Do Dentists Need a New Patient Survey?

I’m often asked whether a dentist should send a survey to new patients. On one hand, surveys provide information that you can use to improve your customer service. On the other hand, consumers are inundated with surveys.

You’re probably asked to complete a survey at over half of the stores and restaurants you visit…the request is often printed on the bottom of your receipts, along with a promise to enter your name to win a bazillion dollars if you complete the survey. The survey craze is a national problem. Just yesterday, a popular radio station featured the topic of “too many surveys” on their morning show, here in Dallas-Ft. Worth. When is the last time you completed a survey, just to offer constructive advice (not to register a complaint)?

Why to Have a Survey

That said, surveys for new dental patients can be a good tool for improvement and quality control. You’re in and out of your office every day, and you probably think you know the impression you make on new patients. However, you aren’t on the phone when they call, in the front office when they arrive, or at checkout when they leave. You may not know how long they waited to see you, whether they were greeted with a smile or frown, and what the “temperature” is in your office. The kicker is, if you are not going to review survey results and take action toward improvement, surveys are a waste of time for you and the patients who complete them!

5 Tips for a GOOD Dental Survey for New Patients

  1. Ask specific questions that will help you improve your service in targeted areas.
  2. Keep the survey short; 5 questions is adequate.
  3. Have a print version of the survey in your office for pateintswho do not use email.
  4. Contract with a patient communication company, like Demandforce, to manage your survey data.
  5. Assign one employee to compiling survey results and presenting them monthly in staff meetings.

Why Use a Patient Communication Service?

Unless you or one of your employees has the time and dedication to managing email lists, creating a survey, sending emails, and compiling survey results, your efforts for a survey will never pay off. MDPM does NOT offer a full-service patient communication package. We do offer newsletters and email blasts, but not surveys. Why? Because the purpose of a survey is to acquire information that may be used to improve your business – which is management consulting, not marketing. If you need a service to manage your data, consider Demandforce or a similar company.

How to Manage Surveys Yourself

As I stated earlier, if you or an employee will make time to manage a survey project, you don’t have to contract with a patient communication service. Tomorrow, I’ll give you 10 steps to managing a new patient survey. Subscribe to the blog now, or check in tomorrow for the article.

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about online marketing, or you’re ready to freshen up your website, call MDPM today at 972-781-8861 and talk to Jill.