want happy patients, but we tend to only think about their experience when they’re in our chair. As we mentioned in a previous blog about improving patient experience, there are many ways to provide a memorable office visit.

However, patient satisfaction is something that goes on year-round and is something that you can help direct. Here are five simply ways to improve it:

1. Make it a regular topic of conversation. You have new patients coming in every day, as well as new staff, so it’s important to keep the conversation of patient satisfaction on the forefront of everyone’s minds. Remember, too, that generational trends change the way the public perceive certain things. For example, the millennial culture has shifted our mindset to expect that practices are online and on social media channels. This is a new thing that has shifted the patient expectations as a whole. And if you think millennials shook things up, just wait for Generation Z!

2. Constantly ask for feedback. Whether it’s through reviews, blind customer surveys by a third party or even secret shoppers, it’s important to get feedback on a regular basis from your patients. The best way to know what they want is to ask them directly!

3. Provide value. Yes, you provide value when they’re in your exam room or chair, but what about the rest of the year? Social media and digital tools, like email newsletters, are great ways to stay in front of your patients, while providing helpful information and resources.

4. Be unique. There are a lot of private practices to choose from, so you need to have something that differentiates your practice from the others. Do you provide amazing amenities, like snacks or wifi?  Do you have unique artwork in a specific theme? Do you have a patient referral system that rewards your patients big time? Do you provide comforts like Rollens wrap-a-round lenses to protect their eyes from bright lights? Whatever you choose, make sure you’re memorable!

5. Smile.  We know it’s a pretty simple concept, but a smile can go a long way. A friendly and smiling staff can turn a frustrating insurance issue or a painful procedure into a good relationship between staff and patient.  Almost every situation has the opportunity to improve your relationship with the patient:  it just depends on how you spin it!

Most practice owners and managers have a good understanding of where they stand with their patients. The major issues are usually fairly obvious. However, making patient satisfaction a priority will be crucial to the success of your practice long term, so don’t ignore it!

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