Patients come in day after day, month after month, year after year. Though you service them, you might not think to serve them with the type of customer service other businesses provide. To retain patients, it is ideal to provide friendly and professional customer service. With customer service, your patients feel valued. They choose to come to your practice again and again. They refer your practice to their friends, family, and neighbors. Customer service provides the client the ability to trust you to put their best interests first. If you have been looking for ways to improve your customer service and enhance patient satisfaction, read the following 6 tips and consider putting them into practice in your business.
Make a Great First Impression
When a patient walks through your door, they should feel at home. Sometimes your patients may be scared; so your staff should be friendly and warm to help to relax them. Say hello, ask how the patient is, hand out any paperwork that needs to be filled out, and ask for updates to insurance. Smile, maintain eye contact, and be friendly when you engage the patient. Sullen attitudes and condescending tones should be left outside the office.
Listen to Your Patients
Listen to your patients. Patients need to be heard when they come into your medical practice. Whether it’s an ache, illness, broken bone, or something just isn’t right, a patient comes in for care. Part of this care is the part of customer service listening comes from.
When a patient has a concern, listen. Respond when they are done, summarizing what they said. If it is right, you can continue with finding them the help they need and figuring out what is wrong. If not, ask them to repeat themselves. Ask questions if you don’t understand. Listening is about finding out how you can help a patient. It helps patients feel better to simply feel like you let them finish what they needed to tell you.
Train Your Staff
Normally your patients encounter your staff before they ever come back to see you. Your staff is your first impression, so make sure that they make the impression a great one. Your staff should be friendly, be empathic, smile, and maintain eye contact with the patient. They should not have disrespectful attitudes or patronizing tones. They shouldn’t stare at their computers and never look up at the patient. They should be friendly, professional, and courteous when they take a patient’s information, identification, insurance, and co-pay.
Respect Your Patients (and Your Staff)
Annoyed or disrespectful tones and attitudes don’t belong in a medical practice. No one, not your staff or yourself, should have them. Even if a patient disrespects a staff member does not mean they need to act in turn. Instead, be kind and professional. Patients shouldn’t be disrespected. Ask your patients questions, listen to their answers, and respond to their needs or concerns. Don’t disrespect a patient just because they don’t decide to use a treatment, surgery, pharmaceutical, or vaccine you think they need. Do not try to intimidate or bully them. Remember to give them full disclosure and let them make the decision they want to make, no matter how you feel about it.
Staff shouldn’t disrespect one another, either. It looks bad to the patients and reflects badly on your business. Train your staff to work as a team to serve customers.
A waiting room should be a place that is calming to patients. Many may come in scared or worried. Offer comfortable seating. Toys for kids can be a nice touch, providing they are regularly sanitized. Coffee, tea, or water can be offered to patients. Healthy snacks may be an option for your office, too. A radio or television can help calm nerves, and magazines can give the patients something to look at to pass the time. Free wi-fi is another consideration. It gives your patients a chance to pass the time how they see fit without using their data plans.
Too often patients are forgotten after an appointment. Though your clinic may get busy, never forget to follow up with a patient, especially if they need it. Don’t promise to call your patient with a test result and fail to deliver. With the invention of patient portals, too many doctors simply expect their patients to log on and see what they test results say. Don’t be like them. Bring back the customer service aspect of the follow-up and let your patients know you care.
Need Customer Service Help? Contact Clients ARM!
If you need customer service help, it’s time to contact Clients ARM. With over 30 years of experience, Clients ARM is ready to help your business with its customer service needs. We use innovative technology and old-fashioned customer service values to bring the best service around to your clients. Don’t delay, contact Clients ARM for your free consultation today!