Creating an Experience Patients Remember
At the Apex hotel in London, you are gifted with a cute surprise before you check out. Waiting for you on your last day is a rubber Duck named Edwin, naturally. Alongside Edwin is a card that states, “This duck is yours to take home and join you on your future travels.”
Such a simple idea has guests leaving the hotel on a high note, in love with their newly-made friend. Is this marketing strategy gimmicky? A bit. Memorable? Yes. Irresistible? Also yes.
The London hotel market is very saturated, being rich with hotels with historical significance, those near key tourist attractions, and those boasting the true London experience. Amongst the competition, successful hotels have learned that they need to create a unique experience that transcends simple price and location comparisons. Indeed, the hotel industry as a whole has long known the value of delivering a unique customer experience that inspires people to potentially return, but more importantly, share their experience with others via word-of-mouth and reviews – word-of-mouth with a megaphone. Not surprisingly, our duck friend Edwin has made his impact on the reviews of the Apex hotel, not just on the rating, but often in pictures shared alongside the reviews.
Creating a Memorable Patient Experience
So how does this apply to dental offices? Should we start handing out free rubber ducks? Well, maybe, because who wouldn’t want a cute rubber duck? But not necessarily.
What is clear is that offices need to find a way to create a valuable patient experience, both on a large scale, and on a patient-by-patient basis.
North Ridgeville Family Dentistry has found success…Click to learn more in a new window… by prioritizing the patient experience. They create memorable patient experiences every day in both simple and profound ways. For example, if patients have to wait for more than five minutes, staff members give them a Starbucks gift card. If it’s raining, the staff walks them personally to their car with an umbrella. The team always makes sure the lobby is stocked with coffee, headphones, and neck pillows. These simple patient-centric implementations are one of the big reasons their patients leave such positive online reviews.
The office also looks to find ways to add to the experience, personalized to the patient. Recently, North Ridgeville Family Dentistry learned that one of their patients had a much-anticipated cruise to Hawaii canceled due to health issues. Upon hearing this news, the staff created a gift basket that was ready for the patient upon arrival. The team even went the extra step by dressing up and wearing leis during the appointment while playing island music during the visit. The idea was simple, if the patient couldn’t make the leisurely cruise, then bring the cruise to them.
On another occasion, a patient missed out on a cruise to Mexico (apparently, this seems to be a trend in their area). So, the office once again took the opportunity to go the extra mile and played Jimmy Buffett over the loudspeakers during the visit, topped off with a gift of margarita mix for the patient.
While both of these patient experiences are uncommon and unplanned, they highlight the culture of providing exceptional patient experiences embodied by the whole team. When the team is actively thinking about providing a great experience, they can rally around opportunities when they arise. And in both of these cases, the office showed that they listen to and care about their patients.
What’s in a Name?
Whether or not you have a budget for handing out gift cards to patients, it is important to master the basics. In a previous AADOM post, we talked about the importance of getting to know your patients, especially their names. “It’s my job to make patients feel special,” Valarie says. “They’re the ones that chose us. We’re thankful that they did, so we do everything possible to make sure they feel welcome.”
Creating a personal patient experience starts with knowing your patients, beginning with their names. Many offices use Weave and utilize Weave’s call pop, which shows the team who is calling, complete with their information and photo. This feature not only saves time but helps the team connect personally with each patient on every phone call – allowing them to address the patient by name without having to ask. Speaking of this value, one officer said, “My staff loves when the phone rings and the message pops up and they see the photo of the patient. This goes beyond recognition as it helps add the personal touch and helps my staff engage at a much higher level.”
Different staff members will have the opportunity to communicate with patients in the office and will likely learn new things about the patient and what is going on in their lives. It is important to share those details and write them down so that you can bring them up during the next morning’s huddle with the patient on schedule. It is through this very method that North Ridgeville Family Dentistry came up with unique patient experience ideas and presented a united experience as a team.
If Time is Money, I Might Be broke
Prioritizing the patient experience and engaging with patients takes time and effort, and let’s face it, time is not something office managers have lying around waiting to be used. That’s why it is important to implement software and systems, like Weave, that will help save you time on daily tasks…Click to learn more in a new window…, so you can spend more time enhancing the patient experience and, more importantly, talking with the patient while they are in the office.
So whether or not you decide to start handing out ducks named Edwin or just find everyday ways to make the patient experience better, look and see how software solutions like Weave can make your job easier and ultimately create a better patient experience.
Learn more about how North Ridgeville Family Dentistry uses Weave in their office to save time on daily tasks and help provide an excellent experience for their patients.