Patient relationship management helps plastic surgeons gain and retain patients, and it’s never been as important as it is now. But there are ways to focus on patient relationship management and develop the edge every plastic surgery practice hopes for. Here are top tips for improving new patient rates and retention right from the start.
Tip #1 — Be available
One of the most often heard complaints about health care is that it’s so hard to get questions answered because there’s always a waiting line. Instead of towing the traditional line of “make an appointment first,” live chat with live chat hosts can be available 24/7, 365 to fill the gap. This availability not only helps satisfy visitors at all hours; it can also be a boon when it comes to vetting potential patients well before they make a consultation appointment.
For plastic surgeons this can save countless in-office hours wasted on potential patients who have come to the wrong practice purely from lack of knowledge. The right live chat provider can help make sure this doesn’t happen without wasting precious time. Find out how to choose the right live chat service in our blog, “Live chat for Plastic Surgeons — What to Look For.”
Tip #2 — Form an emotional connection
Plastic surgery is a very personal undertaking for most people and they want to know they are not just a patient, but a person to their surgeon. To help begin a relationship built on trust, there needs to be an emotional connection that embraces them without judgement and with unlimited empathy. Well-trained live chat hosts are the perfect solution!
Empathetic live chat hosts who are trained not only in the plastic surgery industry, but also in the specific culture of a practice become an extension of that practice, reaching out and welcoming each visitor. By providing answers, discussing concerns and providing information, live chat hosts have the ability to begin creating that important emotional connection on day one. To learn more about the importance of empathy in patient relationship building, check out our blog, “When It Comes to Plastic Surgery; People Need People.”
Tip #3 — Be proactive
Back in the day, building a plastic surgery practice meant spreading marketing dollars between broadcast, print and mail, with an occasional billboard thrown in for good measure. Today, the focus is on the internet and people expect a website to offer almost everything they need, including live chat. In fact, according to Comm100’s “Live Chat Benchmark Report 2021,” live chat’s customer satisfaction rate is at “an all-time new benchmark peak of 85.6%,” so live chat that proactively welcomes and responds quickly and efficiently to each visitor, is not only helpful, it’s expected.
Prospective patients are busy people too, and offering live chat tells them their time has value and their questions are important. And, live chat that is also available on mobile devices further underscores the dedication of the practice to making proactive service a part of everyday care. For more about what surgeons and prospective patients expect in live chat, read our blog, “Is Your Live Chat Meeting Expectations? 5 Key Indicators.”
Tip #4 — Strive for loyalty and good will
One of the greatest assets of a solid patient base is the potential for building loyalty, which not only means patients stay with the practice, but are willing to share their experiences and satisfaction. While positive word of mouth remains a huge benefit for plastic surgeons, the many online review websites are among the first stops as prospective patients research practices and surgeons. Positive reviews posted by actual patients are absolute gold and can make a big difference in how a practice is perceived.
One of the ways live chat helps build loyalty is through open, empathetic communications that put patients and prospective clients at ease, thus building the trust that makes relationships flourish. Our blog, “Positive Reviews for Your Plastic Surgery Practice with Live Chat,” looks at facts and stats about the links between loyalty, positive reviews and live chat.
Tip #5 — Keep service front and center
In health care, providing exceptional service not only helps get new patients, it also helps keep them. While many businesses use live chat for either lead generation or customer service, it is the perfect tool for both, especially for plastic surgeons. Simple tasks that cannot be accomplished during working hours can often be managed via live chat after hours. For busy patients, that’s one more reason to stay. For prospective patients, it may be the best reason to come aboard. And since COVID-19 has honed consumer expectations to a new high, providing live chat at all hours can mean many fewer lost prospects. There’s much more about live chat in our blog, “How is Live Chat Effective for Customer Service?”