I have a friend who uses a poster board to track all the sporting events, dance recitals, and other extracurricular activities for her four kids throughout the year. Every time a child participates in one of these events, they place a sticker on the board. In 2018 alone, my friend attended over 300 different functions!
My friend is not alone in feeling the hustle and bustle of today’s society. We are a community of people who are always running here and there. In the rush, many consumers find the Internet a useful source for finding the information they need quickly.
However, just because a web page has information on it, doesn’t necessarily make it useful. Seventy-five percent of users1 admit they judge a business’ credibility by their website design. Your website is the online face of your medical clinic, so you must leave a good first impression.
How can you make sure your website is useful to users? Below are seven features that can help improve the usability of your site.
1. Clear Messaging
A website that is cluttered, hard to navigate, and difficult to read quickly turns users away simply because they don’t have the time to decipher the information and pull out what they need.
Don’t make your patients search for who you are, what you do, or the requirements they must meet in order to be seen by your office. Design your website and content so this information can be found and digested easily just by browsing your site.
2. Reviews and Testimonials
With the wealth of information available on the Internet, today’s consumers are quickly turned off by pushy sales messages. Instead of talking with sales representatives, they turn to real-life customers to get their input. It is reported that 97 percent of people read reviews for local companies2, such as your medical office, and 90 percent of those readers claim positive online reviews influence their buying decision3.
On the front page of your website, be sure to share a few of the positive messages your patients have shared about your office. Do you have more positive reviews than you can fit on your home page? If so, consider dedicating a page to sharing messages of why patients love visiting your office and staff.
3. Set the Expectations
It isn’t uncommon for a patient to feel anxiety when visiting a new physician. Stress can be even higher when they come into the office and have to deal with all the questions, information, and forms they are given.
Your website can help lower anxiety levels by painting a picture of what patients should expect when they arrive at your office. Create a page for answering frequently asked questions, outlining your office policies, and explaining what information they will need to provide. Also, describe which forms will need to be filled out before they can be seen by their physician.
4. Office and Staff Introductions
Another way to help lower the anxiety of visiting a new office is to give an excellent online introduction to your clinic and staff. Post pictures of your office and staff throughout your website so patients will have some familiarity when they arrive.
You should also have a page on your site where patients can learn more about the physicians they are going to be visiting. Information in these introductions could include:
- Where and what the physician studied
- Any professional awards or accolades they have received within their professional communities
- A brief introduction into their life outside the office (e.g., hobbies, interests, family, etc.)
To make physician introductions a little more personal and interactive, you can have your physicians film their interviews and post the edited videos for your patients to view.
5. Online Conveniences
Patients don’t want to waste their time filling out all the necessary forms. Have PDF versions of your insurance, health history, and other forms directly on your website. You should also offer instructions and links to access these same forms electronically through your patient portal. This way patients can print them off and fill them out at their convenience before their visit, thus reducing wait times and allowing for better patient flow.
Online bill pay is another online convenience that your website should include. It is reported that 56 percent of consumers are paying their bills online4, while check payments have decreased by 20 percent. By allowing patients to pay bills directly from your website, you can easily provide a better patient experience while getting paid faster!
6. Contact Information
It can be difficult to get all the necessary information you need on your website. Patients might have questions about an online pre-visit form, adequate insurances, or other matters. Putting your contact information where it can easily be seen helps patients get answers quickly, which in the long run lowers frustration and increases patient satisfaction.
7. Mobile Friendliness
Like my friend, all the sports games, dance recitals, plays, and errands consumers have to attend regularly have made browsing the Internet on mobile phones a widespread habit. In 2019, 63.4 percent of mobile phone owners accessed the Internet solely from their phones5, and that number is predicted to increase to 75 percent by 2025.
Having a mobile-friendly website is crucial to the success of your site and your medical clinic. Test your site to make sure when accessing it through a mobile device you don’t lose the ease and functionality of a desktop experience.
You only have seconds to make a first impression—what is your website saying about you? By making your clinic’s website easy to read and helpful, with a vast knowledge base of content and other online conveniences, you can quickly build a better online presence. This, in turn, leads to a better patient experience and stronger, long-lasting patient-office relationships.