In this day and age, reputation is key to success. Patient reviews have the power to make or break a clinic or physician’s reputation, and this can have a startling impact on your revenue.
With the majority of the population having continuous access to social media and digital communications, it has never been easier for customers to tell the world what they think about an experience they’ve had - whether it’s with a business, a person, or indeed a healthcare professional.
Ensuring you have regular positive reviews can determine your future opportunities, help you build a loyal client base and ultimately improve your profitability as a practice.
More reviews = More revenue
The numbers speak for themselves – statistics from the 2021 Womply Article show that if a business has more than nine current reviews, they will earn 52% more revenue.
Even better, if a business has more than 25 current reviews, their revenue increases to 108%! This becomes even more impactful considering 68% of customers will leave a review if asked.
Patient reviews within the healthcare sector have the ability to prove equally as powerful in determining revenue levels. Given most people would consider their health as their most valuable asset, it is hardly surprising that many would do their research first to find a medical professional with the highest ratings.
There are plenty of available websites where you can gather your patient reviews, such as Doctify, and it’s important that you make the most of these opportunities. Healthcare and medical centres that claim their free listings on three or more review sites earn 26% more revenue compared to those that don’t. In addition, those with more than the average number of reviews bring in 28% more in annual revenue.
According to the 2021 Healthcare Reputation Report, for Millennials, patient reviews are the single-most important factor in influencing their choice of physician or facility.
However, approximately 50% of healthcare facilities and 65% of physicians had zero reviews in 2020. Google is also heavily influential with Millennials with 47.6% relying on Google to find reviews on healthcare providers.
Why your patient journey is key to success
A single patient’s review of their end-to-end healthcare experience, known as the patient journey, encompasses an array of individual touchpoints. And each touchpoint can heavily impact their overall rating – from point of booking and their ability to obtain key information, to the treatment itself and aftercare, and of course the billing process and interactions with your administrative teams.
As to be expected, the biggest drivers of positive sentiment are your medical and administrative staff, bedside manner and cleanliness. Yet just one negative experience at any point of a patient’s journey can taint the on-going process and therefore influence their overall review.
Every single interaction with a patient is part of the patient’s engagement journey. In today’s value-based healthcare world, having a personalised and hassle-free experience is more important than ever.
Unfortunately for many practices, a fantastic patient experience can often fall at the last hurdle – invoicing and payment.
How to create a great patient billing experience
Private medical treatment is often a big investment for patients, so for many the billing process will already be stressful enough. That’s why creating a clear and effortless process is vital to ensuring your patient’s journey remains positive.
It takes more than a warm smile across a counter or a friendly voice over the phone. It’s ensuring the right information is delivered, at the right time, by the right person; and leveraging the appropriate communication channels. Here’s how you do it:
Provide invoicing options to suit your patients
In addition to timely and accurate invoicing presented securely and in a comprehensible fashion, clarity on payment terms and methods of payment are absolutely paramount. Given the vast number of patients with varying demographics seeking medical treatment, a variety of payment methods must be offered to ensure each patient’s capabilities are catered for.
Where one patient may prefer to use a ‘click-through’ link directly to pay online, another may prefer the more personal touch of settling their bill over the phone. Upfront payments collected prior to treatment are also becoming more favourable nowadays.
Offer direct debit options for regular patients
Returning patients with regular and multiple invoices, such as patients seeing a Physiotherapist or an Osteopath, may prefer to sign a direct debit instruction so their payments can be collected automatically. This will save them the effort of having to manually action every invoice upon receipt.
Employ knowledgeable and experienced admin teams
Outstanding customer service should always be at the heart of your patient journey. Employing a knowledgeable and professional administrative team will help alleviate any anxieties a patient may be experiencing at a potentially stressful point in their journey. Ensuring the patient is cared for by one dedicated team member can heighten their satisfaction levels.
Provide clear and regular communication
Finally, rapid and well-informed communications will encourage peace of mind and make your patient feel heard. Fundamentally, to safeguard an outstanding patient experience at this point of the healthcare journey, intuitive technology, outstanding customer service and clear and precise expectations must be provided from end to end.
Ensure your patients receive the best service possible
Patient reviews are becoming one of the most important parts of building a successful practice. In order to really leverage the power of a great review, it is vital to consider the patient’s end-to-end journey.
Billing is an essential part of their journey and if done well, it can have a big impact on the rating a patient gives you. Actioning all of the points above can help you to encourage this, and most importantly, ensure your patient receives the best experience possible at your clinic.
If you’re looking to create an efficient and effortless billing process and make sure your patients are receiving an excellent service, feel free to get in touch to find out how we can help you do just do that.