The road from potential client to loyal, returning client is long — and often it all starts with an online search and ends with follow-up and continued contact. Prioritizing the Client experience leads to greater satisfaction and, ultimately, higher retention and additional revenue.
So how do you create an excellent customer experience that brings them back?
Step 1. Create a helpful online presence
Your online presence is vital, today potential clients are used to information at their fingertips. It is important that your website provides helpful information, answers to frequently asked questions and a summary of the services you offer. It is the best way to make a great first impression with prospective clients.
Your website is a reflection of your clinic’s brand. To help clients understand what to expect make sure you’re offering clear, consistent information including the About Us, Service, and Contact pages. Showcase high-quality photos of (both interior and exterior) and even clients having testing performed so that clients can get a sense of your brand and what to expect before they visit.
Testimonials from current clients are a great way to generate trust, a short 20-30 second video in your office from a current client raving about the successes they have had with your staff or program is an excellent way to draw in new clients.
Social media accounts: Know your target audience and the social media channels they utilize. Then create accounts on these channels and post information weekly about your clinic and the services offered.
Creating and sharing content on your website’s blog and social media accounts is a great way to provide valuable information.
Consider what patients want to know about the treatments and services you offer. What are the most commonly asked questions? Then develop timely, educational content that addresses these questions.
Create yourself as an authority, share a mix of your own original content and other medical blogs or news articles that support the services you offer.
Step 2: Offer online scheduling software & send confirmations and reminders
Give clients the freedom and convenience to book appointments online with your clinic. Sixty-eight (68) percent of consumers are more likely to choose a store/provider who offers the ability to book, cancel, or change appointments online.
Clients are busy. Help them stay in communication with your practice with appointment confirmations and reminders. Not only do automated reminders let clients know you value their time, but they also help you reduce costly no-shows.
Send appointment confirmations via email or SMS/text after clients have booked, and then send a reminder three days before a scheduled appointment asking them to confirm. If a client doesn’t confirm, send another reminder the day before and even an hour before the appointment.
Step 3. Make paperwork available on your website
Cut down on the tedious tasks for clients when they arrive in your waiting room by giving them the option to view, print, and fill out intake forms online before their visit. Clients can fill out the necessary paperwork when it’s convenient for them, and avoid completing it in a rush before an appointment.
Step 4. Instruct front office staff to be friendly and helpful
Providing a great experience during a client’s visit is essential to keep clients coming back. A warm, welcoming attitude from the staff helps set the tone from the moment they walk in the door. Simple gestures like saying hello, smiling, and being friendly during the check-in process are often all it takes to start the visit off right. Ensure that staff introduces themselves to the new clients and give them a quick office tour when a new client comes in. Treat them well and they will return.
Step 5. Ensure the waiting area is warm and welcoming
Make your waiting area is a place that’s welcoming when the client walks in and enjoyable for clients to wait before their appointment. Avoid hard furniture and harsh lighting. Instead, fill the area with comfortable seating and warm lighting. Giving your clients a soothing area to unwind will feel more like a break from their hectic day and less like an inconvenience.
Step 6. Follow up appointments with a survey
After the visit, use thoughtful touchpoints to interact with patients to show them you value their feedback. Sending automated patient surveys via text or email will yield higher engagement, since patients aren’t as likely to submit a survey on their own.
Sending a survey shortly after a visit is the best time to get feedback, as the experience is still top of mind. Even negative feedback can help improve the quality of your services and lead to happier patients (and better reviews) over time.
Step 7. Promptly respond to online feedback
Responding to feedback, both good and bad, is just as important as collecting feedback from clients. Thoughtful responses foster trust with patients and show you care about their experiences with your healthcare practice.
Don’t avoid the critical feedback, politely acknowledge the author, and encourage them to contact you directly to address their experience and look for a good resolution.
Reminder when responding to complaints online: Be compliant with the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, when responding to reviews or comments online. This means you should never confirm that a reviewer is a patient or mention any Protected Health Information (PHI) such as their name, location, dates, and social media handle.
Step 8. Stay in touch with patients through their inbox
Email is another way to have thoughtful communication with clients, likely through a regular newsletter or promotional offers. Clients even prefer email updates: 91 percent of adults like to receive promotional emails from businesses they patron, according to Marketing Sherpa.
Use emails to send appointment reminders, alert clients to new services and discounts you offer, and provide tips for improving health and wellness and make that personal touch by sending Happy Birthday emails and Happy Anniversary of their first visits.
As you can see there are many touchpoints that can create a positive client experience. Taking the necessary steps for your clients will help increase client satisfaction, which will lead to higher client retention as well as a greater number of glowing online reviews and increased revenue for the clinic.