Demonstrate Availability, Affability and Ability
That old cliché about what makes a successful practice still holds true today, perhaps even more-so in our “go-go” society. Your patients are busy and require convenience. Scheduling is still the most important function in your office after the initial physician-patient contact, for patient-retention and new referrals.
See new patients and referrals as soon as possible, preferably within the same week of the call.
See patients on time.
Make it easy for patients to come prepared by offering downloadable office forms on your website.
Remind patients of their upcoming appointment via their communication method of choice: phone, email or text. We all lead busy lives and helpful appointment reminders are essential for both the patients and the practice.
We all prefer to interact with people we like, so make sure everyone who interacts with your patients is friendly and pleasant.
Address the patient by name.
Make an effort to engage the patient in light conversation.
Ask patients about their kids, work/school or the weather.
Invite patients to practice events, to engage with the practice via social media or share information about the doctors (i.e., did you hear? Dr. Bob just presented at the National Dental Event last week.)
Patients often perceive higher ability in physicians who have affiliations with academic centers or who publish articles in peer-reviewed journals. If your physicians participate in either of these, post it to your practice website, practice brochure and in patient communication materials.
Most of all, enjoy getting to know your patients. Creating a strong relationship with your patients will lead to better patient retention, more patient referrals and more positive work days.
About Wendy Hamel
Her areas of expertise include patient file development, field marketing, online marketing, public relations, social media strategy, web design, SEO and collateral design.