Good customer service is essential in every industry, but it is most important in healthcare. How healthcare providers interact with patients has a significant impact on patient experience. Additionally, health concerns tend to cause a lot of anxiety among patients and their loved ones.
Thus, good customer service in healthcare can impact the patient experience. Patients need in-depth communication about their health. One way to offer this information is through great customer service. Below are five tips to enable you to provide great customer service in healthcare.
1. Hire the Right Health Care Providers
While your team of health care providers may be the most skilled, they need to offer excellent customer service. Therefore, you need to hire the right team of nurses and doctors who can provide exceptional patient care during staffing. Always check that your staff has customer service skills, including your front office employees.
After hiring, you can promote customer satisfaction by training your staff. Remember, customer service in the healthcare industry differs from other service industries. Most patients don't want to be in the hospital, and the hospital environment could be intimidating.
So, from the first contact to the follow-up experience, you should ensure the process makes the patient feel at ease and comfortable. You can hold training sessions on different topics like improving communication skills. Good communication skills will lead to better customer service and satisfied patients.
2. Make Your Services Available Through Phone and Online
Medical emergencies can happen at any time. Therefore, one way to improve the quality of care is by ensuring your services are available through phone and online. When patients are assured of excellent service, they become happy patients and repeat clients.
Actually, more and more people resort to online solutions to schedule appointments or make phone calls since it saves time. Increasing your availability through phone includes working with competitive receptionists. The receptionists should schedule appointments and track text messages. Also, it works better if the healthcare company uses an effective information management system.
You can use avirtual healthcare assistant to receive phone calls or appointment confirmation. Alternatively, you can build a call center in the hospital to handle incoming phone calls. An online presence like a healthcare website can help offer excellent customer service. Remember, patient information is sensitive. So, it needs to be well protected even through online communication. Besides adhering to HIPAA guidelines, you owe your patients privacy.
3. Use Digital Signage
Healthcare facilities are often unpredictable. Fortunately, you can usedigital signage to improve medical care and customer service. There are different ways digital screens can help enhance service in healthcare organizations. You can use it to make the waiting time more bearable for patients.
Or, you can place a digital screen in the waiting lobby. Then, use it to display estimated wait time to reduce patient frustrations. Alternatively, you can use digital screens to communicate with your staff. The healthcare industry constantly changes. The dynamic nature of the healthcare sector makes it important to keep your team abreast of changes. Hence, you can use screens to display recent changes.
4. Advocate for Accountability from Every Employee
Healthcare employees will offer poor customer service when not held accountable. Accountability inclines healthcare providers to provide great customer service. The consequences of poor customer service will motivate them to provide better service. Consequently, all healthcare employees should offer the best customer service regardless of the workflow.
What's more, during staff meetings, emphasize the importance of customer service. Remind your healthcare professionals of different customer service policies in your healthcare organization.
Healthcare customer service is a joint responsibility of all healthcare professionals. Hence, responsibility begins with the security guard where the patient's check-in. It ends with the last professionals who follow up with the patients.
5. Offer Your Patients a Way to Give Feedback
Receivingcustomer feedback is important to change how you offer healthcare services. While you cannot always please everyone, it shouldn't hinder you from requesting feedback. Thus, feedback is the key to developing good customer service skills.
A patient's first touchpoint, whether in-person or phone calls, should always be positive. As a result, customer feedback will help you understand areas where there is poor customer service. It will also help turn a negative patient experience into patient satisfaction.
You can set up a customer care section where patients can leave their feedback. Then again, you can hire a customer service representative to handle customer feedback. You can allow feedback in person, phone calls, or on social media platforms.
To Wind Up
In the healthcare industry, kind gestures and positive interactions improve the patient experience. While great customer service in healthcare may seem hard to achieve, it isn't impossible. Ensure you hire the right staff and include them in training programs. Additionally, holding your healthcare professionals accountable will help offer great customer service.