NPS Best Practices

How NPS can help boost revenue in multi-location dental and dermatology practices

Kirsten Newbold-Knipp

AskNicely has a lot of clients in the specialty medical arena and I recently met with one of our leading dental clients to talk shop and share insights. We covered a lot throughout our conversation but kept coming back to the links between patient satisfaction, the role of the clinical team, and growth. 

The power of NPS in dental and dermatology practices

Operational leaders are typically familiar with NPS – but may not make the direct connection between their brand’s score and business success. 

NPS measures customer loyalty and satisfaction and asks: "How likely are you to recommend our service to a friend or colleague?" Respondents are categorized as promoters, passives, or detractors, and the score is derived by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.

When looking at AskNicely customers our data shows that NPS is particularly high in the dental and dermatology industries, likely due to their similarities as medical practices geared more at prevention and quality of life than emergency needs. The average provider in dental or dermatology scores in the low 70s and top providers achieve scores over 85. Research shows that every 7-point increase in NPS can yield a 1% uplift in revenue, according research from to the London School of Economics. So if teams can drive an improvement in patient experience, increasing NPS, then their day-to-day interactions can have a real impact on the bottom line. 

Notably, the brands I’m referencing are all AskNicely customers, and their investment in the right tools to improve suggests they are already pretty committed to great CX. Considering that 72% of patients consult online reviews when choosing a provider, you can’t afford to undervalue the power of these scores.

What drives patient satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction in dental and dermatology practices hinges on several factors, but consistent across all providers the number one factor driving NPS is the clinician themselves. Using AI to parse through data from numerous providers and hundreds of practices, we determined that the top two of three satisfaction drivers lie with the doctors, physician assistants, and hygienists.

  • Clinician friendliness: Top-scoring providers were associated with clinicians who exhibit strong bedside manners, clear communication, and warmth. This is likely due to the fact that patients value the friendliness and approachability of their clinical team.
  • Clinician punctuality and transparency: Our analysis showed that low-scoring clinics often struggle with issues related to timeliness and transparency. Patients appreciate when their clinical team is punctual and communication around wait times and procedures is clear and timely. This ensures that patients are well-informed and not kept waiting unnecessarily, which significantly boost satisfaction scores.
  • Price: While price and insurance concerns are often beyond a clinician's control, patients value clear expectations and communication about costs. Doing so can help mitigate sticker shock. Patients prefer to know what to expect financially, and addressing these concerns upfront can enhance their overall experience.

Too often, I hear that clinicians leave much of the patient experience and communication up to their office staff. They assume they have no responsibility beyond the clinical standard of care. But the reality is that clinical care is the bare minimum that patients expect. 

In fact, as non-experts, patients assume their clinical team is doing the right things from a medical perspective and are judging the rest of their overall experience on the softer side of medicine. Clinical teams that forget to create a personal connection may accidentally give their competitors a leg up. After all, patients are human and want to be treated with care and kindness.

How can you act on NPS insights to improve the patient experience?

Improving CX through insights from NPS and customer feedback doesn’t need to be complicated, but it does need to be a consistent part of your practice’s operating rhythm. That’s why it’s a great idea to come up with an NPS action plan.

Knowing where you stand with patients and seeking to improve daily is the foundation. Closing the loop with customers and empowering every member of your team to act on customer feedback is where the magic happens.

  • Define your NPS goal: Getting rough industry benchmarks is valuable, but don’t let a big gap discourage you. If your NPS is well below your peers, that simply means that every improvement you do make should have pretty notable growth impacts as you either lose fewer patients or start to see the results of positive reviews. But once you do achieve your goal, maintaining that NPS will be key to customer retention.
  • Close the customer loop: Patients who spend valuable time providing feedback should be rewarded with your attention. If they have positive feedback, thank them or ask if they’ll share their feedback as a review. More importantly, if you get negative feedback, don’t shy away from it. Feedback is the breakfast of champions and when a patient shares something constructive, best-in-class companies follow up. Let the patient know they’ve been heard and that you’re either working to make it right or share how that input may impact longer-term improvement decisions. You’ve got the chance to turn a detractor into a promoter and win them back before they tell others about their experience.
  • Act on CX feedback at every level: Empower your teams with patient insight. If your medical staff or hygienists don’t know that their demeanor or timeliness is causing issues, how can they ever improve? Helping them understand what’s going well and offering positive reinforcement for that behavior goes hand in hand with exposing patterns of poor behavior that they can learn from. This action will help you quickly impact the patient experience right at the frontline and improve outcomes for every patient and in turn, the business.

Achieving growth through improved NPS

Tracking and continuously improving NPS across your entire team is essential for driving customer satisfaction and revenue growth in dental and dermatology practices. By focusing on clinician friendliness, punctuality, transparency, and clear communication about finances, providers can create positive experiences that foster loyalty and promote business growth.

Investing in customer experience is not just about making patients happy—it's a strategic move that can yield tangible financial benefits. Here’s to elevating patient experience!

Kirsten Newbold-Knipp
About the author

Kirsten Newbold-Knipp

Kirsten joined AskNicely as CEO in 2023. She has two decades of experience in the tech world bringing products to market, supporting customers, and accelerating growth at companies like HubSpot and FullStory. As a recovering hotelier responsible for motivating teams to deliver luxury experiences, she has a passion for transforming the customer experience and empowering the front line.

Kirsten Newbold-Knipp
About the author

Kirsten Newbold-Knipp

Kirsten joined AskNicely as CEO in 2023. She has two decades of experience in the tech world bringing products to market, supporting customers, and accelerating growth at companies like HubSpot and FullStory. As a recovering hotelier responsible for motivating teams to deliver luxury experiences, she has a passion for transforming the customer experience and empowering the front line.

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