As a private healthcare provider, have you ever wondered why your patients never seem impressed by your service? Maybe you’ve already thought about how you can tackle the issue; offer a discount for their next check-up, be friendly and crack a joke or two. These might help you out, but let’s face it, they’re not a long-term solution.
If you are struggling with satisfying your patients, there are probably a few underlying causes; in this post, we’ll uncover what these causes might be and how you can eliminate them to increase the satisfaction of your patients.
Unrealistic Wait Times
We’ve all been there before. You enter a clinic and think to yourself, ‘my appointment is in 5 minutes, and there are 10 patients before me!’. You can see other patients becoming frustrated too, further reducing your tolerance. You wait for 5 minutes, maybe even ten, and you’re ready to head to reception to question the delay.
If you know your patients are waiting much longer than you would, do something! Urgently! Invest in a solution that means patients know exactly how long they will need to wait to be seen before arriving at your clinic.
Lack of Freedom
This is a significant cause of patient frustration, especially in the healthcare sector. While patients wait in the crowded waiting room to be seen, they have absolutely no freedom at all. In fact, this is a significant cause of patient frustration in the public healthcare sector, as well as private. At that point in time, they don’t even have the freedom to move. They’re trapped. Surely you’ve felt like this at some point.
In reality, the only solution is to eliminate the need for them to wait at all. Increase staff utilisation, and ensure that your staff see as many patients as effectively as possible. Find out the strengths and weaknesses of each and every one of them and use those in your favour.
This very much depends on your clinic and how you operate. If you’re a dental practice that is trying to smooth out operational peaks, and slot in emergency appointments between pre-booked check-ups, your staff are probably quite busy. Even receptionists are juggling the incoming patients, answering the phone and a multitude of other tasks. There’s absolutely nobody ‘free’ to go round and speak to patients in the waiting area and advise them on their wait times.
As we’ve stated above, workforce management and staff utilisation are crucial in increasing customer satisfaction. You need to keep on top of their strengths and weaknesses, ensure they are where they are supposed to be and cover all bases.
Since we live in a world where COVID-19 exists and patients are already seeking medical advice and could be vulnerable, health risks can impact how comfortable and satisfied patients are with your clinic. If patients that are expected to wait in a crowded waiting room, crammed against one another, they might opt not to queue at all and leave your clinic, and that extra bit of potential revenue goes with them.
Leading back to the above points, reducing the size and, in turn, the wait time of your queues can dramatically increase how satisfied patients feel when they leave your store. WFM solutions and utilising your staff can both have a huge impact and benefit your business.
Ability to give feedback
Nowadays, it’s surprising how rarely healthcare providers ask for feedback on their services. Whenever they do ask, it’s clear that the clinic truly cares about its patients’ experience and will take feedback on board and improve its service. On the other hand, when they don’t, you can safely assume that the clinic doesn’t regard their patients’ opinions, making them less likely to return.
You can collect feedback in several ways. Of course, a nicely worded email a few days later might do the trick, but patients rarely answer those. Your best option is to use an app to collect your feedback on the day or as soon as the customer leaves the clinic. This way, the feedback will be authentic and trustworthy, allowing you to use it to improve your business.
If any of the points we’ve mentioned above resonate with you, then you need to take steps toward improving your customer satisfaction. Luckily for you, QHERE can provide all the tools to assist you with this: Remote queuing, allowing your patients to wait from the comfort of their own homes, workforce management solutions; so you can keep on top of your staff, and a feedback feature ensuring you can work on improving your business to be the best of the best.
Download QHERE today or reach out to a team member to book a demo.