Do you ever wonder why women tend to go to the same hair dresser year after year? I’m sure it’s not because they love the expensive bill or the fact they have to “cover up” those annoying roots every month. It’s because their stylists have figured out how to give them exactly what they want at the price they need AND with a memorable experience every time! This loyalty is essentially the result of providing a consistently positive experience in conjunction with a client’s perceived value of that experience. You may think you provide the best service in the state, but if your patients’ perceived value is low, you’ll find yourself ‘sharing’ patients with competitors. Here are five simple steps to build relationships that lead to loyalty.
Be proactive. If you want to build “promoters” for your practice, start by notifying patients of the service you plan to provide. What kind of service will you be giving and what does that entail? Calling or connecting with a patient to describe what you’re going to do FOR THEM is the first step in getting their attention. If you bring it to their attention, they may realize what sets you apart from the competition.
The Little Things DO Count. Over the years we’ve always taught medical spas & medical practices that the first rule of thumb is to THANK your patients/customers. Don’t send an automated email; try writing. Although archaic, it only takes a Nurse or Esthetician two minutes after each patient to handwrite a personalized note. Send your “thank yous” and you can almost guarantee a return visit.
Relationships Lead to Loyalty. When your patient schedules an appointment, do you remember anything personal about them? Most POS software or CRM systems will record birthdays and anniversaries which should be flagged in your system. Use these notifications to send special notes or gifts to acknowledge your valued patients. Remember, your technology can only do so much to form a relationship. Take an interest in your patients and find out a little bit about who they are. Loyalty is not built on birthday reminders and discounts. It comes from relationships built on trust.
Follow up for Feedback. How do you identify your “promoters” at your practice? If you don’t know why your patients are returning, you might want to ask! Contact your clients for their feedback once you’ve provided a service. Find out what they liked about it or where you could improve. Companies like Digital Assent have revolutionized the ability to capture patient reviews at the moment a patient checks out. Find out what your patients have to say and LISTEN. The best promoters of your brand will be the ones who loved their first experience and how you continue to replicate that service!
Provide the Ultimate “Patient Experience”. From the moment they walk through the door, would your patients say that you provide the “Ultimate Experience” for them? Patients, or rather, people, love to tell stories of their experiences. So give them a story to talk about! From start to finish, your patients’ experience at your practice should be something to remember. Before they even book their first appointment, your staff should be anticipating their needs, wants, and expectations; they shouldn’t have to ask. BE PROACTIVE. NOT REACTIVE.
Follow these simple steps and patients will follow you for years!
Jamie L. Parrott, MBA