Can you instantly recall the best experience you ever had at a health clinic or office? Is it as easy as recalling the worst? The good news is that positive and negative experiences can be recalled equally depending on the circumstance but which one do you want being associated with your clinic or office? Now a days there is so much competition in healthcare. A client can go down the street to the next chiropractor, massage therapist or yoga studio very easily. You want to give them as many positive reasons as possible to keep coming back to you!
Keep in mind that if someone has a positive experience, they’ll generally share it with 50 people. If its’ negative – over 500. Add the bonus of online communication and I’m sure both of those numbers are low. If someone is quick to share a bad experience at somewhere as trivial as a coffee shop, imagine when it concerns their health or the health of a loved one. I’ve got some ideas that should help create positive experiences with patients that will keep them coming back:
1. Personal Problems.
We all have our down days but when a client is coming to you for help they do not want to know that your attention is a bit divided. The best offence is a good defence so have something to serve as a touch point when you walk in the office door for your troubles. A special statue, calming picture or other visual cue that you can you leave your troubles with for the short term. It’s a powerful visualization technique that can help you bring your attention back to your patients where it belongs.
Effective health care and long term relationships are based on a fundamental trust between two people. What does this mean for you? The personal touch can go a long way. I always like to make little notes about my clients to ask them about how their, son, husband, wife or something that they mentioned to me from our last visit. Frame up your certifications and put them up in your office. And since you might not be the only one having a bad day, watch for changes in a patient’s behaviour. If they aren’t their usual bouncy self, perhaps they need a little more TLC.
This is important for creating the same experience each time a patient comes to your office. If you have front desk staff, it’s important to establish the routine around greeting patients, appointment reminders, updating the voice mail message daily and booking follow ups. Schedule regular staff meetings and check with patients to make sure this is happening. If you are handling all these details yourself, it’s still vital to create this routine. Not only for your patients but to make sure you’re following all the steps necessary to make your patients’ experience positive.
4. Be Positive.
Think I mean your attitude again? Nope. Your office speaks volumes all by itself. If your decor is dated, dingy and dark it reflects back on you. Outdated literature shows that you aren’t keeping up with the latest treatments or technology and that doesn’t do anything positive for a patients’ impression of your skills. Invest in a new coat of paint, comfy waiting room furniture, interesting art on the walls, inspirational sayings (though no cats with hang in there, please), plants and appropriate music playing in the background. Put out literature from the latest conference or training you’ve been to.
5. Be polite.
You’d think that this would be obvious but it’s probably the most important and ignored tip of all time. We all know what it’s like to have to rush to the next client or patient but there’s nothing worse than feeling like you’ve been given the bum rush out the door. This is your last chance to create a positive impression so make it a good one! Ask if everything is clear from the appointment, offer any literature you might have about something you’ve discussed and talk about the next time you’d like to see them. Build this time in to your appointment schedule and noHealthy Body will leave with that negative impression we’re trying to avoid. They’ll feel important, valued and in good hands.
What it comes down to is remembering the importance of the job that you are doing: taking care of patients. People who are either trying to take care of their health or are being forced to. Regardless of why they are there, anything associated with our health heightens our anxiety and colors the impressions of any situation. These tips will help you to give the best impression possible.