Your patients are the lifeline of your practice – without them, you won’t succeed. Therefore, their happiness and satisfaction should be your highest goal. After all, when a patient is satisfied with the services they’ve received, they’ll tell their family and friends who, in turn, will want to know more about what you have to offer. Study after study has revealed that word-of-mouth is still the most effective marketing tool a practice has.
One way to ensure your patients are completely satisfied is by adding more personal touches to every aspect of your practice. Personal touches take the standard of care to the next level, setting your practice apart from competitors. Here are four personal touches you can begin adding into your routine today.
Keep it friendly. People want to be treated as just that—people—and not like another part of a business cycle. You should train your staff in a way that encourages not only an atmosphere of professionalism, but also friendliness as well. Approach patients on a first name basis, have genuine interest in how they’re doing, and ask how their day is going. Make it a goal to remember at least one small detail about each patient in order to open up topics of conversation in the future. Your patients will notice the effort, and will feel more welcome and important.
Follow-up. Always look for opportunities to follow-up with your patients, whether it’s through phone calls, a personalized email, or direct mail postcards. Other marketing materials, such as reminder cards, thank you letters, and discount coupons encourage further engagement. When you follow-up, your patients will feel as though they haven’t been forgotten and will appreciate the extra step you’ve taken to keep them connected.
Put a face with a name. Research suggests that people are more drawn to practices they can attach a face to. Remember this in everything you do. When sending out an email, make sure the signature contains not just your name, but a headshot as well. Your marketing materials (such as business cards, postcards, and pamphlets) should have a face on it, too. When patients can mentally connect a practice with a friendly face they recognize, they are far more likely to feel invested and want to return again.
Know their history. Obviously, you aren’t going to unload the skeletons out of your patient’s closet, but when it comes to your practice, make sure you know their background information. Where applicable, make notes in charts or a directory of patient preferences. If Mrs. Jones likes to be referred to just like that instead of as Nancy, be sure to keep note of this for future interactions. If a patient had a particularly bad experience, you’ll want to take notes and remember it as well. This way, you can follow-up with them and avoid a similar situation in the future.
Personal touches are what take practices from mediocre to outstanding. Patients don’t remember the run-of-the-mill organizations they’ve conducted business with in the past, they remember those who took their level of care and professionalism to the next level. Those are the types of memories you want to leave your patients with, and these tips are sure to set your practice up for success!