Surgical Aesthetics

JAN-FEB 2014

For plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery trends, techniques and equipment, plastic and cosmetic surgeons turn to Surgical Aesthetics for the latest on breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty and more.

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Private Practice The patient that requires the most trust-building is the one who finds you through the internet. Create a Warm Welcome Each time a patient comes to your practice, remember that she likely feels awkward and nervous. She is already uncomfortable with her appearance, and now she has to discuss these concerns with a stranger. So, what does the patient see when she enters your office? Is it aesthetically pleasing? Is it neat and uncluttered? An aesthetic patient equates a tidy office with skill and expertise. It is vital that at least one employee is charged with keeping the waiting room and reception area clean and clutter-free. Tastefully displayed in-house signage educates the patient on your skill and expertise. While too little signage leaves money on the table, too much signage is chaotic and confusing. Your front desk staff should also embody the mission of your practice, from dress code to demeanor. This starts by hiring employees who understand customer service and providing staff with ongoing training. Educate all employees on your credentials and on each procedure you offer, so they can confidently relay why you are the best choice to the prospective patient. Carry Through in the Consult Everything up until now has been a preamble to the consult. Greet each patient with a smile and a handshake. Make eye contact, address the patient by name and listen to her concerns without interrupting. All of these things communicate to the prospective patient that you care about her. Once you've determined what you feel is the best option, share your recommendations in layman's terms as well as other patients' success stories. Let her know that she is a good candidate for the procedure, and that you are confident she will get a good result. Then escort her back to 10 Surgical Aesthetics ❘ January/February 2014 your staff to finalize the details. The patient now decides between a yes, a no or a maybe. If you have set the stage, perfected your processes and brought your Best You to the consultation, the patient should be ready to decide or to at least be direct with you about what she is thinking. Two effective strategies to help the patient make a decision include a Sense of Urgency and Scarcity. A Sense Of Urgency could include a reason she should act now rather than wait. For example: you have a very exclusive offer that is only good this month. Another strategy is Scarcity. For example, you have only two surgery openings this month or she will have to wait. A patient's experience with your front line staff must mirror what she has heard about you elsewhere. An aesthetic patient is most likely to book a procedure when she is comfortable with the office, the staff and the surgeon, and when she feels confident that this is the doctor who can give her the result she is seeking. Because you are dealing with an emotional decision, there are no guarantees on how a patient will react. But if you continue to perfect your systems and staff training, instead of a "no" or "I'll think about it," more patients will feel comfortable enough to respond with a resounding "yes." ❖ Catherine Maley, MBA, is the president of Cosmetic Image Marketing and author of Your Aesthetic Practice: What Your Patients Are Saying. Contact her at 877.339.8833, CosmeticImageMarketing.com. © ISTOCKPHOTO.COM has expressed interest. Follow up by sending a welcome package that outlines your credentials, the procedure FAQs, patient reviews and testimonials, before-and-after photos, directions to your office, acceptable forms of payment and what to expect during the initial consult. This creates a bond, because she now feels as if she knows you better.

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