You’ll have an edge on your competition when you follow up consistently and personally with your patients.
It’s a sad fact that most private practice owners don’t bother to follow up with their patients—and those who do, often are following up in an impersonal way. That’s bad news for those business owners, but it means you have a golden opportunity to tweak your practice follow-up to be more personal and therefore more effective.
Follow-up opportunities happen constantly, and many of them take place before your patient even walks out the door. For example, when your reception staff is checking out a patient after the visit, that’s a prime chance to get feedback. Does your staff inquire personally how the visit went and if there’s anything they can do for your patient? Does your staff direct the patient to a comment card? Or do they just not ask for feedback at all? You can get very strong and detailed feedback immediately after a visit, which is more valuable to your practice.
Now let’s consider post-visit follow-up. Imagine that a new patient has a consultation with you on Monday morning, but this person doesn’t make an additional appointment at the desk—she says to your staff that she will schedule an appointment later. Does your staff know how to handle a situation like this? Do they tell you about it in a timely way, or do they passively wait for the patient to call the office? Do you expect your staff to follow up with new patients or do you personally reach out to these patients with a phone call?
Just for a moment, put yourself in that patient’s shoes. Which scenario makes you feel special and cared for? Which scenario makes you feel ignored and like a number instead of a person? There’s a frequently quoted aphorism attributed to Maya Angelou: People forget what you do or what you said, but they never forget how you made them feel.
When patients feel that you care about them, they come back, and they refer family and friends. And that’s the bottom line of private practice building.
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I wish you the best along your journeys!
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Have a great day!
the PPW team