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A DSO’s Five Tips To Mastering The Patient Experience

Now, more than ever, health organizations need to step up to the challenge of creating a patient-centric experience. According to the Salesforce global study, “State of the Connected Customer,” 80% of customers say the experience a company provides is just as important as its products or services. 

So, what can marketers do to shape their patients’ experience?

  • Make it personal. Providers need to start creating a deeper, more meaningful relationship with their patients. Patients expect every interaction to be highly personalized and real time.
  • Give them the opportunity to self service. Patients prefer digital channels and want the chance to take action on their own. Sixty-four percent of customers prefer email when communicating with companies, which means patients expect tools to make or change appointments independently..
  • Understand their needs. Patients expect you to know what they need, in addition to knowing how to fulfill those needs.  Patients are overwhelmed with information from insurance and treatment plans, and being able to explain the benefits and offerings in a way that’s easy to understand are key differentiators.
  • Make it about lifestyle.  Understanding the entire experience of the patient holistically, from start to finish, and letting them know how you can help and what to expect, is key.

Each industry and each organization is unique, but Lev has partnered with many healthcare organizations to help level up their patient experience using Salesforce – including Great Expressions Dental Services. Their story is a great example of how HLS organizations are innovating on the patient experience, and includes five tips for HLS organizations to get started on mastering the patient experience.


CUSTOMER STORY: Great Expressions Dental Centers

Dental support organization (DSO), Great Expressions Dental Centers wanted to seamlessly integrate their existing communications with digital strategies around the patient journey and experience.  

By partnering with Lev, their goal was to modernize their CRM and communications capabilities, leverage patient data, and integrate around the patient journey and lifecycle.

One way Great Expressions unifies the patient’s experience is by leveraging a combination of social and digital channels. By using Facebook Targeting in tandem with email and SMS follow-up, they’ve been able to increase appointment adherence. A patient journey may include receiving a Facebook ad encouraging them to make an appointment, followed up on with SMS and email as additional reminders. After a Facebook ad is sent to patients with a reminder to make an appointment, Marketing Cloud is then used for emails and SMS follow up. 

This has resulted in their appointment confirmation rate to increase by 4.5% — from 19 to 23.5% and still gaining positive traction. 

They are also focused on automating their journeys around patients. For example, they use monthly email campaigns focused on cancelled appointments, appointment reminders, and bill pay notifications. These emails contain responsive HTML, personalized patient and provider information, and one-click confirmation and add to calendar functionality for appointments. 

Great Expressions continues to grow their dental business network by finding new audiences and delivering personalized patient journeys at every touchpoint. But, they had to start their journey somewhere.


Here are five steps (as learned from Great Expressions) to mastering the patient experience:

  • Understand your consumer lifecycle stages
    Really think about and document the stages your patients will go through. There are countless opportunities to integrate data and touchpoints no matter how sophisticated or simple the stage.
  • Build goals for each of your consumer lifecycle stages
    Use your organization’s business goals to tie back into marketing program goals.
  • Define a strategy and supporting tactics
    Baby steps are better than no steps at all. Think about what technology strategy and tactic mix you can use to meet your program goals.
  • Enhance your program with supporting data
    Document earned owned audience data you want to use for targeting segmentation and personalization. Trying to build the provider/patient relationship .
  • Define metrics to track success and optimize for the future
    Focus on data points that are meaningful to the customer or organization, and what will drive success. Tie it all together with results and truly understand how your audience interacts with your brand.

In today’s world, incorporating digital communications into the patient experience is no longer a “nice to have,” for healthcare providers. It’s a must.

As healthcare organization’s consider how their patient experience impacts the success of their organization, identifying ways to create meaningful touch points with their patients, and understanding the best tools to facilitate those touchpoints, will be critical to their continued success.

Want to hear the full story from Great Expressions? Check out the full webinar, A DSO’s Top Five Innovative Tips for Mastering Customer Experience