Mention data mining and you probably think of Fortune 500 companies or a large hospital system, but data mining is for small business, as well. Useful data can help you to improve customer service to your patients. The data items that may help your practice include:
Responses to email marketing/website/mobile offers
If your patients have signed up to received email newsletters, you can see how often they clicked to open the message, as well as how many took advantage of any offers you included in the message. Conversely, you can see if people didn’t respond and can make the necessary adjustments. Sometimes the change can be something as simple as a subject line and graphics that appeal to a specific demographic.
Speaking of which, who are your patients? If your practice is in business district of a city, your patients will most likely be adults age 18 to 45. If your practice is in shopping center in the suburbs, then you will be serving patients ranging from children to seniors. Learn what demographic groups make up your patient base and use that information to guide you in your customer outreach.
Store foot traffic
When it is busy in your practice? When is it quiet? Who comes in during the busy times? Who comes in when it isn’t busy? Have a staff member gather data about who comes in and when and go over it to see what services the patients come in for. Is for eye exams? Is it to pick up glasses or contacts? If you know who comes in and when, you can adjust staffing levels and promotions accordingly.
Glitches in the operation
Like it or not, the day doesn’t always go so smoothly. Be it patients who leave before seeing the doctor because they have been waiting too long or orders getting misplaced or patients showing up for appointments and they aren’t in the system. By tracking what happened and when, you can learn what to do to avoid the lapse. Usually these things happen due to high patient volume, low staff levels, or someone picks up the wrong item and doesn’t put it back in the correct place right away. Tracking when and where these things occur can help to reduce the number of glitches per week.
Getting former patients to return
“Why should I care about former patients?” You must be saying right now. “They left me.” There are two reasons. One, they still have vision needs. Their eyes didn’t disappear when they did. There is a chance they may be no longer happy at the practice they went to and need a reason to come back to your practice. Two, if they don’t want to change practices, they can possibly recommend your practice to a friend or family member. So look back in your records to see who hasn’t be around in a year or two and contact them.
There’s valuable information in the data that you generate and store. Take a look at it and see what you can do to improve your practice.