The level of care your practice provides to patients should be consistent and an integral part of the practice culture. All staff members need to be on board with that concept for it to work. That culture starts from the top. If the physician doesn’t show that he or she cares about the patients, the staff may not be inclined to go out of their way to care for them either. Patients are very perceptive and tend to pick up on the signs. Instead of training your staff to be nice, hire nice people.

Delivering 5-star customer service is about more than just being warm and fuzzy when the patient is under your roof. It’s about the total package; from responding to inquiries online promptly, billing accurately, returning calls, having the right team on board, staying on time and going the extra mile. A patient may overlook an occasional lapse, if they are acknowledged and made to feel that the practice really cares about them as an individual.

Patients also don’t like to be sold or manipulated into having more treatments or buying more products that they really want or need. They also don’t want to be made to feel like the staff is in hot pursuit to get them to do more and spend more with you. Adopt a soft sell approach instead. Patients will frequently complain or leave practices entirely over money matters, billing errors or misunderstandings. Payment concerns can be a big cause of doctor-patient relationships going sideways, and also for patients to leave negative reviews. The best way to avoid misunderstandings is to be transparent about fees and billing practices up front, put it in writing and have the patient sign off on your policies.

The landscape has changed, and patients today leave practices for many different reasons. In order to grow, you need to practice the highest level of patient care 24/7. If you treat patients well, they may tell their family, friends, and colleagues, which can come back to you tenfold in organic growth. Every special gesture, perk and consideration counts.

The key to success in aesthetic medicine in 2017 is running an efficient practice, caring for patients well, and avoiding some of the common customer service mistakes. Providing the highest level of care to your patients so that they don’t leave and send their friends and family to you should be your highest priority. It is also the secret sauce to generate positive 5-star online reviews.