User experience (or UX) describes the quality of a patient’s or potential patient’s interactions with you. It’s a key part of website design – but it’s so much more than that.
UX and your website
A good website is easy to navigate, provides the information its users seek and makes it easy for them to take the next step, such as buying a product or booking an appointment.
Does your website provide a great user experience? It’s often a hard question to answer yourself. You may need to ask friends or family to browse it and tell you whether they can easily find key information such as:
- Your practice’s contact details and opening hours
- The skills of your team – their bios, qualifications and areas of expertise or special interest
- Details of the services you offer
- How to book an appointment or order a product (you’d be surprised how often that information is missing, meaning the business loses bookings and sales).
If the people you ask can’t find information quickly and easily, it’s odd-on that you’re losing potential patients. Consider a review or redesign of your website to improve user experience.
It pays dividends.
UX beyond your website
A good website is a bit like a restaurant menu – it entices you to order. But if the waiter’s rude and the food tastes awful, you won’t be going there again in a hurry!
The rest of your practice or business has to deliver a positive experience too, at every stage of the sales funnel. That includes person-to-person interactions and other digital touchpoints.
But whether someone becomes or remains a client or patient depends hugely on what it’s like to engage with you in person.
That includes many aspects of your practice, such as:
- How quickly the phone is answered
- The friendliness and efficiency of the reception staff
- The expertise of your clinical staff and the way they relate to patients
- Factors like comfortable surroundings, easy parking and a nearby coffee spot
- The right price point!
Customer service is hugely important. People measure a restaurant by the quality of the food and they measure other businesses by the quality of their products and service.
How do you find out how you’re doing in these respects? You could regularly survey patients for their feedback and ask for their input on improvements you could make. You could also quietly set up some ‘mystery shopper’ patients who will test your systems by phoning your practice, for example.
Once you’ve set up a process of receiving regular feedback from clients, you need to set time aside to consider it. Pay particular attention to any themes that emerge (e.g. several different people say the receptionist seems rude or rushed) or to any constructive suggestions.
If you’ve received feedback about a staff member’s performance, raise it with the relevant person privately as part of your line manager responsibilities.
If you’ve received suggestions about improving other aspects of your business, then you could bring them to the team’s attention at a staff meeting. The team may have useful insights about how well the idea would work in practice and can then be engaged in its implementation.
As well as your website, your potential or current patients or customers may:
- Follow you on social media
- Use your app (if you have one)
- Receive your emails
- Receive SMS reminders from you about their bookings
- Complete digital registration forms or consent forms.
Each of these touchpoints should be a good reflection of you. You should look and sound the same as you do on your website in terms of your branding, imagery and tone of voice.
How can we help?
We love helping healthcare businesses to reach and retain patients. We have deep expertise in all aspects of AHPRA- and TGA-compliant marketing across websites, emails, social media and SEO (making Google love you!).
Through our offshoot, Splice Consulting, we’ve also helped many healthcare businesses assess their overall performance and identify and overcome factors that are limiting their growth. Often, that comes down to the quality of user experience across the whole customer journey. If you’d like to explore how we could help you, please book your free 30-minute consultation with one of our senior healthcare marketing specialists. We’re looking forward to it!