When was the last time you had an over-the-top experience with a business and couldn’t wait to tell your friends about it? Maybe it was the way they rushed your order at no extra charge at the dry cleaners or that complimentary appetizer courtesy of the chef at your favorite steak house. Whatever the case, you were so excited about that exceptional experience and wanted to tell everyone all about it.
This is called word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM), and it’s one of the best and most powerful forms of marketing today. 3 out of 4 people rave about their recent experiences to others at least once per week. On the flip side, an astounding 96% of dissatisfied patients won’t complain directly to you. They just won’t come back… and will tell their friends and family to do likewise.
So, in short, when it comes to building or growing your practice, what other people say about your practice really matters. But how do you know what your patients are saying about you? What if there was a way you could measure that satisfaction?
Well, there is! It’s called the Net Promoter Score®, or NPS®, and this important tool is helping practices of all shapes and sizes know where they stand with their patients and find out how to make it even better.
What Is Net Promoter Score®?
You want your patients to be over-the-moon happy every time they interact with you or your office. The challenge is finding out exactly what they’re thinking and if the majority of your patients’ feelings are positive, negative, or neutral.
It turns out getting that answer is shockingly simple.
Enter NPS®. NPS® was created as part of the Net Promoter System to help businesses strengthen loyalty and inspire their employees. It’s centered around one question – one that’s relevant across all industries, including practices like yours.
The question is this: “How likely are you to recommend our practice to a friend or family member?”
Respondents – or in this case, your patients – answer on a scale of 0-10, with 0 being Not Likely At All and 10 being Extremely Likely. Responses are grouped into three buckets:
- Promoters (9-10 score). These are your loyal patients who will keep coming back. And they won’t hesitate to tell others how amazing you are.
- Passives (7-8 score). These folks feel pretty good about your practice but could just as easily go to another practitioner if presented with the opportunity.
- Detractors (0-6 score). Patients in this category are unhappy and could possibly cause some PR damage by leaving less-than-satisfied reviews.
To find out your NPS® score, subtract the percent of those who are Detractors from the percent of Promoters. This number will be somewhere between -100 and 100. The higher the number, the more raving, loyal patients you have.
Why Does Knowing Your Net Promoter Score® Matter?
Let’s say you checked the blood pressure of a patient and noticed their numbers were a bit high. Knowing it could be situational or stress-related, you make a few recommendations that should help. So, they head out of their appointment and begin incorporating those changes.
But how would you know if your recommendations are working? The only way to know for sure is to check back with your patient and get some feedback about how they’re feeling.
And the same thing is true for your NPS®. Once you begin asking your patients about how they’re feeling about the services you provide, their feedback will let you know where you need to make improvements.
How to Get Feedback – In An Authentic Way
Finding out your NPS® score is pretty simple. All it takes is three easy steps:
1. Create a Survey
The first step is creating a short Patient Satisfaction Survey that asks for their feedback on four or five aspects of your practice that you think may be causing some trouble. Use statements rather than questions for the best feedback. Here are a few examples to get you started:
- Convenient appointment times
- Professionalism of the staff
- Knowledge of [practitioner name]
- Timely follow-ups
- Ease of scheduling appointments
- Cleanliness of the office
- Overall experience
Allow your patients the ability to provide their responses using a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being Not Likely At All and 10 being Extremely Likely. Once you’ve chosen four or five relevant statements to include in your survey, it’s important to end with this question:
“How likely are you to recommend our practice to a friend or family member?”
You can also add in a comment box that allows them to provide additional information about why they provided the ratings they did. Here’s a great way to encourage even more feedback.
“We take your feedback very seriously. Please take a few moments to explain why you chose this rating. We’d love to know what worked well for you, what could be improved, and any additional feedback you’d like to provide. Thank you!”
2. Decide When to Send the Survey
We highly recommend deciding on a particular time to send the survey. Is it…
- two hours after their first appointment?
- 24 hours after a follow-up appointment?
- six months after you think they’ve ghosted you?
Whatever you choose, we recommend keeping it as consistent as you can so your score will be as accurate as possible.
3. Review the Feedback
Once you begin receiving responses, it’s time to review them so you can see where you may be able to improve. See how many scored in the 9-10 range and compare it to those who rated your practice with a 6 or less. Then, review their explanations and look for common themes.
Are patients frustrated about the wait time?
Are they happy with the amount of time you spend with them?
Do they feel like their concerns are being addressed?
Knowing your NPS® and understanding what areas you can work on to make it better is incredibly valuable. Take that insight and make the changes you need to really WOW your patients.
Start Collecting Patient Feedback to Grow Your Practice Using Net Promoter Score®
NPS® is a powerful tool that gives you a huge amount of clarity into what your patients are thinking and feeling about your practice. What you initially find out might be a tough pill to swallow at first, but that’s okay! It’s all about making the necessary improvements and getting better over time – and the only way to do that is to get their feedback.
So, start by creating a short Patient Satisfaction Survey and see what you find out. With a little extra elbow grease, you’ll be well on your way to having delighted patients and an exploding practice!