Successful Aesthetic Patient Consultations
By Catherine Maley, MBA
It’s imperative to know what your patients want, what they think about you and your staff, and how to set expectations for the greatest amount of patient satisfaction. So I decided to research aesthetic patient consumers personally to learn, first-hand, what they were looking for when searching for an office and physician to perform cosmetic enhancements.
Know Your Target Patient
The 75 aesthetic patients I interviewed had had both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures. The median age was 44 years old. Respondents were 97% were female and were located throughout the US.
My objective was to determine trends and commonalities. Here are some of my findings:
- The main reason both genders were considering cosmetic procedures was to feel better about themselves and improve their looks.
- 90% of the time, confidence in the physician’s ability and staff interaction were more important than price.
- 86% of them referred at least two other people to that practice.
- 40% researched their procedure on the Internet ahead of time so they felt well-informed.
- 75% went for multiple consultations before making a decision.
- 80% felt they knew what to expect from having watched Extreme Makeover, Dr. 90210 and live surgeries and treatments on TV.
- Long waiting times were a recurring complaint .
Variation Among Aesthetic Patients
While the data was interesting, it was also apparent that I could not generalize about patient relations. This is especially true as pertains to people’s preferences; everybody is so different and their perceptions are so varied. For example:
- While some thought an aesthetically gorgeous office indicated pride and success, others found it was over the top and intimidating.
- While some thought the doctors did not spend enough time with them and felt rushed, other patients thought too much time with the doctor made them wonder why the doctor wasn’t busier.
- While some thought the physician thoroughly explained the various procedures available, others felt oversold and confused with so many options presented to them at one time.
The Deciding Factor
Probing further, I asked patients the bottom-line question: why did they choose that particular physician over the others?
The consistent answer, over and over, was that the aesthetic patient felt a “connection” with that physician. Their “gut feeling” or intuition was telling them this was the right physician for them. They had developed rapport. They trusted that particular physician to understand them and give them the best possible result.
Catherine Maley, MBA, is the author of Your Aesthetic Practice: A Complete Guide: What Your Patients Are Saying. As a speaker and consultant, she helps doctors market themselves to cosmetic patients. For free tips, resources and strategies, visit Cosmetic Image Marketing or give Catherine a call at (877) 339-8833.