Active Listening: The Key to Patient Communication

Eric Welke Best Practices, Customer Experience, Dental, Guides, How to & Tutorials, Medical, Reputation Management Leave a Comment

There is little doubt of the importance of patient experience and satisfaction in the medical profession these days. There continues to be a fundamental shift from the traditional approach to medicine centered around doctor directed care to the emphasis on patient satisfaction and experience. (I have written about the difference between patient experience and satisfaction here.) With this change in emphasis comes a number of other changes. One of these is the increased transparency of patient reviews on social media and search engines. Whether the shift to patient experience is a boon or bust, it is the reality and must be addressed. Part of addressing the changing emphasis is the preeminence of your communication skills as a healthcare provider.  Communication has always been at the center of good healthcare, but it is doubly important now. Downfalls of Bad Communication Skills Not only is communication key to a patient centered approach to …

Please Don’t Gag Your Customers

Eric Welke Best Practices, Customer Experience, General, Guides, Legal, Online Reviews, Reputation Management, Small Business Leave a Comment

It’s often easier to learn from bad examples than from good ones.  Sometimes we learn best when seeing what not to do, instead of what to do.  This applies across all aspects of life, from relationships to parenting, and especially to business. This post is about one way not to manage your business’ reputation.  That is, unless you want the Federal Trade Commission knocking on your door. Which probably isn’t in the best interests of your company.  I take it as a given that you are already actively managing your business’ reputation online.  If not, I humbly suggest you start. The Gag Clause One of the worst ways to actively manage your reputation is through the use of gag clauses, also known as non-disparagement clauses.  These are contract stipulations that threaten legal or other punitive action against a customer if they make negative comments about a business’ services or products …

Patient Experience: What is it & How to Improve it

Eric Welke Best Practices, Customer Experience, Dental, Guides, How to & Tutorials, Reputation Management, Small Business Leave a Comment

The healthcare industry is going through, and will continue to go through, massive amounts of change. Part of this is due to an increased focus on the patient as a consumer. This means that healthcare providers are being judged not only on the results of a medical procedure, but in the customer service aspects of how the entire process around that procedure is handled. As Becker’s Hospital Review put it, the healthcare industry has moved from a “doctor knows best” mentality to one based on patient experience and satisfaction. This is partly due to the development and reliance on Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) surveys for reimbursement rates for Medicaid and Medicare. But it is also due to the increased availability of review websites such as Google and Yelp. These sites allow one patient’s perspective to be displayed across an entire market. All it takes is one …

The Referral Marketing Management Guide

Eric Welke Best Practices, General, Guides, Referral Marketing, Small Business Leave a Comment

“If you build it, they will come.” Even if you have never seen Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner, I guarantee you have heard those words.  Now, that may be a compelling reason to build a baseball field in the middle of Iowa, it is not, however, a sound business practice. Unfortunately, that is how a lot of businesses approach referrals and referral marketing. What is Referral Marketing  Referral marketing is the intentional approach to developing more referrals from your existing customers.  It is a part of a wider concept known as word-of-mouth marketing, which is separate from traditional marketing such as print or TV advertising. McKinsey notes the importance of word-of-mouth marketing stating that it is a primary factor behind 20-50% of purchasing decisions.   They classify three different types of word-of-mouth communications.  They are: Experiential – which accounts for 50-80% of word-of-mouth activity.  This results from a consumer’s direct …

How to Respond to Negative Reviews & Feedback

Eric Welke Best Practices, Guides, How to & Tutorials, Online Reviews, Small Business 2 Comments

Receiving a negative review online can be humbling for your business and even you. Negative reviews can come in all shapes and sizes…from constructive criticism to an angry customer who doesn’t necessarily seem angry with you but rather they seem upset with life and are taking it out on you. Unfortunately, this is all apart of life and owning a small business. Don’t brush off the reviews and hope there will be no impact based upon one person’s opinion; instead, respond to each review written about your business. Don’t just respond to the negative, but the positive reviews as well. A simple ‘Thank you’ or ‘We are thrilled you are enjoying our services’ can make the reviewer and other readers’ respect that you are concerned with customer satisfaction and not just focused on challenging the negative aspects of your reputation. While it is important to respond to the positive reviews, …

Best Practices for Small Businesses to Get Better Online Reviews

Eric Welke Best Practices, Online Reviews, Small Business Leave a Comment

A potential customer is looking for a place to purchase lumber and a hungry family is looking for a new restaurant to try, and they are all looking at online reviews. When opening an online site or app that lists all local businesses, customers want to find a place with mostly positive reviews and a decent number of ratings. Clients and customers want confidence in your business when they first walk through your doors and online reviews help boost that confidence. Whatever your small business, you want to keep focus on ensuring your customers are happy and therefore, more willing to leave you positive reviews online. It is well known that these reviews are read by the public and can bring you more business. Unfortunately, it is a bad experience that often prompts a consumer to actually leave a review. Hopefully, it is a fluke for someone to have a …