Do you worry about asking patients for feedback? You and your team put hours of work, effort and resources to create a great customer experience, but that may not allay your fears that you’ll get bad feedback. In fact, every practice owner and manager should welcome feedback – good, bad and indifferent.
Think of feedback as a wonderful method of finding new ways to delight your customers. By asking people who visit your practice to share their thoughts, you may find all sorts of inspired improvements. Feedback can uncover the areas needing development inside your business as well as the great things that you do.
Create a system for getting feedback and acting on it, and you will see your business grow.
So what things should you consider…?
What format of feedback do you require?
- Feedback from your own customers (written questionnaire, online survey, social media?)
- Feedback from a company offering structured analysis (exit surveys, etc)
- Mystery Shopping:
- Written report only
- Video and written report (businesses find the video a valuable tool for staff training and practices that use the mystery shop videos show a marked increase in mystery shopper performance in successive visits)
Which areas do you want to gather information about? For example:
- Products, promotions, etc
- Services – e.g. frame and lens selection
- Clinical services
- Entire customer journey
- Dispense only
- Collection only
- Eye exam only
- Contact lens services
- Hearing services
- Complaint handling
When do you want to seek feedback and how often?
- Remember to allow enough time for actions to be implemented and bedded in before seeking new results
- A routine follow-up email questionnaire can be set up to go out automatically, but you need to ensure you review results on a regular basis, such as once a month
- An annual survey is insufficient for ongoing improvement
How should the results be used?
- Review the written report initially by yourself so that you know what to look out for in the video (if used)
- Review the video and written report alongside each other – again, do it alone
- Identify positives and development areas from the report and video and note where they are, so they are easy to find again
- Discuss the report with the individual staff members involved and invite them to watch the video (if used)
- You may need to offer empathy and support, no-one likes watching themselves on video and if the result is poor, you may need to coach the staff member and get them to focus on the positives, as well as developing them
- Individual training needs are then added to Personal Development Plans (PDPs)
- If the staff member is willing, show the report/video to all staff at team meeting/training session. (NB: When you debrief staff on a video Mystery Shopper visit, be sensitive to the staff involved and focus on their successes as well as areas for development. It should never be used as a ‘blame’ session or to make an example of a member of staff)
- Highlight areas where the staff member did particularly well and thank them for their efforts
- As a team, review procedures and behaviours using the ‘Stop, Start, Continue’ process or similar
- Create an action plan to identify what you will do, how will you do it and when you will do it by (What will success look like?)
Who can help?
There are many companies available offering customer survey software and services and also mystery shopping services. When selecting the business partner that is right for you consider the following:
- Do they have specialist areas?
- What sort of clients do they work with?
- Who will work on your account, and what is their track record with similar businesses?
- What is their understanding of your field?
- What is their initial estimate of fees?
- What is and isn’t included in those fees?
- Can they put you in touch with other clients for references?