Fix My Practice – Customer Service Should Be Seen as A Process and Not A Project
The Physicians Practice S.O.S. Group® www.ppsosgroup.com
Customer Service Should Be Seen as A Process and Not A Project
How can you keep your patients satisfied? Is “good” customer service important? Do you ask for feedback from your patients? Do you acknowledge the patient’s view of their experience at the doctor’s office? These are questions that should be addressed in your office.
Patient’s view their visit as a “whole” patient experience. This begins with the call for an appointment to entering the main office door and everything else that happens before they exit the office. The practice should ensure that every visit should be as pleasant as possible. Why? A practice could fail to keep or attract patients and receive low scores on patient satisfaction.
In healthcare, customer service should be viewed as important by all staff because every patient has a choice of who they want to see. If bad customer service has been experienced, then that is not only a reflection on the staff but the physician(s) as well.
Paying attention to patient experiences will help a practice to improve their customer service. To create a better impression of the practice and the physician the improvements needed may only be minor. What you may discover is that these problems are not that challenging to fix, and these small things will make the patients feel better about you, your staff, and care/treatment they are getting.
There are several areas within the office that should be considered including:
– Scheduling – making an appointment
- Never leave a call on hold longer than 2 mins
- Always ask before putting someone on hold
- Be courteous and kind in speaking with the patient
- Physicians need to be mindful that other people time is as valuable as there’s showing up late to the office and having patients wait, is the worse customer service you could give.
– Front Desk – checking in and out
- Acknowledging the patient arriving and greeting them with a smile
- If unable to assist the patient right away, let them know that you will take care of them as soon as you have completed your current task
– Waiting Room
- Keep it clean and clutter free
- Furniture in good condition
- Stocked with current and recent magazines/reading material
- Keep patient informed of any delays and give estimates as to when they will be seen
– Exam Room
- See the patient in a timely manner or if there is a delay make sure the patient is informed
- Provide literature or videos on current care options related to your specialty
- Remember the new patient experience travels 5 times, what happens during their visit will be told 5 times to friends and family and potentially end up on line.
- Prior to entering the room, the physician should know the patient’s history by reviewing their chart, listen and talk to them with respect, sit in front of the patient and make eye contact
- Prior to the patient exiting the room, they should be made aware of what they should do next as well as direct them to check-out
Patients want to know that a physician knows them. The patients should be viewed as your guest. You want them to return as well as tell others about their wonderful experience.
Improving customer service should be seen as a process and not a project. Though the changes may be fairly minor, they shouldn’t all be done at once. Continue asking for feedback and suggestions on customer service from your patients and staff as well. In addition, physicians do have a significant role in setting the customer service tone.
The personality of the practice starts with the staff and the culture of the practice starts with the physicians. When a physician runs late constantly then staff thinks it is ok to do the same thing. If your first appointment is at 8:00am, then you should be in the office at 7:45am and your staff should be there at 7:30am. It is the little things that make a difference. Patients will remember these things.
Practicing quality medicine while maintaining and managing the bottom line is a balancing act that provider’s face daily. The Physicians Practice S.O.S. Group is committed to and has helped healthcare providers across the country with new practice startups, IRO needs, and providing practice management and compliance solutions. Call our office to discuss any needs you might have.
Regina Mixon Bates, CEO | The Physicians Practice S.O.S. Group | www.ppsosgroup.com
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