How To Become The “Chief Patient Satisfaction Officer” For Your Medical Practice
Create An “Emotional Bank Account” With Your Patients
As a physician, have you ever had an opportunity to ease the concerns of a dissatisfied or unhappy patient? I use the term “opportunity” because these occurrences DO in fact offer you an opportunity. You have the opportunity to turn an unhappy patient into a disciple for your practice. Making regular deposits into an “emotional bank account” for your patients can create a pool of good will that can insulate you from patient dissatisfaction.
An emotional bank account simply refers to built up goodwill that you create within your patient base. You can make deposits into this account by performing simple, regular tasks that make your patients feel appreciated and cared for. For example:
- Consider sending out an occasional survey to find out how they feel treated in your clinic. Ask them if the staff is friendly. Do they have to wait too long? Does the staff actually LISTEN to them?
- After treatment, you might want to follow up with a personal phone call to check on their condition. After my first crown with my current dentist, he personally called me that evening to check on me. Wow! What an idea; that had never happened to me before. He not only got a lifelong patient, but now my wife and kids go to him as well.
- Start a patient email newsletter. This is easily and inexpensively done. Call us for some free tips on how you can accomplish this…
These few ideas can go a long way towards building up your balance in your patient’s emotional bank account. Now let’s talk about withdrawals…
We know that most physicians want to do the right thing; but unfortunately sometimes the right thing simply falls through the cracks. Whenever a patient feels ignored or slighted, this counts as a withdrawal. If a patient happens to be misdiagnosed, or worse, this is a withdrawal. If a patient has to wait an extraordinarily long time to see you without explanation or apology, this also counts as a withdrawal.
When this happens you risk losing a patient, and we know that you rarely lose just one patient; you’re also losing family members, friends and referrals.
Just like with your financial bank account, too many withdrawals or too few deposits can result in a negative balance; which almost always results in a negative doctor-patient relationship. In that case everyone loses; you lose a patient and those in their sphere of influence, and the patient loses the confidence in quality care that they deserve.
For more great tips on patient satisfaction please send us a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to send you some easy, low cost ideas for increasing patient satisfaction and increasing patient traffic.