April is Customer Loyalty Month

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Apr52016
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A smart practice focuses on patient appreciation all year long by providing quality services and delivering a good overall patient experience…not just at the time of the treatment, but before it and afterwards as well.

Are you doing your best for your patients?

Do you offer them the kind of service that leaves them wanting to return again if they need you? Do you make them feel appreciated and valued as people instead of just numbers?

Well, if there is room for improvement, Customer Loyalty Month makes April the perfect time to kick things up a notch.

Here are a few ideas:

Choose your front office staff wisely because they are your first impression. Think: smiling, helpful, and discreet.

Respect the patient’s time. Except for emergencies, patients who arrive on time for their appointments should not be kept waiting too long before being seen.

Listen to the patient’s concerns. It’s tempting sometimes to be short, especially if you have other patients waiting. If they’re droning on about their grandkid’s dance recital, you can cut them off nicely, but if they’re talking about their symptoms, you should listen.

Know your patient. Scan the chart before you walk in and get their name right. Glance at the last note so you are up to speed. Also add a quick personal note in the front of the chart about a patient’s unique situation so it triggers you to ask follow-up questions that go beyond how the situation may impact their health (i.e ask a widow how she is managing).  This will save you potential embarrassment and will make them feel comfortable in your care.

Customer Loyalty Month can be more tangibly rewarding, too. If your practice offers products, such as injectables or fillers, or teeth whitening systems, or any other kind of product, you might:

  • Offer an exclusive discount (or a series of them) on goods or services as a reward for all existing patients. This could be a one day sale, a single, month-long offer, or you can change it up and post a new offer each week.
  • Start a customer loyalty rewards program that offers a regular discount or gift to patients who shop often and/or refer others to your practice.
  • Host a seminar on a topic of interest to your patients…maybe plug a new product or service your practice is now offering… and invite them to bring a friend (potential new business!).
  • Offer a small gift with each existing patient’s purchase of a product. Medical spas and dental practices might consider unloading excess inventory that is nearing expiration yet still valuable and desirable. All practices can order some inexpensive and fun logo-branded items, from sunscreen to water bottles, and more.
  • Have a Free Raffle and give away a gift basket or gift certificate. Or several of them. Imagine the smiles upon sign in when patients are given a free chance at a nice prize? If your practice doesn’t offer its own gift certificates or products, you can make a basket with items or gift cards of other popular local businesses, such as a dinner and movie or live theater package.

You can use email, flyers, and or social media to get the word out for most of these ideas. Need help with social media? Give Zola Interactive a call at (516) 744-1788.

And here is something every practice can do…

Send your patients a genuine thank you for trusting you with their care. Do it by email or snail mail. Or even by phone. They will never expect it. So, if you can’t afford to do anything more, that simple act will make them feel appreciated and keep you on top of their mind for the next time they…or their network of friends… need your services.

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What will you do for Customer Loyalty Month?

 

 

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