The Importance of Patient Surveys

Many potential patients make the decision to come to your practice based on reviews they have read.

Over the last 20 years, the importance of patient surveys and reviews has grown tremendously. Even still, many of the dental practices I work with don’t want to bother the patient by sending them a survey to fill out or ask them to fill out an online review. This is a big mistake. Over 80% of potential patients make their decision to come to your practice based on reviews they have read.

Requesting feedback shows your patients that you care about their in-office experience. But one of the biggest mistakes you can make with your survey is asking too many questions. Keep your survey short and to the point. Ask questions that you truly want to know about, such as:

  • How were patients welcomed when they came into the office?
  • Were they seen on time?
  • Was the front office and/or operatory clean and maintained?
  • Did they have any problems scheduling their appointment?

When creating a survey, make sure to leave a comments section. Patients that take the time to fill out a survey appreciate the option to have their comments considered.

Industry standards for patients who actually complete satisfaction surveys are around 5-30%. If the patient has developed a relationship with the practice, there tends to be a higher response rate. As you develop a relationship with your patients you may find it easier to ask for their feedback.

I had an office I worked that had over 80% of their surveys returned, which is quite impressive given the statistics. But they were mostly negative with comments about the high wait times for the doctor. Sadly, the doctor refused to listen to the patient comments and his active patient base started dropping steadily. Make sure that if you are going to give patients an option to be heard that you make a point to take those comments into consideration.

Surveys can help your doctor and team improve, and can even provide validation that you are giving great customer service. If you do receive a negative comment or review, make sure to address the issue right away. Be willing to change or improve based on the responses.

Reputation Manager can help you send a survey after each appointment. Responses occur in real time, so you can take quick action to address complaints and improve patient satisfaction. You can also track how patients rate your practice over time.

Learn More

If you found these ideas helpful, you may be interested in learning more about the Dentrix Profitability Coaching Program, where these, and many other great concepts, strategies and ideas are taught to you and your team by one of our highly skilled and experienced profitability coaches. To find out more about Dentrix Profitability Coaching, click here.

Read more about using Reputation Manager to build your online reputation with surveys and reviews.

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By Kim Thornton
Henry Schein One Practice Consultant