3 Things Patients Look for in a New Provider
Hoping to see a rush of new patients visit your practice next year? Attract prospects to your practice with great customer service and a stand-out patient experience.
Here are three key qualities patients look for in a new provider.
1. Top-notch customer service.
When searching for a new provider, the impression your front desk staff makes is critical. Attention to detail and customer service can go a long way to help patients feel comfortable and that they are in good hands.
One study indicates that patients who enjoyed positive experiences at their doctor’s offices
turned to adjectives such as “friendly” and “thorough” to describe their experiences. On the
other hand, some popular words that corresponded with negative experiences were “rude” and
Here’s a smart strategy you can use to improve customer service: Reduce the call volume to your office, so your staff doesn’t need to put patients on hold when they call to book appointments. This frees up their time to take care of patients who are currently in the office.
Call volume can be dramatically reduced by offering online booking on your website, with automatic appointment confirmations and reminders sent to your patients via text messages or
email. Automating this process makes life easier on your patients and removes the manual work of reminder calls for your staff, so they can focus on patient care.
Chances are your patients will appreciate online booking too, rather than taking time away from work to call for an appointment. PatientPop research reveals that new patients who search online for a provider in the evening or on the weekend want the ability to book online at any time of day or night. In addition, the research showed that 63% of appointments booked online stemmed from new patients; and 34% of these appointments were booked after hours.
2. An office equipped with modern amenities and digital technology
A five-star patient experience pays dividends, especially if you want to attract millennial patients.
Millennial blogger Kyle Wong says: “What millennials want is not very different than what every
customer wants: a better customer experience or product and an authentic brand that stands for something.”
Turn your office and waiting room into an inviting, relaxing space where patients aren’t staring at
the clock or reading outdated magazines. Some ideas to improve the ambience include:
• Install a flat-screen TV that plays an uncontroversial channel such as HGTV
• Provide free WiFi so patients can work or play on their phones and tablets
• Upgrade outdated furniture with modern, comfortable seating options
Another way to improve a visit is to limit the amount of paperwork patients fill out at your office. As an alternative, digital intake allows patients to answer personalized forms on their smartphone, tablet or computer, anytime and anywhere, prior to their first appointment. That means they don’t need to arrive at your office thirty minutes early, which gives you an opportunity to actually review their forms ahead of time.
Digital intake also gives your office a chance to get ahead of any health insurance issues, which
is crucial to the patient experience. Insurance issues are mentioned in many negative practice
reviews, so it’s smart to work them out pre-appointment.
3. Appointments that address the patient’s questions.
Even the best customer service, the sleekest waiting room, and the most streamlined patient
intake can be devalued by a less than satisfactory interaction between the patient and doctor.
Once your patients arrive in the exam room, it’s time to demonstrate your knowledge, patience,
ABC News conducted a study where patients shared their top gripes about their providers. The list of grievances included doctors who don’t value their patients’ time4. One respondent to the survey said, “I know that I’ve been scheduled for a set amount of time… I want to use that time to talk about my concerns and not feel like I’m only being half listened to, then being rushed out the door.”
Other complaints in the ABC study included:
• Doctors who don’t listen to their patients
• Doctors who don’t call to follow up with test results or call in prescriptions as promised
• Doctors who don’t connect with other doctors to solve unusual medical problems
It may be uncomfortable to evaluate your habits with patients and make adjustments. However, it’s essential today if you want to avoid negative online reviews, which can lead to low patient retention rates.
Even if you have an extremely busy day at the office, you can still take steps to impact how your
patients perceive you. For instance, if you’re running behind schedule, one study indicates that
long wait times are more easily forgotten when a doctor has a great bedside manner.
In the examination room, active listening and a relaxed appointment pace complete the patient experience.
If you can give your patients the time and attention they crave, they’ll be more receptive to your
suggestions, and more likely to return to your office.
PatientPop is reinventing the way physicians market and grow their practice. Our smart technology provides an automated, all-in-one solution to enhance your online visibility and reputation, patient acquisition and retention, as well as business insights.
Diagnose your practice’s online performance today with our free practice scan. This powerful diagnostic tool scours the internet for your practice’s online visibility, reputation, and directory profiles to show you how you’re performing and where you can improve.
If you’re interested in seeing how our platform can transform your marketing and practice growth, request a demo or contact our sales department.