Establishing and maintaining a successful practice relies on one major aspect: the patients. And in order to keep patients coming back, you’ll want to create an office where they feel comfortable and confident in their choice. Follow these simple steps to keep your patients coming back to — and hopefully telling their friends about — your incredible service.
Make your first impression a good one
Studies have shown that first impressions are made within the first 17 seconds of meeting someone. Around 55 percent of that impression is based off of appearance, seven percent is based on words used, and 38 percent is based on your tone of voice. That means you need to look sharp each time you interact with a patient. The easiest way to do that is with a crisp, well-fitting white lab coat.
Make your website functional and informational
It’s the 21st century — and your website should look like you know that. A good website will help attract patients, which will then allow you to show them why they should stay with you. Your website should include your office address, phone number, an email address and a way to schedule appointments. It can also include staff bios, photos of your office and information on what kind of procedure or appointments patients can make with you. Another way to stand out from the crowd is to keep a regularly-updated blog on your website that provides useful health information your patients could use and share.
Make it simple to see you
Your patients have busy schedules, and so do you. Make it easier on both of you by making scheduling as easy as possible. Patients — both current and future – should be able to make appointments in a matter of minutes, either online, over the phone or at the end of each appointment. You won’t always be able to accomodate last-minute appointment requests, but taking them when possible will show your patients you value them and their time.
Create a comfortable environment
There is, unfortunately, a negative stigma associated with medical waiting rooms. In one recent survey, almost 80 percent of respondents said design and lack of comfort is a reason people leave a doctor. You can help ease nerves by making your office as warm and welcoming as possible. To ensure you’ve created a comfortable environment, sit in your office space for 30 minutes and see how you feel. Adjust as necessary.
A simple way to retain more patients is to follow up with them after appointments and to follow through with what you promise. Respond to patient’s phone calls and emails with answers to their questions and positive encouragement. If they’re trying a new medication or recovering from a procedure, a quick check-up could go a long way. After-appointment outreach will make all the difference to a patient, and could keep them coming back.
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