If you’re not sending automated patient satisfaction surveys, you’re missing out. This is a valuable opportunity to gain patient feedback without much effort from your staff.
On average, Americans tell 11 people about good customer service they’ve received from a company, according to American Express. That part is great, but the fact that they tell an average of 15 people about poor service isn’t so uplifting.
Sending an automated patient satisfaction questionnaire after each visit can help you nip problems in the bud before they’re made public — among many other benefits. Here’s a look at what you have to gain by making this a standard procedure at your practice.
Reasons for automated patient satisfaction surveys
1. Automation saves staff time
Your staff is very busy. Key tasks like greeting patients, answering phones, and managing your social media accounts require a personal touch, but not all responsibilities are so hands-on.
Automating patient satisfaction surveys makes sense because there’s no benefit in having your staff send them manually. When this task is off their plate, they have more time to focus on duties that actually require their attention.
2. Increase response rate
When sending patient satisfaction surveys is a manual process, it’s often put on the back burner. As noted above, your staff has more pressing tasks to handle, so surveys are sent whenever they can find a few extra minutes.
However, nearly three-quarters of patients (73 percent) prefer to be asked to give feedback a few minutes to a few days after visiting your practice, according to NRC Health. Automating this process ensures surveys are sent at just the right time to maximize patient responses.
3. Better understand your practice’s strengths and shortcomings
Patient feedback is an important way to find out what you’re doing right and where there’s room for improvement. This allows you to make meaningful changes that improve the patient experience.
Automated patient satisfaction surveys provide patients the opportunity to give honest feedback that they might not feel comfortable giving face-to-face, whether because the feedback is critical or they’re anxious about taking up valuable time of your workday.
4. Improve your online reputation
Most consumers (86 percent) read reviews for local businesses, according to BrightLocal. Negative reviews can be a huge deterrent, as 40 percent will stop wanting to use a business after reading disparaging things about it.
Patient satisfaction surveys are often the nudge satisfied patients need to share their positive experiences with a greater audience by writing a review. Ask patients for their feedback, and you could find they’re willing to share it privately as well as publicly.
5. Make patients feel valued
Nearly half of people (45 percent) cite appreciation for them as a customer as very important in providing excellent care, according to American Express. Furthermore, seven-in-10 consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that provides outstanding service, according to American Express.
Sending automated patient satisfaction surveys shows patients how much you value them. Requesting their opinions will improve the patient experience, which could subsequently boost your retention rates.
6. Boost your search engine ranking
As mentioned previously, patient satisfaction surveys can be the inspiration patients need to write a public review of your practice.
Patient reviews can help boost your search engine rank, effectively increasing your visibility. Review signals — i.e. the number of reviews you have, how often you get new reviews, the variety of sites your reviews are posted on, and other factors — play into Google local search ranking factors, according to Moz.
The higher your search engine rank, the greater your visibility. This will help you attract more patients, seriously increasing your bottom line.