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Clinical Solutions Blog

How to Measure Patient Satisfaction and Boost Your Referrals

Posted by Rick Lau on May 27, 2015 10:11:00 AM

How happy and satisfied are your patients with your clinic? Perhaps they have referred their friends, family and coworkers to your practice. Conversely, you may have had patients who come only a for a few physiotherapy or chiropractic visits only to disappear and not come back. Or why certain doctors have stopped referring massage therapy patients to your practice?
This Houdini act ends abruptly, with no explanation, and leaving you asking “what happened”. Word of mouth can be the best form of referral or the worst drawback for your clinic. Warren Buffett says it best “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it”. With the popularity of social media, these demoter's can destroy your brand and business you work so hard to build.
If you do not measure patient satisfaction, then your clinic is in a vulnerable state. Getting real feedback from your patients will make your business better. Which clinician is promoting your brand and which one is destroying it? Do you know who is promoting your clinic or destroying your brand once they leave your clinic? Don’t know where to start? Here are five steps to help you get started.

1. Introducing The Net Promoter System

Developed by Fred Reichheld, the Net Promoter System (NPS) measures the loyalty that exists between your patients and your clinic. NPS asks your patients the direct question: How likely is it that you would recommend [your clinic] to a friend, family or colleague? Patients respond to this question on a 0-to-10 point rating scale. The NPS divides your patients into three categories:

Promoters (score 9 - 10): Loyal enthusiasts who will keep coming to your clinic and refer others.
Passives (score 7 - 8): Satisfied but not enthusiastic patients who are susceptible to competitive offers. Passives only count towards the total number of respondents and does not directly affect the score.
Detractors (score 0 - 6): Unhappy patients who can damage your brand through negative word of mouth.

2. How to Calculate Your NPS Score

Your NPS score is calculated by the following formula:

NPS = (% of Promoters) - (% of Detractors)

What does the score mean?

The higher the NPS, the more likely your patients will recommend your clinic to others. An NPS that is positive is considered good, and an NPS of +50 is excellent. The NPS can be as high as +100 (everybody is a promoter) or as low as -100 (everybody is a detractor).

NPS is more than a numbers game. Only measuring your NPS does not lead to success. As a clinician, you can’t take action if you don’t know why a patient is or is not “likely to recommend”. Always follow up the NPS survey with an open-ended like "What would it take for us to earn a higher score?" or "Do you have any suggestions for how we can serve you better?" You can't fix what you don't know. 

3. What is a good NPS score?

If the most successful companies in the world are using NPS to measure customer satisfaction, you should be too. Don’t believe me? Check out the NPS for the following companies:

• Apple 67
• Netflix 54
• Trip Advisor 46

In the last 30 days, how many emails have you received from companies with strong brand loyalty such as PayPal and Amazon asking you “How likely will you recommend us to others?". Industry leaders build a complete operational model with NPS as its fundamental core. Benchmarking your performance to industry leaders will help you identify where your clinic stands compared to your competitors. To understand your NPS score, you must compare your score within your industry and against direct and indirect competitors.


Wondering how to get your patients to stick with the treatment plan?

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4. NPS case study 

Don’t know where to start? Here is a real life example of what we do at Clinic Supplies Canada (CSC). We send this NPS survey in the form of an email to every new customer after 30 days.


When our customer clicks on a number answering “How likely is it that you would recommend Clinic Supplies Canada to a friend or colleague?”, the email will direct them to a form where they can give us more information on how to improve our NPS score by answering two quick questions: What would it take for us to earn a higher score? and Do you have any suggestions for how we can serve you better?



As of today, our NPS score at Clinic Supplies Canada is 51%. When we first started measuring NPS, it was 30. We are very proud of this accomplishment. As a result, NPS has made our business better, and has grown our orders 83% year over year. Imagine what NPS can do for your business?

5. How can I get started at my clinic?

My suggestion is to not do this via email because you have the patient already in your clinic. 
Your compliance rates will be higher, and you will have more accurate numbers. You should do this after their first appointment with you. 

- Assign your office administrator to give your patients the NPS survey at the end of their appointment.
- Get the patient to fill out the survey before they leave
- Ensure that the form has the therapist’s name so you can measure NPS by therapist.
- Keep track of everything on a spreadsheet 
- Alternatively, you can email your patient’s an NPS survey through the Survey Monkey. I caution using this because you will have low participation rates unless you are good with email marketing. If you are not getting at least 60% open rates and 30% click thru rates on this campaign, do it when the patient is in the clinic. 

Good luck with building your a clinic a better clinic. Hopefully, NPS will improve your business like it has for us and drive more referrals to your practice. 


Related Articles 

Why Do Patients Self Discharge From Treatment and What To Do About It?

How to Measure Patient Satisfaction and Boost Your Referrals

How to Boost Patient Compliance that Drives Repeat Visits

How to Use Your Monthly Financial Statements as a Benchmark for Success

Clinic Owner Interview Series: #4 Darin Cohen - Why I decided to have business partners


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Topics: Performance Metrics

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