If your medical practice depends on word of mouth marketing, it would be impossible to overstate the importance of patient satisfaction. Your reputation depends on it, and the growth and the future of your practice depends on it.
How important is it then, to make sure that 90% to 100% of your patients walk out of your practice, eager to tell their family and friends and family about how comfortable, respected and cared for you and your staff made them feel?
There’s one, very simple habit that you can develop, starting today, which will make a world of difference in your patient satisfaction and in the quality AND quantity of your referrals. It has to do with how you research the new trends, new discoveries and new technologies in your industry. Most important, it?s a habit that can change the way you communicate with your patients.
Patient Satisfaction and the “Expertise Disconnect”
Higher education can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, becoming an expert makes you indispensably valuable to the person who has little or no knowledge about the field you’ve studied and mastered. This is especially true in the areas of medical science and of law; which is why doctors and attorneys have such a high earning potential.
However, the price you pay for becoming highly educated in your field is that, to the average client or patient, you might as well be speaking in binary code when you talk to them about your profession. Experts, unknowingly in many cases, become so effective at understanding and communicating their expertise that they forget how many layers of understanding they had to move through to grasp concepts that seem elementary to them now.
In plain language, we call this, talking over the person’s head. If you’ve ever seen your patient’s eyes glass over and a look of confusion come over their face when you have talked to them, you know exactly what we’re talking about. This can be a big obstacle to creating patient satisfaction. Miscommunication creates confusion, and confusion can create feelings of discomfort and even distrust.
Your patient might not need to know everything that you know about their condition or about the technologies you’re using to treat or to diagnose it, but they DO need to know enough to:
- Dissolve their fear of the unknown.
- Give them confidence that you’re doing everything that can be done.
- Clarify why you’ve chosen a specific treatment for them.
One way you can create these kinds of patient experiences is with better communication, and this can be accomplished by finding more creative and interesting ways to communicate your expertise with your patients.
How to Use Research to Become a Better Communicator
One of the best ways to use research to become a better communicator is to expand your reading outside your field of expertise. Years and years of intense academic study can make limit a person’s ability to think outside of their field of expertise. This is why it’s important to find other ways to communicate the new ideas in your profession.
Many times, this means reading about other subjects. Pay attention to the way other people communicate complex ideas. Find ways to use these same strategies to communicate complex ideas with your patients. If all of your research time is spent reading Medical Journals, and attending seminars, workshops and conferences where you only learn from and communicate with your peers, you’ll never break the habit of talking over your patients’ heads.
Nearly everyone who has achieved great advances in the medical field was able to challenge the current assumptions and to better communicate their ideas with the average person. If you develop new research habits, expand your reading and even spend time reading the same things your patients read, you’ll develop better ways to relate your knowledge to your patients.
Remember, clarity creates confidence and trust. These are foundations for building great relationships with your patients, and in turn, your patients will help you build a great practice.
Get Help Growing Your Medical Practice!
Vividus helps medical professionals grow their practice online and offline with targeted and strategic marketing strategies. Want to attract more walk in business using the internet or offline marketing channels? Give us a call.