5 Simple Ways to WOW Your Weight Loss Patients & Team
— By Karol Clark, MSN, RN
Creating a WOW experience for your weight loss patients and your team happens when you exceed expectations through a series of unforgettable positive interactions.
Creating a WOW experience for your weight loss patients and your team may sound like hard work, but it is actually easier than you think. It is also usually found to be personally rewarding and fun!
You have likely heard the famous quote from the American memoirist, poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”1 This sentiment is at the heart of creating a WOW experience.
Benefits of a WOW Experience
If you have ever had a WOW experience, you know how great it feels. In fact, a WOW experience has been referred to as an amazing experience, something unforgettable, something consistently above average, and often unexpected.
Creating a WOW experience doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money or go overboard with your efforts. It is simply providing services and building relationships that are above what is expected on average. It is paying attention to what is important to your patients and your team – often the “little things.” This also makes the job of any leader easier since there are fewer complaints to manage.
Below are some benefits of creating such an experience:
- Greater Loyalty: When patients and team members are loyal, they tend to support and even try to protect you when times are good or when the going gets rough.
- Positive Reviews/Referrals: Happy patients and team members enjoy sharing their experience with others. This attracts more patients and makes finding new team members easier when needed.
- Happier People: Happy people tend to find solutions to issues rather than complain. And, happy people tend to stay around longer creating a higher retention rate for patients and lower turnover for your team.
- More Sales: When people enjoy their experience and your products, they tend to want more of what you offer. This creates a higher lifetime value for your patients.
- Consistent Growth & Profitability: Combine loyal, happy patients and team members, new referrals and more sales and you end up with consistent growth and profitability.
5 Ways to WOW Your Weight Loss Patients
Health care consumerism is a growing trend — especially when it comes to weight loss. Your patients have a choice and they are shopping around to find just the right fit with the person, practice, program and products that will help them attain the transformation they desire most. Usually this includes the positive physical, emotional and behavioral outcomes that weight loss and improved health can bring.
Here are 5 ways to stand out in the crowd of choices:
- Personalize Their Patient Experience: People like to be respected and remembered. Personalizing their experience by calling them by their (preferred) name, remembering (even with a computer alert) a special detail about them or their family or favorite products they buy in your store helps to let them know how special they are and how much you value them. A personalized secure text or e-mail — or even an old fashioned thank you card — goes a long way as well.
- Optimize your Online and Onsite Environment: If you (or a team member) haven’t experienced your practice firsthand by reviewing your online website/social media as well as listening to new patient calls, appointment reminders, patient education and EMR portals, now is the time to do so. It can be quite an eye opener and result in many “tweaks” that make a significant impact. This also goes for your office décor, cleanliness, wait time, comfort of chairs, music, signage and patient flow through the office.
- Be as Transparent as Possible: Your patients appreciate transparency when it comes to realistic expectations, pricing, care pathways, education and scheduling. Whether verbal, written, video or audio communication, be transparent and openly answer any questions.
- Create Convenience: With online technology, it has never been as easy as it is today to provide convenient care to patients. From wearables to secure apps and everything in between that is provided by your EMR or integrates with it can create seamless guided care. And most can be automated, yet personalized, to ensure patients stay more engaged and aware of every step leading them to success.
- Listen & Communicate Often: Listening can be thought of as a lost art with busy schedules and technology demands. Taking the time to actively listen to patient questions and concerns before you prescribe your treatment can be one of the biggest differentiating factors for you and your practice. Particularly if your care supports and guides them to the transformation they desire most.
5 Ways to WOW Your Team
Unintentional team turnover can be very expensive and disruptive. However, when you take the time to WOW your team, they better understand how to “pass it on” to your patients. They are also much more likely to want to support your practice and contribute to patient and business success long term.
Some ways to ensure this happens is to do the following:
- Communicate a Clear Vision, Expectations & Purpose for Every Position: Your team wants to know the mission of your organization, what you value, your vision for the future, how they fit in and clear expectations outlining what success looks like for their specific position. They want to fit in and make a difference and ambiguity will create uncertainty. This needs to be clarified prior to hire and if not done yet, there’s no time like the present to review your organizational chart, map this out and share it with pride and excitement.
- Discover, Respect and Maximize Individual Team Talents: Your team is a gold mine of talent and promise. Take the time to talk to your team individually to discover what they enjoy most at work, what frustrations they have, suggestions for improvement, growth goals, and other talents they have that may additionally support the practice vision. Don’t be afraid to provide them with challenging assignments. This shows your interest and desire to have them as an active contributing team member.
- Motivate Success: Positive reinforcement is much more likely to result in desired behavior than criticism or shame. If you are a leader in your organization, help others succeed through example, specific instructions, constructive criticism and support.
- Reward Good Work: When someone does a good job, there’s no need to wait until their next evaluation. Take note and commend them in the moment with a comment, note or other gesture. Reward your team based upon what motivates them most. Which, coincidentally, you may have to ask them about. And most of the time, it’s not money.
- Be Firm, Fair & Show You Care: Your team is always watching. Having clear guidelines, enforcing them fairly and showing you care about them as a person will serve you well. This will also guide you during times when there is a team member that is not a good fit for their position or the practice.
Every interaction between your patients and team are opportunities to WOW them. Be an example of how to make the most of these moments and before you know it, people will recognize your efforts and even model your behavior.