In this series, NurseTogether contributor Barbara Phillips, MN, GNP-BC, FNP-BC, provides entrepreneurial guidance specifically for Nurse Practitioners who are interested in starting and growing their own businesses.
If you're into nurse practitioner business, chances are you looking for ways to improve your service, as well as market your business. One of the best marketing tools available is word-of-mouth. Truly nothing else beats it. We are all looking for proof from someone else.
As a business owner, we want to know just what our current clients thinks about our business - what we're doing right and where we need to improve. We all have clients that tell us how much they love us to our face, but we need a bit more of a candid response in order to improve and grow.
Being able to survey our clients anonymously allows us to really find out what they think. Sometimes when the feedback is not so good, we all tend to want to keep it to ourselves. However, given the shield of anonymity, we can often be more candid.
Consider having some sort of a rating scale next to each question such as a 1-5 system that corresponds from poor to excellent, or boxes that they can check off rating you in a similar manner. Depending on the question, you may want include a variety of answers they can check off or even have open ended questions.
Consider asking questions about the following items:
- Wait time (wait time for appointment, waiting room time)
- Staff and provider courtesy
- Cleanliness of office, waiting room, bathrooms
- Quality of the care received
- Date and time of appointment, as well as days and times of your office hours
- Financial issues, billing procedures
Additionally, you'll want to include the following questions:
- Are you likely to utilize our services again?
- How likely are you to recommend our services to others?
- Do you have any additional suggestions or comments for us?
You will want to end the survey with thanking the individuals for taking the time to give you feedback.
You can administer the surveys in a variety of ways.
- The most hands off manner is to leave the surveys in your waiting room with a locked box to collect them. (You'll also likely have the lowest return)
- You can hand a survey to each individual as they come into the office. The collection box can also be in the waiting room for anonymous deposits.
- You can hand a survey to each individual and have the collection box in the exam rooms. That may not feel so anonymous for some people.
- You can mail your clients the survey, including a self addressed stamped envelope.
- You can provide your clients with an online survey they can take anonymously at any time. You can use a tool such as Survey Monkey. You'll be able to create the survey and link to it from your practice website.
However, you decide to survey your clients, make sure you pay attention to them, and consider what changes you can make to improve your service. If your clients believe that you are actually listening to them, and implementing change, they will be far more likely to recommend your services in the future.
Ready to become a Nurse Practitioner business owner? Then I would like to invite you to claim your free instant access to the audio replay our popular teleseminar, “Getting Started in Your Own Practice”, when you visit NP Business.
Not only will you get access to over an hour of content that will assist you in getting started, but you’ll also be subscribed to Progress Notes: Business Tips for Entrepreneurial Clinicians.