It’s May, that lovely month, that Camelot month… May is traditionally the month of spring festivals, getting our bodies beach ready and the anticipation of summer fun. Not typically a month of disruption to our normal way of life.
So this May, I offer to you the most important thing you can do right now that will help the most when you reopen your practice. You will have two writing exercises.
- Write out your perfect patient experience
- Write a list of things you can do to make that happen
Your “perfect patient experience”
Think of it as a story with a beginning, middle and a happy ending. Basically, patients have a “problem” they want resolved and need your help. For example, a patient, let’s call her Bella, feels self-conscious of her neck. Her daughter’s wedding is coming up and she wants to look beautiful in her dress with a plunging neckline. During the wedding, the photographer captured Bella and her daughter looking stunning and radiant.
Bella took time to share the photos with her plastic surgeon and leave a 5-star review. Bella’s friends asked her to “share her secret” so she enthusiastically gave them the name of her plastic surgeon. For years the family reflects and enjoys the beautiful photographs and memories of the wonderful time they spent together.
You see, I’ve linked the patient’s goals and the practice’s goals.
My “to-do” list
The second writing assignment is to make a list of things you’ll need to do to make the above story a reality. You might want to engage your staff and a few patients to find out anything that turns off patients and causes anxiety—during a consultation, on your website, or anytime a person engages with your practice. Then, list ways to make the beginning and end the best experience possible. Why start with the beginning and the end? Because that is what the patient remembers the most.
Take away points:
- As the physician, understand you are the guide to help the patient achieve their goal. If you do this, they will be a loyal, extremely satisfied patient.
- Help your staff understand that surgery isn’t what you really do, it’s helping people feel better about themselves.
- Identify any user experience that is irritating or causes stress and replace it when possible with an unexpected delight. If it’s not possible, for example when giving the cost estimate to a patient, also give them a flower.
- Commit to being an on-time practice. Time is the single most precious commodity in the universe and you can’t show respect for the patient without it.
If you do this, your benefits will be:
- Increased satisfaction in your work
- More and better Google reviews
- Bigger, better before and after gallery (more confident people walking around on our planet)
- More spending cash in your pocket