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Tailoring Consultations and Practice Procedures

By: Catherine Maley
Posted: November 2, 2010, from the November 2010 issue of
Physician sitting at a computer, explaining something to a patient

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Abstract: Seeing a physician can be an unnerving experience for patients, even if it’s for aesthetic reasons. So physicians and other medical aesthetic professionals need to take the time to develop a rapport with patients and create ways for them to understand any explanations necessary during consultations and other appointments in order to gain the business of loyal clients.

It’s imperative you know what your patients want, what they think about you and your staff, and how to set expectations so they are satisfied. So satisfied, in fact, they return again and again, and bring their friends with them.

However, due to job loss, the credit crunch and other factors, patients today need to be surer than ever their investment will be worth the time, money and effort. If patients think you offer only a cookie-cutter approach with no regard to personal preferences, you will lose them—and their revenues and referrals.

Research shows it is impossible to generalize about patient relations, especially when it pertains to patient preferences. Everybody is different and thus their perceptions are varied.1 Here are some examples:

  • While some patients think an aesthetically gorgeous office indicates pride and success, others feel it is intimidating.
  • Some patients think physicians do not spend enough time with them and feel rushed, while others feel too much time spent with patients leads them to wonder why the physician wasn’t busier.
  • Some patients think physicians are incredibly thorough when explaining various available procedures; others feel oversold and confused with so many options and are thus unable to make a decision.1,

When patients were probed further as to why they chose a particular physician, the consistent answer was patients felt a “connection” with that physician. They had developed a rapport and trusted that this person understood them and would give them the best possible results.1

Create rapport