Many people would say it is the patients, either as a straightforward number, or as a percentage of the local population. Others would say it is the growth of the practice: a business which is not growing is stagnating, and attracting hundreds of new patients every year is of no value if others are leaving in their hundreds at the same time.
I would agree that patients are the key indicator of a successful practice, but personally I do not feel the numbers are the best way to assess this. What is more telling is whether your patients are as happy as they could be – are they raving fans of your practice?
We know that patients who are happy with the service they receive are fairly likely to share their views with their friends. However, they become far more likely to encourage friends to sign up to the same practice if they are truly impressed – and a personal recommendation is one of the most influencing factors in a new patient’s choice of practice.
So how do we turn people from happy patients into raving fans?
It’s all about going above and beyond the expected level of service. Patients may expect the staff to be polite, fairly friendly and efficient. They may expect their treatment to be of a high standard and to represent good value for money. Simply offering what is expected will not ‘wow’ your patients and create raving fans.
Instead, think about the added extras which will make their experience truly unforgettable. From added extras included in the price of their treatment plan to staff members who remember what they discussed with the patient at the last appointment, that personal service is vital.
Give it a try – focus on going above and beyond expectations and see the impact it can have on your business. Not only will you find your patient retention improves, you’ll also have a new army of raving fans ready to bring new patients to you.
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