We all tend to remember situations that exceed our expectations when visiting a dentist or your GP.
For most patients, a “trip to the doctor’s or dentist’s office” doesn’t always meet their expectations. While a doctor or dentist’s office is likely to deliver clinical excellence (as expected), the simple ingredient of surprise (customer service) can sometimes be neglected or not considered.
However, if the visit goes beyond expectations, the patient satisfaction level skyrockets, hence why positive word-of-mouth is so powerful, and patient referrals will often follow. The element of surprise is not that difficult to provide, and if it leads to positive word of mouth, then patient numbers will increase.
None of this should be a surprise to any of us, it is not rocket science, or brain surgery – the most successful shops, restaurants, hotels and bars etc have always aimed for “the WOW factor.” To be left “pleasantly surprised” by a consumer experience is the main aim, always should be for any service industry.
The Harvard Business Review published an excellent reference article, which supports the idea that “surprise is probably the most powerful marketing tool of all.”
In evidence, the article offered five reasons why…and each is a lesson that’s easily applied to marketing of medical services.
“Surprise is addictive. Surprise is like crack for your brain. Scientists at Emory and Baylor used MRIs to measure changes in human brain activity in response to a sequence of pleasurable stimuli. Reward pathways in the brain are triggered by unpredictability; meaning people are hardwired to yearn for the unexpected.
So “surprise” can change behavior. From a medical and dental point of view, we can define what our patient’s expectations are, and try to surpass them by the element of pleasant surprise.
SO…..What can you do to mix things up and break from tradition and routine, allowing you to exceed expectations?
Surprise Surprise there is no standard formula for “surprise and delight.” The answers will be in your own ideas on how to pleasantly surprise your patients.