How and Why to Survey Your Patients
It’s important to receive patient feedback to spot inefficiencies in your patient care and improve your eyecare practice, but creating the perfect survey can be a challenge for some practices. Luckily, VisionWeb’s created a free kit of patient surveys that you can download here.
The surveys you distribute and how you solicit responses will vary depending on what information you are hoping to collect. That’s why the first step is to create goals: what do you want to learn? What parts of your practice are you optimizing or investing in? What parts can you not change?
There’s a fine balance between collecting valuable, deep information from your optometry patients and overwhelming them with requests. If you send them too many emails, the most important patient recall reminders will get lost in the noise. We think we’ve figured out the right formula for how many surveys, questions, and review requests you can send your patients. Post-exam surveys can improve your ranking on Google, help increase your reviews, and give insight into what’s working well and what isn’t. Now, how do you go about collecting responses?
If you’re providing incentive, you can ask more questions in a full survey like the ones we’ve included here. Generally, incentivizing isn’t necessary if you’re sending out a single question or even a 3 question survey. However, offering a coupon, discount, or raffle ticket for a bigger prize can be beneficial if you need reviews, have a small patient base, or have a longer survey.
Our suggestion for incentives is to keep them small at first. Based on the success of smaller incentives, you can decide whether you want to increase the stakes. If your software or email client allows, you can even A/B test your recall. However, always keep your budget in mind.
Depending on the patient recall system you’re using, you can generate online reviews after your survey questions. For example, you can send a text to all your patients after their exam asking them to give you a quick review and provide a link to your Google My Business page, Yelp page, or website.
Some systems are even more sophisticated and allow you to send a text that simply asks one question such as “How satisfied were you with your visit?”. If the response is positive, only then will the system solicit an online review request from the patient. Therefore, we recommend shopping around for a recall system that allows you to tie-in online reviews. Be strategic when sending out review requests, because both Google and Yelp have strict rules when they suspect review solicitation.
Download 4 pre-made optometry patient surveys here