Surveys can save you time and wasted effort. By properly utilizing surveys, you will not be shooting in the dark when you implement a new idea. You will not be left wondering why people are not coming back to your practice. You will know what your public needs and wants, so you can provide exactly that.
Have you ever come up with a “great” new idea, implemented it, and when nothing significant or productive occurred as a result, found yourself tearing out your hair wondering what went wrong? Or even worse, tearing out the hair of your staff because “new patients are down!”
Have you pondered over why new patients have dropped off even though you’re doing the same things that you have always done? It might be possible that the things you and others have been doing for many years are no longer effective. These scenarios are likely due to a failure to survey.
There are answers to marketing problems that you simply cannot procure from any source other than your clients/patients themselves. The motto in marketing is “know before you go,” if you don’t “know,” what the problem is, your patient surveys will tell you where to “go”.
Constructing the Survey
Although surveys will vary from practice to practice, there are some guidelines to follow:
- Indicate to your patient why you are doing a survey, and thank them for participating.
- Ask only relevant questions in your survey. Restrict your questions to important factors that will actually tell you if what you are doing is effective, or actions you can change for the better.
- Keep the survey brief. Write the survey so that it takes no more than 3-5 minutes to complete. If the survey is too long, your patients may feel annoyed, overburdened, bored or will not respond.
- Construct a survey that asks for specific answers. Create questions that provide you with information rather than having only “yes” or “no” answers.
- Allow patients the option to remain anonymous if they so choose.
- Provide a way for them to receive a response to their questions or input if they desire.
- If appropriate, set a deadline for the receipt of the surveys. Tell participants why you have a deadline and when it is.
- Graciously thank your patients for taking their time to fill out the survey.
- For mail-out surveys, include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Recipients will be much more likely to send it back to you.