What does improving your patients’ experience look like to you?
This is actually a trick question. Read on to see why…
Maybe you feel it’s time to change up the music genre that’s been playing in your waiting area for too long now. Or, perhaps you like your staff’s suggestion about updating the magazine subscriptions coming into the office. And then there’s also the idea you had about texting your patients to remind them of upcoming appointments.
What do each of these examples have in common? You. Yes, you. As in — each idea for improved patient experience was yours, or your staff’s.
What’s missing from each of the examples? You guessed it. Your patients. Why? Because in each case, you’ve made an assumption about what your patient wants, without asking them.
You’re not alone in your approach. Many doctors and small businesses make this common, well-intentioned mistake. In an effort to come up with the elements of outstanding experience, you formulate educated guesses as to what’s most important to your patients or customers.
But that’s not how to deliver the best patient experience.
The majority of your opinions on ways to improve service may very well end up being accurate. But on the other hand, unless you ask the people on the receiving end of that service — you often end up falling short of the mark.
You can (and should) have an informed opinion about how to deliver the best patient experience. But don’t rely solely upon what you think when choosing to make changes and improvements. Confirm (or deny) your educated guesses, first.
Before you act, ask.
Of course, years of experience running your practice will leave you with a gut feeling on patient experience improvements. Use that gut feeling, only for the first step in the process.
Your own opinions and those of your staff can help you shape service-related questions. But then in order to determine what’s truly best for your patients, ask for their input.
This Marketing Land article by columnist and email marketing guru Len Shneyder effectively illustrates how to ask for preferences on email frequency and topics. It’s a great example of getting customer or patient input on marketing emails. Besides giving you an idea of how to be creative when asking for feedback, it might inspire you to launch your next email campaign.
For another angle on gathering and using patient feedback to enhance the service your practice provides, read our blog 3 Ways to Make the Most of Patient Feedback.
And hopefully, the next time you’re asked, “What does improving your patients’ experience look like to you?”…you’ll reply, “I’m not sure. Let me ask them.”
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