The most successful practices recognize that the key to their success is in understanding and responding to their patients. Conducting a patient survey is a unique and special event in patient care where you can really engage with the patient, help to ensure the best possible treatment outcomes and actually grow your practice in the process! The key to harnessing this opportunity is through a properly crafted, and more importantly, properly executed patient survey. The survey should have three main areas of focus: Quality Control, Lead Generation, and Testimonials.
The survey should be conducted face-to-face, between the 6th and 10th visits. It should not be done any earlier or later. Never give the survey to the patient to fill out on their own, or with a self-addressed stamped envelope to send in whenever they’d like. You do not want to negate the importance of this communication with the patient. Personally, walk through the actual survey question by question.
There are so many benefits and opportunities in the patient survey, including:
- Creating an open dialogue with the patient and letting them know that you are listening.
- Gaining the ability and knowledge to identify and quickly correct issues with the patient process.
- Recognizing new opportunities to improve effectiveness and efficiency.
- Helping to build and strengthen the patient relationship, earning more word-of-mouth referrals.
- Collecting valuable lead and referral information to add to your database.
- Acquiring written and video testimonials.
During the quality control portion of the survey, be sure to ask the patient to rate all aspects of the practice, from the front desk staff’s promptness and courtesy, to the chiropractic physician and all other providers. After each question always ask the patient if there are any areas in which they could see improvement.
I always say, ‘The best way to get new patients is from your existing ones.’ Never miss an opportunity to ask for a referral and this is a perfect one! As always, keep it about the patient and how much you appreciate them choosing your practice. Ask if the patient would recommend the practice to others, and if they answer “yes,” ask them for the name, address, email address and telephone number for that person. If they can’t think of anyone off hand, give them a preferred patient card to pass along.
Tell the patient about your community and corporate wellness program, and ask if they know of any community groups, businesses or corporations who could benefit. Gather all that valuable information (name, address, contact person, email and phone number) and be sure to act upon it as quickly as you can.
Surveys can improve your patient engagement, highlight areas of the practice that may need attention, and possibly add new patients. It is not just checking boxes any more.
Testimonials are a very powerful tool. Potential patients love to see the successes of others and hope to see those same successes for themselves. Simply ask: “Would you be willing to give a testimonial on the success you’ve had?” Written testimonials are great, but video testimonials are even better! If you offer medical weight loss or aesthetics programs, ask if the patient would be willing to give a pictorial testimonial (before and after pictures). Displaying testimonials in your office, on social media and on your website are amazing ways to help your practice grow!