How to Increase Referrals, With a Cheap $5 Investment
The largest practices I’ve worked with have very happy patients.
It’s fair to say that practices with very low referrals, can be said to have unhappy patients.
I’ve found it odd that doctors have a very difficult assessing whether or not they have happy patients. In my eight years of working with doctors, I’ve never had one say to me:
“You know Ben, my patients just aren’t very happy being in my practice.”
Yet the doctor tells me he is only getting 2 referrals a month!
Consultants have an expression: “Use the clients watch to tell him what time it is.”
When a doctor hires me for two day on site consulting, one important thing I do is talk to the staff about patient satisfaction.
They often provide a more accurate assessment of the practice!
Author Ken Blanchard coined the phrase Raving Fan.
A Raving Fan is a client who is thrilled with your services, so much so they can’t stop themselves from talking about it to other people.
A Raving Fan refers 200% more than the ordinary satisfied patient.
The secret to turning satisfied patients into raving fans, is through developing relationships.
There is a direct relationship between how strong the relationship is with a client, and how much business you’ll do.
A patient you have a strong relationship with is going to be a better patient than one you don’t have a relationship with.
If you reflect on patients you’ve lost and patients you’ve kept, most will say the patients they lost were the ones they really never got to know.
For some reason they never really developed the relationship.
The Post It Note Method
Patients are blown away when their doctor remembers personal details.
The practice builders secret weapon, is personalizing the care.
You personalize care when the patient comes in and you remember:
- Their daughters name and ask how their high school varsity soccer team is doing
- Their dog had needed surgery and ask how it went
- Ask how their move to the new home went
There are levels of patient experience:
Class I Experience: “Oh, they remember me.”
This is the doctor / staff who remembers the patient by name. This is the basis for satisfied patient only.
Class II Experience: “Oh, they know me.”
This is the doctor / staff who remembers
- the patient’s kids names
- what they do for a living
- And personalizes the visit as often as possible.
The Class II experience, is the basis for developing deep relationships and massive patient flow!
Developing relationships is the basis for creating Raving Fan patients.
Yet busy practices often see over 50 patients per week, and remembering these personal facts can be difficult.
The solution to this problem, is the Post It Note method. This strategy costs less than $5 total.
It yields massive benefit.
How to collect and organize CLASS II information on patients
Office supply stores sell extra large yellow ruled post it note pads. They look like this:
You can purchase these pads online for under $5.00 from this website:
Here is an online office store that sells these pads
One of these post it notes will be stuck to the inside walls of the patient file.
On the post it note, when you learn a personal patient fact you will write down today’s date and beside it the personal fact learned. Don’t do this writing in front of the patient
After the appointment, the doctor takes a moment to update the yellow post it with info the patient provided about her personal life. This is the Class II information.
If you wish to take this to the next level, have staff input this information right into your office software
Now when patients come in, the staff / doctor can briefly glance inside the patient chart at the post it note and it acts as a Class II checklist of personal information for the doctor.
How to use personal information
Doctor should weave in Class II information, whenever it’s appropriate.
This can be when talking to the patient over the phone, or during the visit.
Imagine calling your doctor about a health concern and your doctor asks you, “How was your vacation to Cancun?”
That patient is blown away.
You’ve created a new Raving Fan.
In summary, you build practice equity by personalizing care. The more Class II experiences you provide to patients the more Raving Fans you have and the more referrals improve. All this, for under a $5 investment!
To your practice success,
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