Practice Management: An Inside View

Mystery shopping is a valuable tool for enhancing sales and improving patient satisfaction. Here’s what it entails.
An Inside View

One of the most effective ways to truly understand how patients and prospective patients see your practice is through the eyes of a mystery shopper: someone who will measure and evaluate the overall customer experience at a practice. The ideal mystery shopper is an individual who not only understands how a practice is supposed to work, but also how a typical patient will see the practice during the intake and treatment process. The most valuable feedback will come from a shopper who represents the kind of person you would like to have as a patient.

We have been providing mystery shopping services for many years; in that time we have learned quite a bit about how to use these professionals most effectively, and where cosmetic and medical aesthetic practices are falling short.

In this article, we will offer guidance on how to work with mystery shoppers and highlight some of the most common problems encountered at aesthetic practices.

What Mystery Shoppers Evaluate

  • Practice website: Does it invite new patients to call for an appointment?
  • Receptionist: Does the initial phone call result in the caller scheduling an appointment?
  • Location and signage: Is the office easy to find and welcoming to a first-time prospect?
  • Front desk staff: Does staff make the patient feel welcome and important?
  • Registration forms: Are the forms branded, simple to complete and nonrepetitive?
  • The consult: Does the patient feel comfortable, and does the consult lead to a procedure booking?
  • The sales close: Does the patient feel comfortable, and was the physician and/or staff member effective in dealing with objections and securing a booking?
  • The consult follow-up: Does the practice follow up with prospective patients, and is this done in a manner that makes the shopper want to return?
  • Overall impressions: Is the shopper impressed with the overall customer experience?
  • What Mystery Shoppers Find

    While most physicians hope to hear that they and their staff are doing everything right, there are always areas that could improve—and usually, there are areas that demand immediate action. Following are some of the issues we have identified while conducting hundreds of mystery shops.

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