When it comes to patient satisfaction, the journey begins well before your client shows up for their treatment. Beginning with the consultation, you have the opportunity to guide patient expectations, make the right choices for their aesthetic goals, and make sure they’re getting the most out of their clinic appointments by practicing the proper preparation and aftercare. Below, we cover the essential steps to follow to prep patients before their treatments in order to ensure a positive experience.
Here’s what you can do to make the most out of your initial consultation with each client:
Listen. The key to a successful doctor-patient consult is to listen. They’ve already chosen to come to your clinic, so there’s no need to dwell on your credentials or past successes beyond a quick introduction. Patients want to feel like they are being listened to, especially since discussing aesthetic concerns can make some people feel vulnerable.
Identify the priority concern. Potential clients will come to you with a variety of aesthetic concerns which may fall into one of the following four major categories: beautification, transformation, correction, or positive aging. They may have very general or very specific ideas of what they’d like to address. During the consultation, it’s your task to discern what their needs are and if your services or offerings are a good fit for them. Once you have, you’ll be in a position to discuss more specific possible treatments, and begin to develop a customized aesthetic treatment plan.
Discuss treatment options. Once you’ve assessed the client’s needs, inform them about the treatment options that will best address their concerns. There may be more than one, or a range of invasive vs. non-invasive treatments for them to choose from. Be upfront about procedure outcomes and downtime, and use plain language. There’s no reason to be covert about the science behind medical aesthetics—your clients will simply google the information for themselves, so it’s best if they receive the correct info from you first.
Make a plan. Once you and your client have chosen a treatment, use it as a jumping-off point to create a customized plan that incorporates both their short-term and long-term aesthetic goals. Having a plan personally tailored to their needs makes patients feel heard and does good for your business by creating a reason for them to return.
Besides getting a basic medical history, here is the key information you’ll want to discuss with clients before each treatment:
Asking your patients about their expectations for each treatment is a necessary step on the path to patient satisfaction. When results fall short of expectations; this is where dissatisfaction creeps in. That makes it your responsibility to manage patient expectations from the start, and this can be done through simple discussion. Ask them how they expect to look and feel after a single treatment, or after several treatments if that is part of their treatment plan, to determine if their expectations are reasonable. Then, adjust accordingly by explaining the results that can be achieved. Above all, be forthcoming about all aspects of the aesthetic treatment your client has chosen to undertake. They should know what to expect in terms of cost, results, required downtime, and the experience of having the treatment itself. That way, when everything goes better than planned, they will leave your clinic more than satisfied.
The best time to discuss aftercare with your patients is actually before the treatment itself. Be sure to emphasize the importance of aftercare and especially sun care for your patients to secure the best results from their treatment. Offering them some post-treatment literature is a good way to ensure they’ll be able to follow your advice at home. This can be a brief list of what they should do in the weeks following a procedure, customized for each treatment. Educate them on possible side effects and what to do if these occur, including informing them if you offer an after-hours emergency line.
We hope that this guide has left you feeling more than prepared to set your patients on their aesthetic journey on the right foot.