Many practices use post-appointment surveys in an effort to improve patient satisfaction and retention, typically by offering a paper survey immediately after the appointment or by sending one in the mail. Unfortunately, patients often want to leave immediately after their appointments and don’t want to take the time to fill out a paper survey days later once it is no longer top-of-mind to do so. Consequently, typical survey response rates are as low as 1%.
To resolve this issue, Vital Interaction can contact patients immediately after their appointments via text or email while their experiences are still top-of-mind. These messages are simple to act on with a simple click or tap on patients’ phones or computers. As a result, feedback requested via texts and emails gets a higher response rate than do paper surveys. Practices who have implemented Vital Interaction’s post-appointment communication feature have seen response rates of 10 to 20% from their patients.
This automated, post-appointment messaging can help your practice achieve the following benefits:
1) Compile Survey Results More Effectively
The most common post-appointment communication is inviting patients to fill out a survey on their visit experience. With these, your practice discovers key areas of improvement and cancan address specific concerns that patients may not have brought up during their appointments.
With Vital Interaction, patients receive a message a couple of hours after their appointments that includes a link to a survey page. While some practices have established survey websites, you can always send a link to any URL you choose, including third-party survey sites like SurveyMonkey.com. This immediate contact method using a simple-to-answer survey can dramatically improve your response rates and allows your staff to address concerns from patients the same day that they mention them in the survey.
2) Improve your Social Media Presence
Some practices post signs in their offices encouraging people to “Like” their practice on Facebook, but do little else around social media.
With Vital Interaction, you can include a direct link in your text or email to invite the patient to “Like” your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter. This easy, one-step process lets patients’ friends know that they had a good experience with your practice, and thus benefits your online presence.
Once a patient has liked your Facebook page, it is important to periodically post information that they will find useful. This can include advice articles, links to activities organized by your practice, or interesting information about members of your staff. This way, patients feel a stronger connection to your practice and will often give “Likes” to new posts, resulting in additional visibility for that article or link.
3) Improved Online Reputation
Based on a Local Consumer Review Survey, 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. In addition, more than 100 million people choose websites like Healthgrades.com, Vitals.com, Yelp.com, and other sites to determine who their physician will be, and this number is growing. As such, it is critical to have a good reputation on 3rd party review sites in order to acquire new patients and improve the SEO of your web presence.
Few practices plan to improve online reputation. In fact, if you search for your practice online, you may be surprised by the reviews on third-party review websites. Do they really represent what patients think of you? Unhappy people are always the most likely to take the time to go oline and write a review, so why not make it easy for the happy patients to post their points of view as well?
Vital Interaction makes it simple to invite all of your patients to visit a designated review site after their appointment via text or email. It is important that you encourage all types of feedback – negative, positive, and neutral – so that your online reviews are not biased By surveying more patients with this simple methodology, it is likely that those who have had positive experiences will review your practice, and your online reputation may be a better reflection of your real patient satisfaction.
How it works
The messages sent via text use a shortened URL that immediately redirects to the previously configured web site. These URLs can be opened on any Smartphone or computer. An email can be sent in addition or in place of the text message if the patient has not provided a cell phone number.
It’s also possible to alternate which messages are used and which type of feedback is requested. You could send a link to a survey one month, a request for reviews the next month, and a link to “like” a social media page the third month.
By utilizing Vital Interaction’s post-appointment messaging, you can significantly improve your online reputation and search engine visibility, and patients’ satisfaction, if you identify key areas of improvement and act quickly to correct them.