Access and Reputation – Don’t say you have online scheduling when you don’t

Patients gain confidence when healthcare organizations deliver on their promises. This starts with the first impression, and appointment access. But the minute you let down the consumer with misleading information, you lose credibility. This happens frequently when providers taut that they offer online scheduling when what they really have is online requests. Big difference.

I was recently working with an organization that told me they had the best, easiest online scheduling available. When we were engaged to mystery shop them and compare to their competition, we found there was no online scheduling at all. Once we chose a physician, we could click on “schedule” only to get a note saying that someone would get back to us. Because we try to capture the patient’s emotional response to experience, it’s important to note that one shopper wrote, “This is a bait and switch. They don’t offer online scheduling.” That same person said she was not likely to recommend or return. Another example of the importance of access.

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