Patient experience will make or break a practice. If the patients do not feel heard or supported, they will not return (and they will make their negative experience known online). Healthcare providers in various fields now find themselves turning to patient experience to rebuild their practices after losing massive amounts of revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hearing professionals should be no different—stepping up your game when it comes to patient experience can have an incredibly positive effect on the growth of your business. Here are five simple ways you can improve the patient experience.
- Focus on patient education.
Whether a patient finds you online or simply walks into your office one day, their goal is the same: to find answers. Be sure you give them the answers they are looking for! Make your website easy to navigate, and put the most important information and frequently asked questions front and center.
Be clear on your website about what services and products you offer, as well as what you do not offer. New patients may feel nervous about the experience of seeing a hearing professional, so put their mind at ease by outlining the process. A recent study found that 55 percent of patients are looking for information about a specific procedure on their provider’s website, yet 44 percent reported that their provider’s website didn’t or only partially provided that information. Make your website one of the good ones!
Patient education is just as essential in your office as it is online. Make sure that all of your team members understand the importance of patient education, from the patient’s first call to their follow-up visits.
- The fortune is in the follow-up.
Speaking of follow-up visits, let your patients know you are there for them just as much after their appointments and treatments as you were before. You don’t want your patient to feel like you sold them on a treatment—say, hearing aids, for example—and then you’re done with them once they’ve paid. Continue to follow up with the patient through quick, simple emails and phone calls to make sure they know you care.
- Actively manage your reputation.
Most patients do not want to research 20 different providers before choosing one. In fact, nearly 50 percent of patients said they researched only one provider, while approximately 78 percent reported evaluating no more than two providers. This means that when a patient finds you online, your office needs to look great. Do not give the patient a chance to have second thoughts about coming to see you.
To capture their attention (and their business) and put their mind at ease regarding your expertise, you need to manage your online reputation. The number-one resource patients said they relied on when choosing a provider was review sites. In addition, 49 percent of patients reported that the most important factor when selecting a provider was their reputation. Keep an eye on your online reputation by regularly checking your reviews and feedback. Respond to them in a timely and professional manner.
- Do not rely solely on digital communication.
Yes, digital communication is ever-growing in its popularity. However, many patients want to retain a personal touch when it comes to their healthcare providers. Continue using traditional communication methods like phone calls and in-person visits. Implement digital communication solutions while maintaining a personal touch to how you interact with your patients.
- Put your patients first.
As a hearing professional, your top priority is always your patients, so make sure they feel that. Many people feel nervous about visiting healthcare professionals, including hearing professionals, especially if they do not know what to expect. Put their mind at ease by helping them feel confident that they are making the best choice for their health by choosing you. You can do this even before they walk in the door by providing an abundance of valuable information on your website. Be sure to address what sets you apart.
Once the patient is in your office, continue to build rapport and trust. Allow time for questions during consultations, share your knowledge freely, focus on building relationships, and treat everyone with kindness.
By implementing these five tips for improving patient experience, you can feel confident that your patients will keep coming back—and they’ll tell their friends, too. To learn more about how you can grow your practice, we invite you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus.