The consumer mindset is a very important aspect of delivering quality services. Brands and businesses that want to succeed in the competition must be able to map the consumers and the experience they are receiving. The same applies to healthcare facilities also. To understand patient experience level, healthcare facilities are analysing the patient choice, access, freedom and expectations they have.
These are also how dentists can relate their patient’s interactions with the dental practices they perform. According to recent surveys, almost 2000 patients have reported finding a gap in experiences they receive in dentistry versus in retail.
As a result, dental providers are now found to be catching up with the retail experiences, which are shaping expectations for all industries, including dentistry. Needless to say, patient expectations are rising with each passing day, and that dental provider must look out for unique ways to serve them. This will lead to a better patient experience. One can take mental notes from retail industries and apply them here through multiple tangible ways to improve the patient experience.
How are the expectations changing today?
If we look at the consumer sector, bigger brands like Apple, Amazon or Tesla have been curating better experiences for their consumers by meeting their expectations. Their custom experiences make their customers feel valued, which has led to their massive loyal customer base and higher satisfaction rates.
The same things apply to dentistry as well. If your practice is delivering a unique customer experience, you are sure to get more loyal patients who trust you and your services. It is all about how you make them feel when they come to you.
The patients are usually influenced by their consumer tendencies even when they reach out for dental services. And, that’s quite natural. There are majorly two reasons why dental services must keep their patient experiences in check:
- The number of available dentists in and around is increasing incredibly and hence is the competition. It has become tougher to acquire and retain patients.
- The patients are getting access to large service-related information and this is raising their expectations. The information is available through online ratings, reviews, and comments all over the web.
The online ratings, reviews, and comments have a lot to say when the patient perceptions are driven. This is how they take the major decisions and surveys state that over 80% of the patients rely on the reviews and information they read online. They do not even trust personal recommendations to this extent. Besides these, the doctor’s reputation also plays a major role. 60% of respondents chose their doctors solely based on the reviews they read online and above 60% avoided doctors based on the negative reviews.
How to deliver patient care to ensure success in future?
There are a few simple steps to ensure that your facility is going to succeed in the future:
Listen and learn from the patients
Patients feel at home when they are heard and you can create this opportunity yourself. You can start taking their feedback and implement the methods to improve your service. You can ask for online reviews, ask to fill out post-visit survey forms or let them write their feedback at the checkout. Patients feel empowered when they are given a voice and you can understand if their expectations are met properly.
Align goals and strategies to meet the patient experience
You need to reassess what your goals and strategies are. Measure them on a yearly, quarterly or monthly basis. Measurable goals need to be set and improve how patients feel at your facility. You can make the experience convenient for them through online registration, scheduling, and payments. They will feel at ease if they find a self-serve website at their disposal. The facility can provide meaningful and timely communication from their end, periodically. The patients can be further helped by providing interactive checklists to help streamline their appointments for them. Address any concerns that they are encountering.
Expand the patient engagement at the facility
Your patients come across a lot of interactions on reaching a dental facility; make that worthwhile with the best patient experiences. Every stakeholder in the dental facility has a role to play. A patient has to deal with a lot of people right from payers, dental care product vendors, software solution vendors, and others. Make that experience as smooth as possible for them.
To improve things further talk to these stakeholders and gather relevant engagement data. You need to train your team and involve them in more and better engagement.
To ensure the future is in your hands and the patients are loyal to you, introduce dental membership plans catering to different budgets and dental problems. This will help patients to choose what’s best for them and will also help you to reach out to your patients, providing them with uncompromised services.
You need to get ahead of the race by getting strong at patient analytics. You must know what perceptions they have and what expectations they are carrying. Choose digital platforms that ensure the data is monitored and the patient care is well managed.