The VIP Strategy
At our practice we strive to set ourselves apart from the rest. There are many different dermatology and cosmetic practices within the vicinity that patients could visit. However, they chose us and we choose to make this the best decision they ever made! Treating patients as VIPs, or Very Important Patients, is a great cosmetic office philosophy.
VIP treatment includes:
1. Be on time. See patients in a timely manner. Their time is just as valuable as yours. Try to have all patient forms available online to keep from having too much paperwork when they arrive the day of their appointment. Acknowledge if they have waited and express appreciation for their patience.
2. Make patients comfortable. Offer patients a beverage or something to eat if they are going to be waiting to numb or be seen. Similarly, offer a warm blanket or hot tea if they are cold. It's a small but very important gesture to show them that you want them to be comfortable.
3. Personalize your work. Talk about your life, family and/or interests. Patients are more likely to feel important if we take the time and interest to be personal. Make patient call backs personally. I don't call every patient back myself (I wish I had the time to!), but I make it a priority. I will leave notes on charts to personally call a patient back, especially if it is his or her first time or after a cosmetic procedure with the potential for more side effects. All it takes is a few minutes to make a big difference in their perception of your work and value of your patients.
4. Always return calls. Whether you make each call yourself or not, it is essential that patients are able to get in contact with you.
5. Thank patients for referrals. One of the best compliments you can receive as a provider is to have a patient send their loved ones to you. Know who refers patients to you, and take note. Thank those who keep your practice busy and growing. Also thank referring physicians who speak highly of your practice and make a patient who has never met you think they are going to the best place before they even walk through your door.
6. Be generous with patient education. Provide patients with knowledge about their condition and the time and energy to make sure that they understand your instructions. This is invaluable information, yet all too often under emphasized.
7. Go above and beyond. Exceed a patient's expectations for a medical provider and you will have a lifelong patient. So a patient has tried everything (we hear this a lot). Have additional options available for those cases and be active with other providers to know the latest and greatest techniques and treatments.
8. Refer out. Sometimes another provider or subspecialist is needed. Reach farther and direct your patient to the best possible hands and he or she will certainly return.
9. Strive for patient satisfaction. Use online reviews or feedback from patients and staff to learn what could make your practice even better. We can all only get better with experience and knowledge. A patient is going to be truly satisfied if he or she is happy with their medical care and with their overall experience at the office.
This list may be short, but the possibilities are endless. If you want to set your practice apart from the rest I recommend giving all of your patients VIP treatment and you will be well on your way.