Every morning you get into the office early, start seeing patients with a variety of different health concerns, even letting them eat into your lunch hour or staying a little late to make sure they’re clear about your instructions.
Despite all of this over-the-top effort, your patients aren’t happy, they’re even starting to post negative reviews online. How much more can you do to provide the best customer service to your patients?
Simple Changes Can Fix Everything
Sometimes the problem isn’t really you or your staff or the level of care the patient receives.
In many cases, it’s how that care is delivered. It’s a little bit like how wrapping a gift in shiny foil paper and placing a dramatic bow on it seems to heightened anticipation for the recipient. There’s nothing fundamentally different about the gift you’re giving, you’ve just presented it in a more attractive way.
Simple fixes can improve your patients’ impressions of the level of customer service you’re providing them.
Try these four tips and see how happy your patients are:
- Take the time it takes. Your office or practice may be chaotic and you’re always busy, but that’s no excuse to rush patients along, especially at the front desk where all the other patients can see and hear what’s going on.If a constantly ringing phone is to blame, hiring an answering service or adding an appointment setting tool can ease the flow without reducing customer care levels.
- Remove barriers with self-service options. Your website or health portal can do more.In fact, it can do a lot of stuff you might not have even considered yet. You can share health information with your patients, send them first time patient forms so they can fill them out prior to their arrival in your office and let them set their own appointments online.
If they have any questions, they’ll email you. It’s easy, it helps patients take control of their health and they never feel like they’re far away from a smart answer from their doctor.
- Treat patients like they’re human. It’s easy to get into a pattern where you and your staff give up the chit-chat and personal touches because you’re tired, overly stressed or have already seen enough patients to make you want to cry.A quick “how are you today?” or small talk about the weather is enough for you to let your patient know that you see them as a person and not a paycheck.
- Explain each step as you go. Patients are too often led around an office, not really knowing where they’re headed or why. This needs to change. If you’re weighing a patient, tell them that you’re going to the scale. If you want to give the patient a vaccination, explain the pros and cons of the medicine. It’s easy to do, but also easy to forget. Take your time, but get into the habit for the very best results.
Better Patient Service Starts With You
The attitude you carry into your office influences everyone else around you.
Make sure you explain to each employee just how things need to change and post a few signs that remind them to make small talk or with instructions on how to forward calls to the answering service. Before you know it, the entire office’s demeanor will improve dramatically and so will your online reviews.