Customer service is a vital part of any business and really makes or breaks a company. The better you treat your clients, the happier they are, which will typically lead to them remaining your client for a much longer period of time. This simple and obvious concept remains true for all companies, from Fortune 500 mammoths to the smallest fish in the pond. A happy client means more money for you. It is that simple.
The interesting thing is many cosmetic surgeons overlook this and do not realize how important it really is. Every plastic surgeon, cosmetic dentist, Lasik surgeon, etc makes it a point to point out how HUGE their word of mouth business is. When I am approached with that statement, my immediate response to any surgeon is, “That is great to hear. What do you think you can do to increase the volume and size of your word of mouth patients?” The most common answer I hear is that “we do enough to keep them coming back.” My next question is “what do you do?” Almost every time, the answer is “give them discounts” or “they are happy with the results, there is no reason they would not refer people to me.”
Discounts are great… I love them, you love them, and everyone loves them. However, it is very important to go much further than that.
Keep these things in mind:
1. You have already established a huge amount of trust with this patient. They chose you, they love the results, and they want to promote you. They are your best testament and source of new patients. None of our hundreds of websites can compete with word of mouth, it is simply too strong and personal.
2. They like to hear from you. Not everyday emails or weekly updates. Monthly newsletters are great but be sure to follow my quarterly personal concept… discussed below. Keeping in touch with an interesting article or a reminder to visit your blog is a simple way to get your name out there.
3. Let them tell you how happy they are – Patient Survey – 6 months after. There are numerous survey companies out there, and they are simple to do by yourself as well. This is a very smart thing to do.
Keep in Touch – Earn More Return Business and Word of Mouth Business
1. All you have to do is ask. Ask patients if they are willing to get emails every once in a while in reference to you. Be sure that you do not bombard them with emails from every potential patient, but one or two a month usually is okay. Many successful doctors do this already, but it works well so I figured I would point out the obvious.
2. Quarterly Personal Touch. The cost to you is about 7 dollars a year, per patient. Happy Holidays, Happy Valentine’s Day, Happy Independence Day and Happy Halloween (or whatever other holiday you want to celebrate). Send every past patient a card, not a newsletter or email, but an actual snail-mail card. These can be purchased, electronically written for you, and mailed at a relatively cheap price. The value is enormous. It keeps you in front of them all the time and reminds them why they chose you and why they would go back to you, and send friends if it came up.
3. Happy Birthday to you! Send your patients a birthday card with a short handwritten note. Very effective on personal touch… it makes them remember why they chose you as a surgeon!