Before I get into this topic, I want to acknowledge you. You’re in one of the most noble, generous and honorable professions in the world. You’re improving the lives of kiddos of all ages. The same for your staff. I bet you don’t get acknowledged nearly enough.
While that’s true, it also might be true that you may not get sufficient feedback from all your kiddos, parents or caregivers, especially when they are less than happy. Everything may look good as you observe therapy going on, but only one in 26 customers will report a negative experience to a business. It’s just hard for some people to speak up when they are less than happy. Because they don’t know how or are reluctant to tell you how they feel, they could end up just switching to another practice or ending treatment altogether.
As hard as you work to provide excellent care for every patient, if you don’t reach out and ask, you might never know which patients, parents or caregivers are unhappy and stay silent about it.
So how can you tap into their opinions without spending every hour on the phone?
Utilizing Online Services for Customer Satisfaction Surveys
In these days of nearly-instantaneous electronic communication, online surveys give you a way to poll the families coming to you for care. All you have to do is create a multiple choice survey using an online service like SurveyMonkey or one of the other surveying websites. Most of these sites offer free or paid accounts.
Look for a template that you can just fill in with the right questions and choice of answers or modify to fit your needs. Send it out to all your email addresses. The site will tally up the answers to your questions.
Benefits of Surveys
These surveys offer you the chance to find out if things are going as well as you hope or if some areas need work. You may discover staff who need retraining or replacement, or missing policies or procedures. You could even find that there is a big demand for a service you don’t yet offer which gives you an opportunity for expansion.
The families coming to you also will see that you care about the quality of your service and your results which can increase loyalty.
Monitoring the opinions and reactions of your patients and their families is a good way to reduce or possibly eliminate negative reviews. You or your staff can personally contact parents or caregivers and resolve problems before they can drag your online rating down or cause you to lose patients.
It’s smart to schedule a customer satisfaction survey once a year. Yes, many people are reluctant to speak up if they are dissatisfied, but paradoxically, they love to be asked for their opinions.
Don’t Forget to Use the Results!
Once the survey is done, the only mistake you could make is forgetting to implement changes based on what you learn! You might spot a problem area and then not follow through to improve service from that area. Or maybe there’s a problem outside the clinic, like poor parking or a noisy business next door. If the resolution to an objection voiced by multiple people will take some time to implement, you can always let your families know that you have plans that will resolve their concerns. And then update them from time to time on progress.
Really, this whole subject comes down to communication coming in freely from your families and communication flowing freely from you to them. Patient satisfaction surveys are a fast and inexpensive way to facilitate this open communication.
Do you want to learn more about using surveys to enhance your practice? Read Keys to Private Practice Success which contains dozens of marketing tips. Click here to find out more.