In private practice, we know that a good patient experience increases patient retention and word-of-mouth referrals. However, achieving a good patient experience is always a process. We’ve collected a list of great ideas to help make your practice memorable and nice to be at.
1. Greet people by name. You have a schedule in front of you; make a point to use the patient’s first name at least three times in your conversation.
2. Remember details about the patient. Many practice software programs have room to put notes. Use these sections to write down notes about what hobbies the patient or their kids have, where they like to go on vacation, or if they’re in the middle of a big house remodel. Use those notes to strike up a conversation at future appointments.
3. Have interesting artwork in your office. While people want to see your accomplishments (to know that you’re competent), it’s also important to put something interesting on the walls to give patients something to look at while they wait or have work done.
4. Offer bottled water and/or coffee! Have a coffee station available for your patients, but remember to have something there for the non-coffee drinkers too. Bottles of water are always a good thing to have on hand. Bonus points if you get custom labels branded for your office!
5. Ask your patient about the best way to communicate with them and then use that method. In our busy world, many patients prefer email or text communication because it gives them a visual reminder of the appointment.
6. Have a plate of fresh-baked cookies in your office each day. Nothing says “we want you here” like a plate full of cookies. Trust us…you’ll be memorable!
7. Explain the billing options and ask the patient if they have any questions. Then, wait. Most people ask the question, but then hurry on and don’t give the patient a chance to respond. Give them a second to think about if they actually have any questions.
8. Make life comfortable for them. For example, harsh lights in a dental office (not to mention the squirting water) can irritate a patient’s eyes. Bright sunlight after an eye exam can also be uncomfortable. Eye protection can make all the difference in how your patients feel inside and outside your office. Rollens wrap-a-round lenses are a perfect solution. They provide offer easy, disposable eye protection that your patients can take with them.
9. Be thankful. A simple thank you to your patient for being with the practice for “x” amount of years can go a long way.
10. Have fun as a team. The more your patients see you and your team interacting in a fun, positive way, the more they will sense that your practice is a good place to go for their health care. Practice what you preach by starting with yourself and your own team!