The importance of patient satisfaction surveys
By Cass Stewart, Marketing4ECPs
A positive customer experience is a vital component in the success of an eye care practice.
Not to mention, poor customer satisfaction can actively harm your brand.
Whether patients convey bad experiences through word of mouth or by posting reviews online, having an unsatisfied patient can do a lot of harm.
But what can you do to measure and improve your patient satisfaction?
Customer satisfaction surveys are one of the most effective ways to understand how your patients feel and one of the best tools to increase customer satisfaction and patient retention in your eye care practice.
Keeping an open line of communication and encouraging feedback from your patients can make all the difference in the success of your practice.
Keep reading to learn more about how you can use surveys to boost your eye care practice and how to ask the right questions to get the results you want.
5 Reasons Patient Satisfaction Surveys are Important
Customer satisfaction surveys provide a plethora of valuable data that can help you improve your customer satisfaction and get proactive about what’s not working. In addition, they can provide insight into how your patients perceive your practice and what improvements you can make to keep your patients happy — leading to better patient retention, increased sales and a stronger client relationship.
Here are the Top 5 reasons you should regularly use patients satisfaction surveys to communicate with your patients:
- Build Relationships With Your Patients
Your patients want to be heard. If your patients feel like their feedback is a priority to you, it conveys respect, builds trust, and continues to strengthen their relationship with your brand.
By sending out regular patient satisfaction surveys, it gives you an opportunity to start the conversation and show your patients that you care about their opinions.
The next step is to act on the feedback you receive so your patients see that their opinions matter and that they’re being heard. If patients see that you take what they’re saying to heart, it will only deepen your relationship and increase your reputation.
2. Utilize As A Training Tool For Staff
Surveying your patients acts like an ongoing mystery shop for your employees. Not only will it keep them on their toes as far as performance, but the results each month, whether positive or negative, can be used to reinforce standards of customer service and care.
Businesses that are service leaders use this information to build training programs and service benchmarks they can then hold their staff accountable to attain.
3. Understand What’s Working & What Isn’t
Informed decisions are the best decisions and patient satisfaction surveys give you the information you need. Without knowing what’s working and what isn’t, you risk making changes that harm your practice instead of helping it.
Listening to your patients’ opinions and what they like and what they’d like an improvement on can help you make your practice better for everyone who walks through your doors.
4. Identify New Opportunities
Listening to what your patients want gives you insight into additional ways to best serve their needs. Often, customer satisfaction surveys can identify areas your practice can expand, whether it be extending product lines or offering other services that you might not have thought of otherwise.
By opening a line of communication for your customers to have their say, you may hear new ideas that can improve your business.
5. Track Your Practice’s Progress
Another benefit of regularly utilizing patient satisfaction surveys is that they can act as a benchmark for your practice. Over time, you can track your practice’s performance and compare patient satisfaction to changes you’ve made.
This can help you make more informed business decisions, track your progress, and identify additional areas of improvement.
Asking the Right Questions
Customer satisfaction surveys are only valuable if you ask the right questions. But how do you know what questions will give you the results you’re looking for?
Without asking meaningful questions, you won’t get meaningful insights. Here are some proven ways to turn your surveys into a reliable source of customer information, to help you get the answers you want:
- Keep your survey short, so it’s easy for your patients to give feedback;
- Construct thoughtful, open-ended questions that encourage conversation;
- Ask one question at a time to get more meaningful, thoughtful answers;
- Make rating scales consistent, so you don’t get distorted data;
- Avoid making assumptions & asking leading questions;
- Mix in yes & no questions to make the survey easier to complete;
- Be specific & precise in your questions to get clear & detailed feedback;
- Offer incentives to encourage your patients to provide feedback.
It’s Time to Use Patient Satisfaction Surveys
The best thing you can do for your business is to talk to your customers. In a market as competitive as the eye care industry, it’s imperative to take every step you can to retain your patients and keep them happy.
Customer satisfaction surveys are an easy (and free in some cases!) tool you can use to improve your practice in ways you didn’t even know you could! Check your current EHR software to see if it has the capability to send out a survey or look for software that can manage it for you.