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Generating Revenue by Elevating the Customer Experience

Faces frowning, smiling

By Nathan Risley

When we talk about revenue in relation to our practices, we are generally referring to reimbursement and payment
models. But there is another side to generating lasting revenue, and it starts with how you treat your patients.

Customer service is something our practice takes very seriously. That feels silly to announce, but it is never a waste
of time to review what customer service might mean to your team and your clinic, especially in terms of your financial
success. If you hope to succeed financially, you must pay attention to the customer service side of your practice.
Patients leaving due to a negative customer service experience equates to lost revenue for your business.

We are proud of our relationships with our clients and the genuine connections we are able to make with them. There have
been plenty of anecdotes of the terrible service a client experienced in the past that gave them pause, or even had them
abandon treatment at another facility. I always imagine these horror stories to resemble the sitting area at the DMV, or
that waiting room scene from the 1988 film Beetlejuice—miserable people corralled in a small area with flickering
fluorescent lights blinking overhead. We know that the relationships we form with our clients have a positive impact on
our future financial outlook because they are loyal and speak highly of us to their friends and family.

Customer services begins far before the client enters our care. The tone of a clinic is established with the initial
phone call, e-mail, or walk-in from the client. With each of those interactions, we want to project our mission and
values and invite the client to be a part of them. Patients have a choice, and the financial success of our practice is
dependent upon patients choosing us as their therapy provider. From the first contact, we recognize that the client is
reaching out to improve their situation, and we communicate that we are grateful for the opportunity to help them reach
their goals.

Building trust with our clients is the core of an excellent customer experience. In every interaction we have with
someone who is new to our facility, we want to establish a bond that they can count on. Part of building trust includes
keeping clients well-informed about each step of the process and recognizing that they are making an investment into
their care. That investment begins with the intake process. We always offer to verify a client’s insurance benefits
while also asking them to call their carrier to gain a better understanding of the process, their benefits, and how
those benefits may affect their care. The most successful clients are the ones that embrace the collaborative effort it
takes to get them to their goals as effectively as possible. Obviously this pertains to their treatment, but also to the
financial side of healthcare that can sometimes feel like the most complicated part of their care. The more a patient
understands, the more likely it is that collecting the payment for their care will go smoothly.

Sincere interest in the lives of each client builds trust and has the added benefit of curating a pleasant environment
to work in. Many clients are anxious when sitting in your office for any number of reasons, and creating a safe,
comfortable place for them will help to quell those fears. Having inviting and personal conversations with clients
creates rapport and ideally adds to the positivity of the clinic’s atmosphere. Not all clients will have the same needs
when it comes to those personal interactions. Some are willing to share their life stories the first time you speak to
them, while others will have a more reserved demeanor and may not appreciate a deep dive into their personal
experiences. Part of elevating the customer experience is respecting your client’s unique wishes and tailoring your
approach to best serve them. Each client may appreciate different levels of socializing, and recognizing these nuances
goes a long way when establishing trust. When patients feel comfortable, and trust you to care for their needs, they
will return to your practice. Every loyal patient is a building block for your financial future.

Engagement is another staple to keeping clients satisfied. There are certainly many initiatives to retain such
engagement, like gifting each new patient a free t-shirt, but make sure there is reason and meaning behind those
initiatives. What good is a free t-shirt if it ends up in a donation bin? Think about the programs your clinic has in
place and evaluate their effectiveness from a financial standpoint. Is there a good return on your investment? Is the
initiative accomplishing what you hoped it would? Sometimes we spend significant amounts of money on things that may not
be effective and consequently are not wise financial choices. Instead of a free t-shirt for every patient, consider
gifting a t-shirt as a badge of honor when someone finishes a plan of care and meets their goals. This may have a
greater lasting effect since it celebrates the patient’s success and creates a raving fan who is invested in what you
do.

A positive customer experience will translate into an investment in our financial future. When we consider managing our
revenue, we need to look beyond a spreadsheet and evaluate how our patient experience is affecting the health and
viability of our clinic. Elevating the quality of those experiences will elevate the quality of your clinic’s financial
outlook. Great customer service experiences are rarely accidental, and maintaining those experiences takes foresight,
reflection, and adaptation. 


Nathan Risley

Nathan Risley is the office manager at Action Potential in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. He can be reached at
NRisley@reachyours.com.