Many medical professionals go into the field with the intention of starting their own medical practice. Medical practice ownership means you can control your prices, your schedule, and how your practice is run. However, many physicians will find that it is an extremely competitive industry. You are only as successful as the number of patients you can bring in. Ensuring patient satisfaction is important to overall success. What are some ways you can ensure that your medical patients will return again and again?
Easy scheduling process
One of the biggest complaints of medical offices is difficulty with scheduling. Patients do not want to sit on the line for many minutes, simply to make a physician appointment. They also do not want to make an appointment for weeks later, especially when they are currently feeling ill. Easy scheduling is important in ensuring that your patients come to you with their medical needs. Offer online scheduling services for internet savvy patients. Utilize a 24 hour answering service for after hours scheduling needs. Considering that 80% of people will hang up on a business if they hear a voicemail, using a 24 hour live answering service could significantly increase patient appointments.
Medical patients are paying you for your knowledge. If you are unable to help them understand or correct their symptoms, they are likely to go elsewhere. If you are not familiar with something, find someone that is. Pointing a patient in the right direction for answers is better than doing nothing or pretending to know something about a condition. The knowledge that you provide your patients is comparable to customer service skills. U.S. brands, including medical offices, are losing approximately $41 billion each year due to poor customer service.
Provide emergency direction
Most medical offices are not set up to handle emergencies. Yet, you will still have patients that call in with an emergency. This can be a problem if the office is currently closed. If the patient is unable to get emergency information, they could be in danger. A doctors answering service may be beneficial, depending on how many calls your office is receiving after hours. A doctors answering service can give the caller emergency referral information. The number one thing customers are looking for when they call contact centers is to have their problems resolved quickly.
Take your patient?s time seriously
Many medical patients are forced to waste a lot of time. They sit on the phone line for many minutes, attempting to make an appointment. They sit in the waiting room for a long time. They sit even more in the examining room, waiting on the physician. Taking your patient?s time more seriously is a great way to increase patient satisfaction and guarantee that they will return to your office in the future. Also, using an answering service medical can be helpful in reducing some of this wait time. The best answering services can handle medical appointments, payments, and questions.
Protect your time too
A physician?s time is their well being. If you are constantly wasting your time attending appointments of no shows, you end up losing out on a lot of money. Another benefit to using doctors answering services is the reduction of patient no shows. When patients can use an after hours phone service, they can easily reschedule and cancel appointments. The convenient times often results in an increase of patient calls and less wasted time for the physician. Also, when the patient reaches a doctors answering service after hours, they are more likely to reschedule than to simply cancel their appointment.
Many physicians dream of opening their own medical practice. But, having a medical degree and medical experience is not enough. Owning a successful medical practice requires exceptional customer service. You can increase your chances at success by giving your patients an easy scheduling and rescheduling process, being knowledgeable in your field, caring about your patient?s time, and providing emergency help, when needed.