With competition fierce, you need to differentiate your practice from the one down the street. In addition to offering the best treatments, your day-to-day procedures need to be on-point. If you’re not implementing these activities in your clinic, you might be missing out on opportunities to increase revenue and keeping your patients satisfied. These six tasks don’t take a lot of effort on your part but can be the difference between a single procedure and a long list of referrals from happy clients.
1. You don’t include examples of your procedures in your waiting room
Do your patients know all of the treatments you offer in your clinic? If you have systems that address a wide range of applications, you want to ensure that your clients know what is available. Even if the patients themselves aren’t interested in other procedures, they might have friends or relatives who are looking for that exact solution. Make it easy for your patients to see what’s on offer by displaying patient-friendly material describing the treatment and showing the results. This ensures that you are making the most of your investments.
2. You don’t set expectations
The need to set expectations is two-fold. Firstly, every patient is different, although most people respond as expected. However, with genetics, hormones and other extenuating factors, we can’t definitely know the results before the treatment and predict the exact response. Speak with your clients prior to beginning the treatment course to be sure that they are aware that their results might be different from those they have seen in other cases. Secondly, depending upon the treatment, outcomes might not be immediately visible. It could take days or weeks for the skin to recover from the treatment. Patients need to know what to expect so they’re not disappointed if they’re leaving your clinic without a completely new look.
3. You don’t do test procedures
A test procedure is one of the most important steps in providing treatments. However it often gets left out of the equation, whether due to unfamiliarity in how to perform them, time constraints or concern that patients will not return for the complete treatment course. Test procedures should be built into the schedule so patients can plan accordingly. These tests help you determine from the beginning of the treatment course exactly what parameters you should be using for each individual patient. It will also give you the benefit of seeing how a patient will react to any given treatment, allowing you to avoid those clients who may have overly sensitive skin or who respond poorly. Finally, it lets you build up trust between you and your clients. Explain to them how the test procedure helps you and they, and they will see that you care about their comfort and safety, while making the effort to achieve the best results for them. They will be more confident that they are receiving the best treatment settings for their care, as opposed to more general, generic protocols.
4. You don’t take Before and After images
There are several reasons to take Before and After images:
- People can be forgetful and while there could be improvement following a treatment, there still might be remnants of the symptom. For example, if you perform treatments for cellulite reduction on the thigh, it would be very hard for someone to pinpoint the changes without seeing the before image.
- You can protect yourself and your clinic. In a litigious climate, you will have proof of what the skin looked like before and after each treatment.
- Use your images to promote the results of your own work and clinic. Great outcomes are something to be proud of, and with proper patient consent,you can use these images in your marketing activities.
5. You don’t discuss post-care treatment
How your patients behave after a treatment could very well impact upon the results of the treatment. If your clients don’t have the best knowledge to care for their skin following treatments, then the outcomes are at risk, as is their satisfaction with the entire treatment course. Any change to their day-to-day routine should be included (staying out of the sun, application of make-up, etc.), as well as addressing how long these behaviors should take place. These post-treatment guidelines can be prepared and printed out to make the whole process easier for your patients to remember what they can and can’t do.
6. You don’t check in with your patients following their procedures
After every visit with my mechanic, I get a follow-up call two days later, “how’s the car running? Are you having any problems?” Just one call makes me feel the expense was worth it. This kind of follow-up can convey to your patients that you care about them, and that it’s not just a business transaction. It also gives them the opportunity to bring up any questions or concerns they might have, which otherwise might have been forgotten. And it gives you the opportunity to discuss any additional treatments or special promotions in order to bring these clients back to your office. All it takes is a simple phone call.
If you already do the above, congrats! Your patients are well-educated and aware of what you can and can’t accomplish, and their satisfaction levels will reflect that knowledge.
If you or your staff don’t perform these six simple tasks, then now is the time to start implementing them into your 2016 plan. Begin these habits now to help you increase revenue and patient satisfaction!