CALL ME, TEXT ME

All patients deserve to be heard. Consumers are especially demanding when it comes to getting attention from the brands and businesses they use, and aesthetic medicine is no exception.

Pay attention to how inquiries, questions, and follow up calls are handled in your practice. How long does it take for your practice to get back to a patient on an average day? Make it a priority and set a goal to respond to all patient queries in rapid response mode, which means minutes, rather than hours or days whenever possible.

If the call needs to be handled by the doctor, having a physician extender or other staff member call back to do triage is perfectly acceptable until the doctor is available. Some patients will insist on talking to the doctor directly and in those cases, running interference may prove to be a mistake because the patient may begin to feel like he or she is being blow off.

Not returning patient calls in not an option in a cosmetic practice. The same goes for emails, texts and Facebook messages. Patients demand to be heard and they deserve to be able to reach someone in the practice within a reasonable amount of time when they need to. Typically consumers expect to get a response in the same way they reached out, which is the way most service businesses handle inquiries. For example, if the patient reaches out via phone, call her back. If she sends a message via the practice Facebook page, respond back to her in kind. You can move the chain to another platform once you have made contact in the original one, if desired.

Many physicians and physician extenders today will give some or all patients their cell phone number, which goes a long way to showing the patient that you really care about them. They may never call you at all, but just having the number at their fingertips gets high marks from patients and offers them an extra sense of security. This tactic is especially helpful to manage super nervous patients who need a lot of handholding and any patient who does not have a good support system at home. It also keeps spouses and family members feeling more confident during the immediate post-treatment period.

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