Customer service is something that can make or break a medical practice. The key customer service character qualities you should be looking for in new staff and encouraging in your existing employees are hospitality, empathy, enthusiasm, respect, & timeliness. Word of mouth matters and when patients find a great practice that makes them feel at home, they will be much more likely to recommend it to their friends. So if this is what you want, continue reading this article, which will explain 4 ways you and your staff can achieve 5 Star customer service.
- Train employees to be customer service rock stars: If your staff don’t know how to handle customer service concerns and complaints appropriately, you are setting yourself up for unhappy patients and bad reviews later on. I have the most amazing dentist in Oakland, California that has the most unbelievably awesome front desk staff who make it a sheer delight to go in for my annual cleaning. They are great because they are kind, they help me solve any problems, they make me feel welcome, and they always have a smile on their face. This kind of service should be part of the interview process and training experience for new hires. There are companies you can outsource to help you train your staff to be even better at customer service.
- Systematize everything. If there is one thing that phenomenal practices have in common it’s creating more and more efficient systems. Whether it’s digitizing your forms for patients to fill out online before coming into your office, or sending out annual checkup reminders via email, the more systems you create that enhance the patient’s experience the better. If you can teach your staff systems for new patient onboarding and recare messaging, your patients will have a better experience and your practice will run more smoothly. Even better is encouraging & rewarding staff to come up with better and better systems
- Have a first name policy. Make sure all of your staff (and you) know to check the name of a patient before speaking to them. There is nothing worse than a doctor who walks into the exam room with their face on the chart and mispronounces the person’s name. If you haven’t read How to Win Friends and Influence People, click this link and read the book online now
- Create a blame-free work environment: If your office culture is centered around excellence and constant improvement your staff will feel psychologically safe to speak up when something goes wrong. If mistakes happen multiple times, there is a fault in your systems that need to be examined. Blaming people is not how improvement happens, it’s how toxic company culture brews. The best places to work welcome employees who speak up when problems happen. It turns out these places have safer and more satisfied patients.
If this article resonated with you, share it with your staff. It's not all about them as the title suggest. It's super important for you to create an environment that fosters happy employees. You can't expect people to do a great job if they don't look forward to work every day. Ask your staff how you can improve as a boss. The sooner you make this a priority, the faster your practice can grow and attract even more clients.