4 Ways to Improve the Patient Check-In Experience

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While the exterior of your medical aesthetics clinic may be inviting, your marketing may be targeted, and you may be booking more consultations, your conversion rates won’t grow if you neglect your patients’ check-in experience.

Each prospective patient’s first in-person interaction with your clinic and staff will likely be during patient check-in. When the patient first called the clinic, they may have been impressed by your staff’s knowledge and friendliness, which led them to book a consultation. However, this positive first impression can be easily reversed if your patient’s first in-clinic interaction isn’t just as positive. To improve your patient check-in process and boost conversions, consider the following tips.

Greet Each Patient Immediately

While your receptionist likely has a busy day, it is imperative that he or she greets each patient in a friendly manner and makes eye contact the moment they arrive. If your receptionist neglects this first step, your new patient may feel ignored or that they may be placing a burden on your already busy staff. If the newcomer happens to be nervous when they arrive, this feeling may become heightened if they are not warmly greeted.

A good rule of thumb is to ensure patients are greeted with a smile as they walk through the door and receive a verbal welcome within 30 seconds of their entry—this is the period in which most people create their first real impression of you and your clinic.

Avoid Having a Lineup at Reception

You don’t want the newcomer to wait more than a minute or two at check-in. It is especially important that prospective patients don’t stack up around the reception desk. If a delay at patient check-in is unavoidable, have the receptionist suggest that the other patients waiting in line take a seat and note that they’ll be with them shortly. This allows patients to relax, rather than impatiently stand and shift in line as they wait around the desk. This will also help to avoid having your clinic appear as though your services are slow or you’re behind schedule.

Don’t Address Patients from Across the Room

When the receptionist is free, have them come out from behind the desk, find the patient, and invite him or her to come up and check in. Doing so will nix any louder speaking required to get the patient’s attention from across the room, ensuring the waiting area remains a calm and relaxing space. This gesture also subtly shows that you and your staff are willing to go out of your way to ensure prospective patients have a positive experience.

Consider Eliminating the Waiting Room Altogether

While the above tips will improve patients’ experiences during check-in, you may want to consider eliminating the reception and waiting areas entirely. This may sound like an impossible move, but some clinics have successfully done it, replacing their receptionists with assistants who greet patients at the door and escort them to an exam or treatment room. If you market your clinic as a luxury medical aesthetics clinic promising discretion, this may be the perfect solution to bring your clinic in line with your marketing and improve patient conversions.

For those looking to make an even better first impression, you may consider asking your assistant to make his or herself familiar with the patients’ names and reasons for visiting prior to their arrivals. This way, your staff will be able to greet prospective patients by name and have any forms or check-in papers for that patient waiting in the exam or treatment room, creating a flawlessly smooth check-in process.

The Bottom Line

Whatever way you choose to improve your patient check-in space and system, always keep this one question top of mind: If I were a patient, do I feel that the staff are going out of their way to treat me as a valued prospective patient, or is the check-in process designed for the convenience of the staff? It may be a tough question to answer, but ensuring each action and your reception area speaks to how your practice values everyone it serves will make a powerful first impression on your prospective patient.

For more information and insider tips on how to turn prospects into paying patients, download our eBook, “Mastering the Art of the Aesthetic Consult,” today!

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