Net promotion is THE most important factor when it comes to growing business at your urgent care center.

“If growth is what you’re after, you won’t learn much from complex measurements of customer satisfaction or retention. You simply need to know what your customers tell their friends about you.”

That advice comes from Frederick Reichheld, who wrote The Ultimate Question 2.0. The book explains the importance of earning referral power in consumers—so, going beyond their individual customer satisfaction to a point where they’re likely to recommend your company to a friend or family member.

The question: How likely are you to recommend this urgent care center to friends and family?” is the best predictors of repeat business and long-term success. You should ask this question in some form as part of every patient survey conducted at the urgent care center.

You can use this question to determine your “Net Promoter Score.” And you should—it’s a measurement system used by some of the country’s most robust companies in the country (Procter & Gamble, American Express, Zappos, and Amazon).

Alan Ayers also explains the tool in this episode of the “Just Checking In” video blog.

The Net Promoter Score is simply the percentage of detractors subtracted from the percentage of promoters of your urgent care center. Detractors are any respondents giving a score of 0-6 (on a scale of 1-10); passives are defined as those giving “neutral” score of 7 or 8; promoters are your 9s and 10s.

It’s important to remember that this investment in customer service is really an investment in marketing. A dissatisfied patient not only won’t return to your center, but often they post negative feedback on social media. So, you’re losing a patient and will have to spend marketing dollars to find a new one—plus, you have to put marketing efforts into countering the negativity on social media. It is always cheaper and more efficient to keep your existing customer base happy than have to go out and lure in new ones.

Your strategy should be threefold:

  • Increase the number of promoters.
  • When possible, convert the neutrals to promoters.
  • And neutralize the detractors.

The best approach with detractors is to investigate what made their experience unpleasant and how you can solve the issue(s). This may neutralize the complaint from this patient—and potentially others. It’s difficult to elevate detractors or passives into promoters, but you should always try to mitigate the damage.

And remember to keep promoters happy. Don’t rest on your laurels in customer appreciation or marketing efforts. You can improve the relationship with them by sending offers or coupons for service, and reminders about health initiatives (such as flu shots).

Check back all this month for marketing tips and strategies we’re offering for Urgent Care Awareness Month. And send any specific marketing questions or topics you’d like to see addressed to dwallheimer@practicevelocity.com.