A key to ensuring you improve your patient experience it to break down the journey and consider what is important from THEIR perspective. Today we will use a tool from Six Sigma called the Fishbone Diagram.

A Fishbone Diagram is also known as a “Cause-and-Effect Diagram”. In our businesses, one such desired result is Production or Sales. We then want to consider some of the root processes leading up to that intended effect.

Three common processes that each potential customer will encounter are:

  • The initial call, or contact
  • A smooth arrival process
  • The first consultation

We’ll break them down a bit further. And as we do, consider how you and your team are doing. Take a look at the diagram below. From left to right along the “spine” of the fishbone we have the first call, the arrival process, and then the first consultation.

fishbone diagram

As we dive into each process, what are items that help each process go well and help us achieve the goal of a new client and production?

Initial Call

The initial call provides the very first impression and validation of the company’s culture. Are you friendly, indifferent, or rude? Do you respect the caller’s time? Are you attentive or too busy? Do you sound like everyone else or are you different?

In today’s environment with direct-to-consumer options commoditizing offerings, we must stand out by providing an experience. And this experience starts with the first contact and first phone call.

This call needs to be a conversation instead of an interrogation. And in order to achieve this, we must choreograph the call. Take a look at the Fishbone Diagram for some aspects of how to do this:

  • Use open-ended questions to foster dialogue
  • Incorporate benefit statements to encourage the exchange of information
  • Utilize uncommon courtesy with pleasant first and last responses
  • Respect the caller’s time by only asking what is necessary to schedule

Smooth Arrival Process

The next major impression comes as the new patient arrives at the office. And in our socially distanced world that is more complex and less personal. So how are you making it easy?

Consider how easy or complex the following components are:

  • Timely reminders sent
  • Easy check-in – remotely or in-person
  • Welcomed personally
  • Comfortable accommodations

First Consultation

Finally, we proceed to the consultation where we meet with the sales coordinator and doctor. TAKE NOTEā€¦have you noticed there are several touchpoints with the potential patient even before we get to the doctor?

As we look here, what factors are important to yield the intended result? Some include:

  • Timeliness – are you holding to the time allotment that was expressed on the initial call?
  • Connection – are you taking time to listen to them and their concerns?
  • Treatment options – are you providing an option that meets their desired outcome by listening to their chief goals?
  • Financial arrangements – are you making it possible to fit into their budget?

Summary

The difference between a commodity and an experience is a set of repeatable habits to alter the customer journey. By doing so, both the business and the customer enjoy increased results. The patient enjoys an elevated experience and the business experiences increased production.

But these do not occur by happenstance. They are planned, orchestrated, and practiced. Block out the time to do so. Your business will thank you.


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