Increase retention and minimise churn.
Modern medical practices think of patients as informed consumers who make sensible and rational decisions about the value and benefits that accrue from their purchasing behaviour. If the experience does not meet their expectations, they will look to find a better experience elsewhere.
There are many factors that can influence the patient experience and often it has nothing to do with clinical competence. The default position of consumers is that a practicing medical professional has an appropriate level of competence and, accordingly, one doctor or dentist looks pretty much like another.
The consumer believes that while he or she should get a high level of clinical competence from any medical professional, the overall experience will vary enormously from one practice to another and it is the overall experience that drives loyalty and referrals.
Every day, consumers are bombarded with advertising messages telling them to switch service providers and businesses and regulators are making it easier for consumers to switch than ever before. If a patient wishes to transfer to another practice, the process is increasingly simple and straightforward. Traditional concepts of loyalty and customer retention no longer apply to the modern consumer, and the medical practice is no different.
In the vast majority of cases, the practice gets no advance warning that the patient expects a better experience, they simply never see them again. While they might not discuss their concerns with the practice, they will almost certainly discuss them with family and friends which might result in further patient loss or damage to the brand.
QUANTIFY YOUR CLIENT EXPERIENCE.
Many practices use a variety of benchmarks and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) to provide insights into practice performance. A benchmarkis simply something that serves as a standard against which things can be measured or judged, while a KPI is a quantitative measure of a particular activity.
Many practices adopt a variety of different benchmarks and KPI’s covering financial, administrative, clinical performance, staff performance, productivity and customer satisfaction. In many organisations however, KPI’s and benchmarks are outdated, uninspiring and are not aligned with business strategy, and they become a ‘necessary evil’ rather than a benefit to the business.
When it comes to the patient experience, this is a red warning light.
Understanding the patient experience is probably the most important indicator of the overall health of a medical practice and is the major driver of patient retention and patient referral. Without an understanding of the customer experience, the ability of a practice to make informed forecasts about income, expenses and resourcing is severely compromised.
Practice design plays a critical role in the customer experience as it underpins staff satisfaction, utilisation, workflow, productivity and practice environment and there is a proven relationship between a patient’s perception of the practice and their expectation of clinical care.
Since 2003, Perfect Practice have provided a unique, turn-key design and fit-out service for over 1,400 healthcare practices across Australia and having spent thousands of hours consulting with hundreds of dentists, doctors and other professionals from the healthcare sector, have a deep understanding of the key drivers of positive patient experiences that underpin successful practices.