Category Archives: Patient Experience

We’re thankful this Thanksgiving

In this season of thankfulness, we are grateful for the trust and support of RealPatientRatings™ members. Working together, we’re exploring new territory in reputation management and patient satisfaction marketing.

Here are some of our big achievements in 2012:

  • Patients completed over 10,000+ surveys and authorized over 6600 reviews
  • Google now recognizes RPR’s reviews and displays 5-star ratings on searches
  • ASPS granted “Endorsed” status to RPR
  • CareCredit is conducting a pilot project with RPR

We also give thanks to key industry leaders and partners:

Most of all, we owe deep thanks to the patients who so generously provided feedback. Their insights help all of us. By understanding what’s really important to our patients, we not only can strengthen and grow our practices, but protect them as well.

5 Things Patients Can Do Better Than You

Bill Lee’s recent post “The Things Customers Can Do Better Than You” on the Harvard Business Review blog offers some great food for thought.

Lee urges us to change our assumptions about customers, and to quit thinking they only buy products and services. Instead he recommends mobilizing customers the way Facebook and other forward-thinking companies do who “look to their customers to grow their businesses.”

This got us thinking at RPR… What can patients uniquely do better than their plastic surgeons? How can patients help us stay competitive and even lead us into the future? Is it possible that our patients know better than we do about how best to market and grow our practices?

Patients know more about each other than you know about them

Unless you are the same age and gender as your patients, you need strategies that enable you to know what they’re thinking in relative real time. Surveys and benchmarking data are powerful tools for reaching the heart of the matter.

Insights from your patients can be used internally to motivate staff and improve practice performance. Objective data enables you to tailor your outreach to other patients.

Patients are more credible than you are

This makes your patients your best marketing team! Nothing is more trustworthy than a past patient sharing their experience with a prospective patient. If you acknowledge this reality, you can use this phenomenon to gain competitive advantage. Encourage your patients to spread the word to their network of friends and help you extend your reach through social media including ratings and reviews.

Patients are more persuasive than you are

To today’s consumers, your patients are more believable than your website or marketing materials. Invest in marketing channels that maximize the reach of your past patients’ experiences. Publish patient comments and reviews on your website. Post patient comments and reviews through your social media channels.

Patients understand buyer needs better than you do

You’ll do better if your let your patients tell you what’s important to them. Patient satisfaction and benchmarking data reveals many opportunities to improve practice performance. Use patient feedback to get what you want – higher conversions from the web and at consult plus increases in retention and referral to build your practice over time.

Patients would rather affiliate with their peers (your other patients) than with you

Knowing this is half the battle. Invest your energy and dollars in marketing efforts that bring your patients and their friends together. Online, this means participating in environments where patients can interact with each other and you. In the office, this means having seminars, open houses, and encouraging prospective patients to bring a friend or family member to their appointment.

This may help explain why patients who bring a friend or family member to their consult are 20% more likely to schedule surgery!

Three New Acronyms Plastic Surgeons Need To Know

idsfaCEM = Customer Experience Management

Don’t worry! CEM is not expensive and painful like SEO or SEM!

CEM stands for Customer Experience Management, a field that is exploding among large and small companies alike. A quick Twitter search for the hashtag #CEM will land you a wealth of topics and resources to explore around this exciting new area of customer service.

PX = Patient Experience

Yes, PX still stands for prescription, and also for prognosis (and the police use it for “prostitution” so let’s be careful with the context when we use PX.

SX = Surgery Experience

SX stands for surgery, symptoms, suction and also for Supercross if you happen to be an X Games fan.

Why we are all the Patient Experience (“PX”)…

More often than not, when a patient has less than a five star experience, it has little to do with the doctor or the surgical outcome. Every person on your team and each touchpoint that a patient experiences throughout their journey is part of the PX.

Nobody has said it better than The Beryl Institute, a thought leader in patient experience:

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The RPR Top 5: Great Articles About Improving The Plastic Surgery Patient Experience for June 2012

1. The New Google+ Local: Healthcare Not Invited to Participate

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Jeff Segal, CEO of Medical Justice, explains how recent changes to Google’s local business review system will make it even harder for patients to post objective reviews of healthcare providers.

2. How to Write Emails that Sell (and that People Love to Read)

What is Infotainment and how can you use it in your email marketing to be more successful? Ben Settle shares 3 secrets to writing great marketing emails on Copyblogger.com.

3. Doctors Should Enlist “Brand Advocates” to Promote their Practice

RealSelf.com shares reasons why you need satisfied patients to be advocates for your practice, not just by writing reviews for you but by supporting your brand through social channels and word of mouth.

4. How Zagat and Google Create Reviews of Your Practice

Chris Brown at Rosemont Media explains the new review summary format and 30 point Zagat scale being used in Google + Business ratings and reviews.

5. Yelp Joins Bing Search Engine And Apple Maps – Ignore At Your Own Risk

Now that Yelp has partnered with both Bing and Apple to deliver content, it’s probably time to address your strategy for both increasing your presence on Yelp and building stable review content on other sites you can depend on. For plastic surgeons these sites are few and far between, but RealSelf, Real Patient Ratings, and a few others are out there.