Any person who’s ever sold anything can tell you that customer service is one of the most important factors in business. If you don’t have a customer base then you don’t have a business. It’s as simple as that. The same holds true for the health care industry. In all reality, the healthcare industry has become increasingly competitive over the last few decades. People now have more options and more doctors to choose from. This is due to the huge variety of private practices that are now covered by most insurance carriers. People have choices, and sometimes the Choice comes down to customer service.
How are they treated when they walk in the door and when they call into the office?
The first Contact that a customer usually has with a healthcare provider is through a phone call. They call in to make an appointment, and they speak to a receptionist.
This is why it’s incredibly important to have both courteous and knowledgeable staff available to coordinate and respond to phone calls. Scheduling is another thing that is incredibly important at this stage. You want to be able to get your client in at the earliest possible time. This means that your scheduling staff need to be organized and aware of all available appointment times. This can help them to maximize office hours while not making patients wait for extended periods of time.
Whether or not the customer comes back is generally dependent on the treatment by the doctor and actual medical staff. A major concern in the healthcare industry is the lack of afterhours care. It’s very important to understand that Healthcare is a job that doesn’t stop when the work day is over. People can experience serious concerns at any time of the day or night, and the office needs to be able to handle this as well. If somebody calls in with an urgent question at midnight, the answering service needs to be able to accurately direct that call. This can literally be a matter of life and death. This is why it’s so important to have a good answering service for medical offices. They need to be knowledgeable about your practices, and aware of how to direct and categorize calls. A good answering service is also going to be knowledgeable about health care regulations and respectful of the patient’s privacy. These are just a few tips for customer service in healthcare:
Customers appreciate a healthcare provider who shows a real interest in their care. This can be demonstrated by follow-up phone calls, and appointment reminders. This allows the patient to express any concerns, and to always be apprised of changing schedules. Having an independent phone service for a medical office can actually make this a lot easier and more efficient.
One thing that all patients absolutely hate is having to wait for hours to see their doctor. It’s important to schedule very carefully and to be organized with all patient information. This allows the medical staff to know what’s going on with the patient before they walk back into the exam room. It also allows medical staff to maximize their time and see as many patients as they safely can.
It’s important to provide patients with the safe place to express their concerns and comments. Take these very seriously, and make changes based on what they have to say. If a patient comes to you and wants to discuss something, be open to it and really listen. A good health care provider can have a client base that lasts for a lifetime.