3 easy ways to build rapport with patients to enhance their med spa experience

19 April 2024

Does every patient who visits your med spa have a 5-star experience?

An exceptional experience can be the difference between a patient returning to your practice or seeking aesthetic treatments somewhere else.

A recent survey found that 80% of businesses believe they are competing with other businesses primarily on customer experience.

Most consumers say they will switch to a competitor if they have a negative experience with a business.

In a crowded industry like aesthetics, there is a lot of competition for patients. Offering a better patient experience than your competitors is a powerful way to stand out.

Many factors contribute to patient experience.

Patients have a positive experience when it is easy to work with your practice, their care is well-coordinated, and they establish good rapport with their providers.

Building good rapport, or connection, with patients is central to your role as a provider. The way you connect with patients should be rooted in respect, empathy, and commitment to delivering quality care.

Try these 3 easy tips to build excellent rapport with every patient your med spa serves.

1. Listen actively when patients speak.

Active, intentional listening builds rapport with patients by making them feel heard, appreciated and connected to you.

Active listening isn’t simply hearing a patient’s words. It means focusing on them completely to deeply understand their goals and concerns and communicating your understanding back to them.

Here’s how to practice active listening.

Be fully present

When you’re with a patient, give them your undivided attention. Avoid looking at your phone, daydreaming, and other distractions. In addition to listening, follow their nonverbal cues like body language, facial expressions, posture, and eye contact. 

Listen without judgment 

Remaining neutral and withholding judgment makes your patient feel accepted and comfortable sharing their thoughts. Even if you have a different view, try to be open-minded and understand their view empathetically.

Non-verbally show that you are listening 

The best way to demonstrate that you are present and paying attention is with non-verbal communication. For example, make eye contact, nod your head, and smile when appropriate. These gestures put your patient at ease and make them feel supported and heard.

Paraphrase the main points

When your patient finishes speaking, paraphrase what they said in your own words. Paraphrasing confirms that you captured their thoughts, concerns, and goals correctly. It helps your patient feel validated and understood and minimizes the chance of miscommunication.

For example, say:

  • Sounds like what’s most important to you is…

  • What I’m hearing is…

  • If I hear you correctly, you are saying…

  • To me, it sounds like…

Ask open-ended questions

Finally, ask open-ended questions to show you are interested and encourage them to respond thoughtfully. By asking clarifying questions, you eliminate confusion and ensure you heard the information correctly. 

For example, ask:

  • Can you tell me about that?

  • Did you have something in mind?

  • What have you tried so far?

  • What are your expectations?

  • Is there anything I can do?

Taking genuine interest in every patient’s challenges and goals improves their satisfaction and experience, especially because not all providers are good listeners.

A 2018 survey of over 1,000 healthcare providers found that 89% of nurses and 87% of physicians rated themselves good listeners even though studies suggest that the average clinician interrupts when patients speak and never asks for their perspective. 

Building strong rapport through active listening is an excellent way to differentiate yourself from the average provider.

2. Compliment them in a genuine way.

Complimenting your patient builds rapport by showing you are invested in making them look and feel good. Not all providers are willing to go that extra mile.

Find ways to compliment your patient before and after their treatment.

For example, if your patient is early for their appointment, your front desk can let them know they appreciate it. If your patient walks into the treatment room with a healthy glow, let them know it looks great.

You can say, “You look fantastic—did you just get back from vacation?”

After the treatment, let them know how much you like their new look.

You can say:

  • “Your eyes just lit up looking at yourself in the mirror. I think that facial was a perfect choice!”

  • "You have this amazing sparkle right now!”

  • “You have beautiful cheekbones and the filler really accentuates them.”

Sincerity and thoughtfulness are everything when it comes to compliments, so make sure your tone and body language communicate that what you say is genuine.  

3. Personalize their visit.

Studies show that personalization increases customer satisfaction by 20% and makes customers more likely to keep coming back to a business.

That’s because personalizing a customer’s experience builds rapport by making them feel special, valued, and cared for by you. 

There are many ways to personalize patient visits, but one easy thing you can do right away is use their name when you address them.

Using your patient’s name demonstrates respect, and for new patients, makes a positive first impression. Studies show that most people form a first impression in seconds

Active listening, giving genuine compliments, and personalizing patients’ experience by using their name are great ways to connect with patients and make sure they have an amazing experience with your practice. 

These strategies work best when everyone on your team is on board. It’s important to train your staff to offer the same level of respect, empathy and care to every patient that walks in. Especially when it’s a team effort, patients will be hard pressed to find another med spa that offers a better experience.

About the Author

Author

Sarah Eberle

RepeatMD Med Spa Marketing Expert

Sarah Eberle is a healthcare marketing expert with specialized knowledge in aesthetics, wellness, neuroscience, and cardiology.