The Brand Doctor Is In
January 1, 2017
The folks at Capterra recently interviewed BrandSavants founder and CEO Russ Cornelius for their medical software advice blog. Since BrandSavants is known for helping medical practices improve processes, they asked Cornelius how to enhance patient care. So, of course, the brand loyalty expert answered with his three-pronged approach for keeping patients happy: Service, People and Physicians.
His brand advice:
- Great customer service should become part of the office culture because how you treat people matters. One way to help staff remember is with the acronym AIDET: Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation, Thank.
For medical practices, Cornelius says to start by acknowledging the patient in the waiting room with a warm hello. Introduce yourself. Let patients know the expected duration of their wait time for the doctor. Provide an explanation of what’s going to happen. And always end the visit with a simple “thank you.” As with any business, the patient has a choice and should be thanked for choosing you.
Cornelius also recommends asking, “Is there anything else I can do for you?” and adding, “I have the time.” It will absolutely floor patients that you care enough to ask. He knows what you’re thinking though: “The patient is going to pull out a long list of everything that’s wrong with them.” In reality, they’re just “so excited” that someone asked, they rarely have more to discuss. And yes, they can tell how busy you are.
- People. To help employees realize that customer service is their focus, Cornelius recommends implementing an incentive program. One client of his dresses as a dalmatian and hands out “on-the-spot” cards to reward employees he spots going above and beyond.
- Physician buy-in. Great service starts top down. This coincides with BrandSavants mantra: If your brand strategy isn’t in line with your business strategy, it doesn’t matter how great it is. “None of this will work if the physicians aren’t on board,” said Cornelius. Even if you have to “tie ‘em up and beat the crap out of ‘em,” he added jokingly. But doctors can be leery of branding, thinking that their skill set alone should be enough. As Cornelius explains, protocol adherence is stronger when the patient likes the doctor, especially for at-risk seniors. Research also shows that doctors who are liked have lower malpractice claims. So brand strategy is, in essence, business strategy.
For more classic Cornelius advice, the original article is definitely worth a read. (link to http://blog.capterra.com/best-doctors-enhance-their-patient-care-with-these-3-tips/ )