When it comes to growing your practice, patient retention is even more vital than generating new patients. While attracting new patients is important—and often the focus of ambitious practices—growth is nearly impossible without loyal, returning patients. After all, if you constantly pour water into a barrel with a hole in it, the barrel will likely never fill. In other words, unless you’re attracting an extremely large amount of new patients on a regular basis, your practice won’t expand if you can’t retain your existing patients. As such, retaining patients should be a top priority if you want your practice to grow and be successful. To reduce patient attrition in your practice, consider trying out these effective ways to increase your patient retention.
Ask for feedback
Following appointments, consider asking for patient feedback in the form of quick surveys. Not only will sending out surveys make patients feel heard, but the feedback you receive will help notify you of any areas where you could improve. Make sure to take any suggestions they have into consideration and address any concerns that they have. Showing that you care about making their experience as positive as possible will ensure that they continue coming back.
Improve your patients’ waiting experience
Long wait times are among the most common patient complaints that practices receive. While prolonged wait times are sometimes unavoidable, it’s important to do everything you can to help minimize the amount of time patients spend in your waiting room. Examples of ways practices can reduce wait times include gathering patient information before their appointment, enforcing a policy for late arrivals, and examining your process for inefficiencies.
If long wait times are unavoidable, making the waiting experience as enjoyable as possible for patients can help minimize frustration. Communicating with customers about wait times, providing comfortable seating, and offering entertainment in the form of television or free WIFI can help improve patient waiting room experience.
Focus on enhancing customer service
While improving the health of patients is the top priority among healthcare professionals, it is important to also focus on providing exceptional customer service. Many patients leave a practice because they perceive staff to have been indifferent or rude. To better retain patients, try to make an effort to go above and beyond in terms of customer service. Maintaining a positive attitude, being patient with difficult patients, and taking the time to address any concerns they have can all help improve patient experience.
During these trying times, it is especially important to reassure patients that you take their health and safety seriously by addressing issues raised by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. For example, thoroughly cleaning your practice before re-opening, putting in recommended safety protocols, and out spacing appointments to minimize contact among patients can all go a long way toward enhancing customer experience.
When it comes to increasing patient retention, hiring highly-skilled, personable healthcare professionals plays a large role. That’s why it’s important to recruit a top Associate Dentist when your practice has room for the extra help. Henry Schein Nationwide Dental Opportunities is a full-service dental recruitment agency that has successfully placed hundreds of General Dentists or Specialists in practices around the country. To start filling your dentist openings, contact us today.