What kind of journey do you want to take your patients on? From the minute they find out about you and enter your world, the quality of a patient’s journey should be your top concern.
Imagine a seamless experience from the very beginning. The patient books an appointment with ease. They’re confident that your practice is a good fit, and they’re aware of what is expected of them and what to expect from you. In other words, the itinerary for their journey is clear. A high-quality booking experience like this will ensure the patient is excited about working with your practice. After all, who doesn’t want to know what lies ahead?
A great start like this can greatly improve the odds that a patient will show up for their appointment. The reality is that the more excited a patient is about starting the journey you will take together, the better the entire experience will be. So why aren’t we all making sure every patient gets off to a good start?
How Are Your Patients On-Boarded?
If you want attract quality patients, you need to evaluate the way they are on-boarded into your clinic, what their success path looks like, and how you can make that all as smooth as possible. Every step on a patient’s journey is important. Consider a five-star hotel. Do they leave anything out? Compare that to a three-star hotel. Often the difference is in the details. When you think of a patient’s care as a journey in which every step counts, then the issues of retention, compliance, and success in your care will change.
How Can You Create a More Seamless Customer Experience?
1 – Grab your patient’s attention from the start
Elements such as video and an opt-in on your site. Getting patients’ attention is the key to a good start. Then you can continue to nurture them along and allow them to understand more about who you are, what you do, and most importantly what you can do for them (because that last one is big!).
2 – Automate and Communicate
After you have warmed them up and they have decided that they are ready to book, automate the hell out of that decision! Use an online scheduler that clearly defines what they need to do. If you are offering phone bookings, make sure that reception answers the phone and makes the booking process as simple as possible. If you have multiple programs available in your clinic (hormone replacement, IV therapy, general wellness, weight loss etc.…), make sure reception listens carefully to patients’ concerns and clearly identifies their needs. If someone is calling in wanting an IV vitamin drip, don’t try to put them into your wellness program, you must meet them where they are. If a patient is desperate for a hormonal analysis, make sure that the booking is specifically noted as such, and when you meet that client, communicate their goals clearly. Reception can also take that a step further and ask what a patient’s concerns are on the phone, if that helps to make the triage component of the practice better. This step requires intuitive staff or training on what to do and when to do it.
3 – Build trust and set expectations
After a patient books an appointment, send a series of emails to get them excited about working with you: perhaps an introductory video from you talking about your passion for helping women reach their health goals and impacting the community at a greater level. Or maybe a video or an email with a list of FAQs offering up some key points in advance. Then, consider sending an email explaining what to expect during the first visit.
4 – Earn your patient’s commitment
After they come to see you and you do a great job of selling the framework for your care (the success path), what can you do to ensure they buy-in to your treatment, stay excited, and are fully informed of what’s next? Yes, emails and emails with video get two gold stars! Your patients should leave your office happy about the opportunity to work with you, excited about the results they will achieve, and pleased with their decision to purchase services. They should not feel overwhelmed or have buyer’s remorse. You want them to be clear about what it all means to them and to their life – and to their schedules (time commitment is a huge factor for many people). I like selling people on the commitment, and then getting them to sign off on what’s involved so they are committed to the process.
5 – Follow up
Next, send patients a follow-up email, perhaps with a personal video (gold star!) or a phone call (two gold stars!). Ask if anything was unclear in order to continue to confirm the buy-in and the excitement for transformation. Patients will also feel reassured if you take the time to ask if they understand every step.
The 12-month Success Path
Make sure each step in your success path (which is your framework for 12 months of working with you – if you aren’t doing this, you should be!) has the right elements for a successful patient journey.
If you are prescribing lab work, for example, make a video explaining why and what you are testing. Other people will ask them, so the patient should be clear on why they are spending their time and money on. If you’ve recommended a supplement, provide them with information on why and what to expect and any cautionary info they need.
When you craft an amazing patient journey, the issues most practices face with both retention, compliance, and referrals can be eliminated and you can focus on providing amazing service to amazing patients that will be with you happily ever after. Well, that seems a bit fairytale-esque, but you get the point!
Consistent, exceptional service is arguably the single most important distinguishing factor when we look at what constitutes a five-star experience. You need to be able to anticipate needs, personalize care, and be mindful of every interaction and its value.
So, why aren’t you aspiring to be a five-star practice? After all, a successful practice that elevates its service to a personalized care scenario using automated techniques and tools is also able to charge more for the work being done, and work less at acquiring new patients and retaining the ones who are already on board.
If you are looking for help building your practice by design and not by default, then book a call with me and let’s see if this program is a fit for you. It’s time to make sure your practice is set up for sustainability, scalability, and success!