In Your Private Practice, Are There Public Barriers to Finding and Retaining New Patients?
You’ve probably given a lot of thought to customer service for your existing patients and marketing avenues to find new ones. But are you overlooking the two most significant public faces of your private practice?
In short, your website and your reception desk are key areas of your practice that you can’t afford to ignore.
Your Private Practice Website
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in thinking about search engine optimization (SEO) for your website—making sure that patients who are searching for your specialty in your area will find you first. But don’t forget to think about what patients will find on your site when they get there! If they click away, you’ve wasted all your SEO efforts.
In many cases, your website will be the first impression of your practice for new patients. What does it tell them about your business? Remember, there’s the actual content of the site (the text itself) and then there are the subtle aspects that have psychological influence—the colors and images you present, the professional (or amateur) look of your site, and the amount of care that goes into the text so that it is clear and compelling—but not pushy.
Take a long look at your private practice website. Is it clean and simple? Is information easy to find? Does it answer the small questions that new patients will have, like how to find your office and whether their insurance will be filed? Does it answer their bigger questions, like why they should choose your office over someone else’s?
Optimizing Your Reception Desk
We sometimes talk about the reception “desk” as if it were an object. Of course, there’s more to reception than an actual desk, or even the people who staff it. The reception desk, in a sense, is a process. It’s how patients get greeted when they walk in the door, whether they are new or ongoing clients. It’s the atmosphere of the entire office, not just the waiting area. It’s also the experience that patients have when they call your office, whether it’s the first call about a new consultation or a question about billing.
As a process, the reception desk provides three aspects of customer service:
- Making a smooth transition from website to office
- Meeting the patient’s needs during the visit
- Following up after the visit
Do you know how that process feels to your patients? (Have you surveyed them, and continually asked for feedback, to find out?) Consider giving these questions at least as much consideration as your marketing budget or payroll issues, because without the answers to these questions, your practice may not be sustainable in the long term.
I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!
I wish you the best along your journeys!
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Have a great day!
the PPW team