Customer Service & Your Medical Practice

Physician and nurse Great customer service can go a long way in a medical practice. It can keep your customers/patients returning, it can get you referrals, it can make for a more pleasant environment to work in, and it can reduce your likelihood of getting sued for medical malpractice. Today, let’s revisit the concept of good, old-fashioned customer service in the medical practice and focus on 5 things you can do to increase patient satisfaction today.

PhysiciansPractice.com recently had a nice article addressing customer service. Here’s what they suggest:

1. Say “Thanks!” and express gratitude. Outline specific opportunities where staff can say “thank you” to patients. These may include, when they call (“Thank you for calling Smith & Associates. How may I help you?”) and when leaving after an appointment (“Thanks for coming in!”).

2. Make the experience personal. Have staff call patients consistently by first or last name. (For example, “Ms. Jones, we are ready to see you.”). Ask how they are doing, etc.

3. Have staff manage expectations. If a patient will need to wait to be seen, let them know as soon as possible. Often, it helps to give patients a “window.” (For example, “Dr. Smith is running about 10-20 minutes behind today.”)

4. Build relationships between patients and staff. Again, personalize the experience where you can. Nice opportunities for this can be during “hand-offs” from one staff member to another. (For example, “You will check out with Lea, today. She is new to our practice and is fantastic with any billing questions you might have!”) Also, such complements are appreciated by staff, too.

5. Be a good example. Staff follows the lead and tone of their superiors. So, model the behavior and customer service you’d like to see in your medical practice.

Reminding yourself and your team to demonstrate good customer service in your medical practice will make the experience better and more enjoyable for everyone.

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