Why Patient Experience Matters

Last update on Dec, 09, 2020

Health care is evolving and continues moving towards a consumer-driven market, requiring providers to adapt in order to meet patient needs. With information available at the touch of a button, consumers are taking more control of their health care decisions. When they go to a practice to receive care, they want to be listened to, respected, and spoken to in a way they understand.

As consumers become savvier, you can’t ignore the importance of providing a great patient experience and its impact on the success of your practice.

What makes a good patient experience?

Knowing your patients have higher expectations, there are many things you can do to ensure their experiences with your practice are positive.

Safe and high-quality care

When seeking care, patients want to find a clinic that they can trust. First and foremost, ensure every patient feels comfortable at your practice, and provide them care and treatment that leads to positive outcomes. 

Pleasant interactions with staff

Health care can be personal, and a friendly employee can make all the difference in a patient’s experience at your practice. Employee training is extremely important not just for teaching tools and processes, but also how to communicate effectively and personally with patients to make every encounter enjoyable. 

Frequent and consistent communication

Regularly contact patients – for appointment reminders and follow-up – through their preferred channels (email, phone call, text). If a patient misses an appointment, reach out right away to get them rescheduled. 

Easy access to important information

Your patients will show up and leave their appointment with plenty of questions. Answer them with compassion, and provide literature on relevant hearing aid products, how patients can care for their hearing at home, and other details they will find valuable.

Simple processes

Make it easy for new and existing patients to schedule and reschedule appointments online or via phone call. Send new patient and insurance forms in advance or make them available on your website so people can complete them prior to their appointment and save time at your office.

Responsive to feedback

People in general want to feel valued and listened to. Be open to feedback – both positive and negative – from patients, take their opinions seriously, and adapt accordingly. Encourage feedback with follow-up surveys to get a better understanding of patients’ perspective of your practice environment, your staff, and your processes.

How does a positive patient experience impact your practice?

Improved bottom line

Patients are what keeps your practice lucrative. But they are also picky about where they spend their money. One bad experience could cause them to go somewhere else for hearing care, negatively affecting your practice’s revenue. Taking the necessary steps to guarantee patients have an outstanding experience every time will maintain or even boost profits.

Many companies are already making customer experience a priority. Of those working to improve the experience, 84% have seen an increase in revenue, according to research from Dimension Data. Further, a report from Adobe and Forrester found that experience-driven businesses see an average annual revenue growth of 15%, versus other companies that only see 11%.

Improved patient satisfaction

Seamless processes, friendly staff, and quality care makes patients feel appreciated and therefore lifts overall satisfaction. The same Adobe and Forrester report found that health care companies that identify themselves as experience driven are nearly twice as likely to cite improved customer satisfaction as an outcome of their experience investments, in comparison with those who do not identify as such. Unsurprisingly, patient satisfaction is a critical element to building trusted relationships and keeping patients coming back to see you for their hearing health needs.

Improved patient retention

Your patients’ loyalty is also influenced by their experience with your practice. Happy patients will come back when they need to get their hearing checked or need hearing aid repair or replacement. Experience-driven businesses report up to 1.9 times higher year-over-year growth in customer retention, repeat purchases, and customer lifetime value than other companies. Since the patient journey in hearing health care is a long one for both first-time and repeat purchasers, prioritize loyalty initiatives in your business strategy, including regular email or phone communication.

Improved patient advocacy

Not only will satisfied patients return to your practice again and again for their hearing care needs, but they will also recommend you to friends, family, coworkers, and peers. One in two experience-driven businesses see increased advocacy because of their investment in experiences. This advocacy prompts practice awareness and growth. Encourage patients to write reviews and testimonials or refer others, offering an incentive if possible. 

Patient experience mapping Learn how

Prioritize patient experience now

Putting patient experiences at the forefront of your practice strategy will make you more successful in the long run. A patient who has a positive experience will be more satisfied, return in the future, and tell others to use your services – who in turn will have a positive experience and start the cycle again.  

Patient Experience and Business Outcomes

Download our infographic to discover additional ways to enhance the patient experience at your hearing practice.

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