By Suzanne Younker, Au.D.
Loyal patients are recognized as a significant contributor to a successful hearing care practice and practice owners must pay attention to how they can continue to satisfy this valuable base.
Business analytics and medical practice experts all agree with the Harvard School of Business that “A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%.” Especially now, with changes in hearing care regulations, there is a new door open for alternative retail access to basic hearing care. Keeping your practice on the top of your patients’ “favorites bar” is critical.
Patients appreciate a practice that makes their life easier. SolutionReach, a patient relationship management company, reported in their Patient-Provider Relationship Study that healthcare practices across all specialties can expect to lose 1 out of 3 patients in the next couple of years. Several reasons account for this estimation, however, the number one reason is an increasing patient case-load and patients having to wait for their care.
“Whether a patient is waiting weeks to get into the office to be seen, waiting in the waiting room be taken to an exam room, waiting for the doctor in the exam room, waiting for a phone call to be returned, waiting to set up an appointment, or waiting for test results, the result is the same. It doesn’t take long for irritation and frustration to set in.”
Once frustrated, patients will seek alternative options to meet their needs in a timelier manner.
Of these frustrations, one of the largest pain-points reported by patients is delayed appointment dates, due to no available time slots in an over-crowded schedule. Statistics show 2 out of 10 patients cancel appointments that were 2-weeks out and went to another office that could accommodate their needs sooner.
Unfortunately, within the typical hearing care practice, warranty patient services dominate the landscape of the day’s schedule limiting available time to schedule the patients who are looking to purchase new hearing aids.