Technology, smartphones, and the internet have dramatically impacted how consumers behave and make purchase decisions. Before Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, consumers searched online exclusively from a desktop or laptop computer. We now have an intelligent device at the ease of our fingertips to find information on any business or query that comes to mind. You can effortlessly purchase products from retailers, tickets to events, or book a dinner reservation from your phone. Consumers are now accustomed to this level of convenience, and they expect the same from all businesses, including medical practices.
It is no longer sufficient to rely exclusively on referrals and in-network health plans as a patient loyalty strategy. Your practice is not the only medical practice that is in-network for a specific health plan, nor are you the only practice offering your clinic’s specialty within your city. Google “(INSERT SPECIALTY) medical practices near me,” and the results will return hundreds of options. It is overwhelming!
But how do prospective patients decide which medical practice to visit for treatment? According to BrightLocal:
- 90% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year
- 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, with 52% of 15-54-year-olds saying they “always” read reviews
- Only 53% of people would consider using a company with less than four stars
What your patients post online about their experience from their visit to your practice does matter. Your patients can act as either positive influencers or adversaries of your brand’s reputation. It is easy to become defensive and dismiss negative reviews… “that patient was crazy” …. “he doesn’t know what he is talking about.” Resist this urge. Instead, deliver the patient a five-star experience every single time.
Consistency is the number one thing consumers look for in a product or service. Consider McDonald’s or the Ritz-Carlton. If you purchase a Big Mac in Chicago on Monday and a Big Mac on Tuesday in Los Angeles, both burgers will taste identical. The consumer knows this too. The same holds with the Ritz-Carlton. You know that you are going to receive exceptional service above any competing hotel name. If you have an issue or forgot an item, the Ritz-Carlton will go out of their way to remedy the situation for you. Regardless of which location you visit, consumers know they can expect an extraordinary level of service.
So, what are you doing to improve the patient experience at your practice? We put together a checklist of a handful of items to consider here.
Schedule an appointment today to learn how Great Lakes Advisory can help your practice deliver a five-star patient experience every day of the week: Schedule Now