When it comes to delivering a service that meets – and ideally exceeds – your patients’ expectations, it can all come down to taking a different point of view. To ensure you are providing the best experience possible, you need to look at the entire journey from where they’re standing.
Your patients’ experience determines how they feel about your practice, and that makes it an important, if not the most important, factor in how successful your practice will be. It’s just like when you visit a hotel or a restaurant, for example, if you are unhappy or indifferent about how you were treated, you are not likely to return and may well tell others about it.
It’s just the same for your patients – if they receive a service that is just OK or mediocre, they are not likely to return to your practice and may well give negative reviews to friends/relatives, or even strangers online. It’s important to note that by service, I don’t just mean the clinical side of things, it’s the entire service they receive from the initial contact to any follow-up and everything in-between. After all, when you visit a hotel or restaurant, you don’t only judge the bed you sleep in or the meal you eat.
The good news is that if you provide an excellent treatment journey for your patients, they will be happy to come back and will become an advocate for your business, spreading their positive experience among their peers. That is why the patient experience is so vital to get right; it helps to build a strong, profitable, growing practice.
But how do you ensure your patients are receiving the experience they expect?
The key is to put yourself in their shoes. From here you can identify any problems that may arise in their journey at your practice and take steps to avoid them before they even occur.
As I mentioned earlier, you need to focus on the non-clinical aspect of practice life as well – you should get to know your patients and engage with them, not just their teeth, but as people, and provide those personal touches that make all the difference. Involving your patients in their treatment plan will help to manage their expectations as well as ensuring they are happy and feel confident in the treatment they are receiving.
A more personal approach will make for happier patients, which is great for business, but also ensures a more enjoyable experience for staff as well. Happy staff creates a motivated team, and it’s important to ensure that everyone is working together for the same goal of providing the best service possible.
Putting yourself in your patients’ place will allow you to see the service you provide from their viewpoint, helping you to communicate better with them and ultimately give them an experience they can rave about.