The post-visit experience must be just as seamless as other aspects of the appointment process in order to promote ongoing patient satisfaction. There are ways to continue the prior successes in pre- and in-office experience long after checkout, with techniques that doubly serve patient retention.
Here are four ways to make the last touchpoint of the patient journey mutually beneficial to both patient and practice.
Follow Up Post-Appointment
After an appointment, send an automated feedback survey via text or email. This is an opportunity to receive valuable feedback that elucidates what your practice is doing right and what you could be doing better.
Typically, patients might not be inclined or attentive enough to submit feedback on their own accord, even if they had the best experience at your practice. In fact, PatientPop data shows that 71.3 percent of providers only receive reviews from 5 percent or fewer of their patients.
But when the feedback request simply shows up in their inbox, they’ll see how quick it is for them to engage. And if they had a positive patient experience, taking this moment to review it might lead them to more deeply appreciate your service.
Add a Personal Touch
Care is at the core of the healthcare provider’s mission, but can often be overshadowed by everything else that comes with running a successful practice. Focusing in on the post-visit step, you can find areas to add a personal touch to patient retention.
For example, if a patient has just had a major surgery, send them a get well soon message to show you are thinking about their recovery. Or, if a patient seemed anxious during their in-office visit, reach out and let them know that you are happy to answer any questions or concerns they might not have asked during their appointment.
Take a look here at Dr. Rochlin, a plastic surgeon in Scottsdale, Ariz., who received this beaming 5-star review on Facebook. You can tell her patients value her service, with another user commenting: “Love her! She called me at home over the weekend after my procedure to check on me!” followed by a chain of “Dittos!”
Respond to All Online Feedback
Once you begin requesting feedback from patients, you must continuously monitor your online reputation. Look for avenues to boost retention by taking time to reply to all online feedback — both positive and negative.
Patients who have left a positive online review deserve to know that their feedback is valued. Comment back to thank them for sharing their experience and, if you remember the next time they are in the office, say thank you again in person.
But also be prepared to promptly and politely acknowledge any negative reviews that appear. Explain that you are happy to discuss their experience privately and provide a way for the patient to reach you.
Meaningful engagement like this might seem trivial, but it also makes a big difference in patient marketing. Prospective patients are looking for trust, and seeing a provider responding to reviews conveys compassion and helps put any uneasy feelings to rest.
Engage with Content and Social Media Marketing
Don’t let your patient base go unattended between appointments. Engage them outside of the office with blog and social media content to further patient retention.
Marketing your practice with a blog is a great way for healthcare providers to position themselves as an expert. Current patients will look directly at your website for more information about symptoms, conditions, or services. And prospective patients will find you more easily in search engines following along the lines of your keywords.
Once you write a blog post, it’s a great idea to syndicate that content onto social media to increase reach, or the number of people who see your post, being that 74 percent of internet users in the U.S. search for health information online using social media. Healthcare providers who are active on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook can also better engage with industry professionals and build their personal brand.
Patients who stay connected with your practice post-appointment will sustain greater trust in your expertise and satisfaction with their care. When it comes to growing your practice, demonstrating a consistently positive patient experience can be your biggest asset. Create value in each specific stage to see the benefits of a long-term cycle of patient retention and acquisition.
For more tips to sustain patient retention with a service-oriented approach, check out the blog “4 Ways Healthcare Providers Can Encourage Regular Patient Visits.”