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Concierge medicine. IV hydration therapy. Mobile IV drip services. The health industry is changing rapidly to be more proactive and less reactive. And while some wellness services are not covered by insurance, that won’t stop health-conscious consumers who are willing to pay cash and take charge in achieving their health goals.

As this change in health care begins to mimic the service industry, consumers become the decision makers in where they go, who they see, and what services they want. Therefore, to be successful, health care professionals must adopt good customer service habits. When customers feel appreciated and have a good experience, they are more likely to share their experience with friends, refer their loved ones, and even pay a premium on products and services. All of which will help raise company profits.

So, how do you do that? Here’s what you need to know to ensure that your business delivers a top-notch customer experience.

1 Starts before the customer even walks through the door!

First impressions matter! When a potential customer initially views your business in a positive light, that translates to every touch point thereafter. The best way to do that is to anticipate what information a potential customer needs to know and make sure that information is readily available.

In this technological age, this could not be easier. Offer information on services, ingredients, indications, and pricing on a user-friendly website. Use imaging and colors that complement your practice and exude the aura customers can expect when they walk through your doors. But don’t stop there! Make appointment scheduling or the ability to fill out intake forms available online. Give potential customers the ability to purchase products or services online. Maybe even offer a discount for doing so.

Still unsure of how to make that all work? Don’t worry, there are tools and resources available to help with pricing, lead generation, managing subscriptions, and data tracking. BuildMyHealth combines all those features into one easy-to-use platform. Their interface seamlessly integrates into your business website, with multiple color options that fit with any branding. BuildMyHealth is fully compliant with state and Federal price transparency laws, giving you one less thing to worry about.

2 Good communication goes a long way.

The importance of a friendly front staff cannot be minimized. They are the “face” of your business and should always project a welcoming attitude. We’ve all experienced the dreaded lack of satisfaction with a representative at a call center. Those recordings where you speak a few words? Frustrating! Be the opposite.

Have friendly, empathetic live humans answer the phone. Give potential customers the ability to text or email the office. And emphasize to your staff that a reasonable response time makes a huge difference.

3 Set the tone with office ambiance.

Provide a relaxing atmosphere in the office that begins in the waiting room. Use art, furniture, flowers, and decorations that are soft and pleasing to the eye. De-clutter the space from multiple marketing brochures and instead be purposeful with the information available for patients to take home.

Ensure that your front office staff express how welcome the patient is in your office. As mentioned above, they are the “face” of the business. New patients may feel anxious during their first visit and a warm smile goes a long way. Be courteous and empathetic. It doesn’t hurt to ask someone what they need to ease any nerves. Often, just asking the question makes the patient feel better.

The Bottom Line

Successful health care professionals adopt good customer service habits. When customers feel appreciated and have a good experience, they are more likely to share their experience with friends, refer their loved ones, and even pay a premium on products and services. Implement services like online booking and price checking, live human phone interaction, and inoffice perks and amenities to build a long-term service relationship.

4 Happy employees make happy customers.

Joy is contagious. When you feel joy emanating from someone, it’s hard not to reflect that in your own interactions. Keep your employees happy. Make sure your employees have what they need to provide good service. Even small things like fast internet, a good coffee machine, or flexible scheduling go a long way.

Confirm that your staff has the knowledge and skills to provide information and services to your customers. Use resources like the American IV Association to provide appropriate training and certifications for your employees. Send them to seminars where they can learn best practices and network with colleagues. The confidence your staff gains from these experiences will come through during interactions with patients and reassures the customer that they are receiving exceptional care and service.

Additionally, build a team. A team who knows each other’s strengths can “manage each other up.” For example, after a patient has checked in for their appointment, the front desk staff can say, “The nurse will see you for your therapy. She’s very experienced with IV sticks and you’ll be in great hands!” After the patient’s appointment, the nurse can manage up, too, by saying, “You’re all done, you did great! The sweet women at the front desk can check you out and work with your schedule to set your next appointment.” The patient will mirror the trust and faith your teammates have in each other.

5 Maximize patient comfort.

In our plastic surgery practice, when providing IV therapy or drawing blood, there’s no way around it —you will have to stick your patient with a needle. That experience does not have to be traumatizing. Use lidocaine with a tiny needle or cold spray to minimize discomfort. I drew blood on a nervous pre-op patient who was clearly worried about the needle. I used the cold spray, and she was so fascinated with it, asking why they don’t use that at the hospital. That distraction was just enough time for me finish the blood draw before she noticed the needle.

Small comfort touches also go a long way! Consider comfortable, adjustable recliner chairs for treatment rooms where the patient will be spending extended times, such as during certain device-based procedures of hydration therapy. Offer sequential compression devices or massagers patients can use during their treatments.

But don’t stop there. Have ambient lighting in the room. Purchase a diffuser and ask the patient to choose a scent that is soothing for them. Play a music station of the patient’s choice—and make a note to remember this choice for next time. While these gestures may seem inconsequential, they convert the service you provide into an experience, which improves customer loyalty and retention.

6 Get to know your patients.

Connections with patients make them feel like they’re part of the “family.” You don’t have to try to be everyone’s new best friend. Again, small things go a long way. Have each staff member introduce themselves and tell the patient their role for the appointment. Try to use the patients’ name two to three times and ask open ended questions. If they divulge a little tidbit, make notes and follow up about it during their next visit. Things like asking how a trip went or how their children are doing shows the patient that you’re treating them as a whole person versus just addressing their ailments.

Not sure what to talk about? Observe! Is the patient wearing a sports t-shirt or hat? You can talk about the team or a recent game. Is there a pin on their backpack? Maybe they’re part of an organization or group they want to talk about. Do they have a to-go bag? Talk about their favorite food or restaurants in the area.

7 Bundle!

There’s nothing more enticing to a customer than thinking they’re getting “more” for their money. This is an area where your staff can use their creativity to make your business stand apart from the rest.

Here’s a few examples from our hydration therapy practice to get your juices flowing: Offer a group rate for IV parties and events. Provide snacks like a cheese or fruit board for the party. Have some games like cards, Uno, or checkers on hand for friends to play while they’re dripping. Offer subscription packages where patients pay a monthly fee to receive discounts or freebies. Group related services in package deals such as pairing an appropriate IV therapy with neuromodulator treatments, micro needling, laser hair removal, salon services, etc.

Feel overwhelmed?

Don’t feel overwhelmed. You don’t have to do everything at once. Take time to implement each step. Use a week or two to implement a well-designed website. Carve out time in the schedule for staff training and huddles. Brainstorm ideas together! Decorate together! The journey will bring your team closer together and before you know it, these seven steps will become second nature.

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