Although formal patient feedback is required every 3 years, obtaining feedback more frequently can be to the benefit of your practice. Not only will it allow you to determine what your clinic’s strengths are, but you can also learn of any perceived weaknesses and correct them, ultimately helping you to attract and maintain long-term patient relationships.
Read on to learn the 5 best ways to get feedback from your patients:
1. Email Surveys After Appointments
Technology makes it very easy to email patients after an appointment. To get started, use a platform like SurveyMonkey or TUOTEMPO to design your survey. Keep it short and simple, and you’ll find that most patients are happy to be asked for their opinions after an appointment. Because this isn’t a customary tactic among medical practices, it’ll help your clinic stand out as one that places a high value on providing exemplary customer service.
Additionally, you may be surprised by what you learn. According to one survey, 8 in 10 senior healthcare professionals believe appointments start on time. By contrast, 48% of patients said they had to wait. With such disparate perceptions between medical practitioners and patients, post-appointment surveys can be a real eye opener.
2. Handout In-House Questionnaires
Distributing questionnaires in the waiting room is ideal, because most patients appreciate the distraction. Just remember to offer a box for patients to drop their questionnaires into once they’re complete. If they have to return the questionnaires directly to a receptionist, they’re less likely to be honest.
3. Add Feedback Forms to Your Website
By adding a feedback form to your website, you can easily solicit information from patients. However, if you decide to use this option, be aware that the feedback you receive might skew negative. Unhappy patients have higher motivation to ‘sound off’ if you will, then those who’ve had an excellent experience. That’s not to discourage you from collecting feedback, but rather to help you develop realistic expectations.
4. Interact with Patients on Social Media
One of the most important ways you can get customer feedback is to interact and engage with patients. Fortunately, Facebook is an ideal medium for doing that. Rather than asking patients if they have complaints, we recommend that instead, you use Facebook to let them see you’re open to dialogue—that you respond to questions and comments in a timely manner (within the hour if possible, a day at the latest).
Keep in mind that because Facebook is a public forum, you’re going to want to be very careful about how you handle enquiries, comments and complaints. Don’t disclose private patient information online and avoid confrontation.
If someone does have a complaint, follow customer service best practices and take it offline by requesting their email address and phone number. Then, politely let them know that you’re happy to help, and you’ll be communicating with them soon by phone or email.
5. Call and Ask
There’s nothing wrong with calling patients to request feedback. However, don’t get overly chummy—you don’t want to call your patients so often that they’re spending more time on the phone with you than their mothers! Keep it brief, emphasise that you’re trying to improve customer service, and don’t do it more than quarterly.