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In this Current Events Friday’s Post (CE-Friday’s), I’m diving into what makes you stick around at the business that doesn’t seem to care… at all. I’ll share 2 experience, tell you what I think the answer is, then I’ll let you know some of what we do to keep folks excited to come back to our office.
CE-Friday’s – “What you need to know today in less than 500 words”
There I was – sitting, waiting, wishing…
In the lobby of my eye doctor, there was only 1 other patient and it wasn’t a particularly busy Friday late morning. Few patients had shuffled in before me and maybe one had departed. Operatories had open doors and weren’t filled.
Yet two ladies manned the seemingly desolate front counter. Upon which phones sat but didn’t ring…
And there I sat for 30 minutes.
So I asked myself, “Self – why are you here and why do you remain loyal to this office that doesn’t seem to care about you?”
The only answer I had was that this was the first doctor’s office we had made “ours” when we first moved to Columbus almost a decade ago. But that was no longer good enough. I called my wife when I (finally) made it out of there and said – never again. (She was confused and needed context, but we eventually got there)
Just yesterday, we sat in the waiting room of our pediatrician’s office for a similar 30 minutes
Our 4-month-old was due for her checkup and we were stoked to see the new percentages (and make sure she’s developing well and all that…). But we sat so long that my wife had to call an audible, go pick up big sis, and head back to get us.
So there I was with my shirtless (read: cold) daughter who was overdue for a bottle as we waited even longer in our room.
Was I fuming hot when the doctor walked into the op?
So what gives?
Before he even opened the door he was apologizing profusely. We were obviously the last patients he had before lunch (which was now almost half over) because literally, no one remained in the office, save the 3 of us.
Yet, he took his time, answered my questions, and even discussed some current events as he completed his exam. We love the dude, we love the office, and we love the staff. Because, whether it’s true or not – they really seem to care.
If a patient is waiting in our office for longer than 10 minutes – I’m most likely having some type of coronary event
Exceptions include folks who are late, unique circumstances, and people who love talking sports or whatever other topics I can gin up for distraction purposes.
But we’re constantly discussing “patient experience” with our staff. Put yourself in your patient’s shoes. What questions do you have, what would you like out of your visit to the office, and what would upset you?
Personally, I hate waiting for no reason. So we drill empathy when we make decisions about how and why patients visit our office.
Why do they come in the first place is 100% an important question to answer, but why should they come back is also vital
For us, it’s everyone at the office working to make a connection with them as another human. It’s a great quality of care, big screens with Netflix and Hulu Live, and hopefully, it’s a deep feeling that these people (us) actually care deeply about me (the patient) as a person and my oral health.
It’s hard work – but at the end of the day – so worth it.
So what about you? What keeps you coming back to a doctor’s office or local business and what can’t you stand for?
Let us know in the comments below.