Catalyst Healthcare Marketing

Five-Star Front Office Staff Supports Excellent Healthcare Customer Service

A five-star front office team supports excellent healthcare customer service

A five-star front office team supports excellent healthcare customer serviceYour front office staff makes the first and last impression on every patient walking through your doors. Ensuring your staff creates positive impressions with five-star healthcare customer service should be a priority for every healthcare practice. Boosting medical office customer service leads to patient retention and referrals.

For patients, high-quality care cannot overcome a low-quality front desk experience. Recent research indicates that 65 percent of patients have cut ties with a practice due to one bad customer service experience.

Healthcare customer service training tips

To ensure your practice isn’t losing patients due to customer service, Catalyst Healthcare Marketing recommends training at least twice a year and for all new hires. Extra time spent preparing your front office staff to provide good medical office customer service can significantly improve your patients’ experience.

Use these best practices for your next healthcare customer service training.

Greet every person that comes through the door. Acknowledge people even if you’re busy with another patient. For example, a simple “Good morning, I’ll be right with you,” makes a person feel valued and comfortable. Use the patient’s name when speaking to them, and don’t forget to smile.

Be aware and respectful of how long patients have been waiting. Set patients’ expectations as accurately as possible, update them as necessary, and apologize for the inconvenience. A simple “I’m sorry” goes a long way in calming a frustrated patient.

Make privacy a priority. HIPAA is not just a law, it’s common decency. Be respectful of patients’ information and discreet in all personal or medical conversations.

Be understanding. Patients often arrive nervous or uncomfortable, and are often not at their best. Showing empathy and compassion will not only make a positive impression, it will make them feel more at ease.

Be a good listener. Providing good medical office customer service includes making eye contact when patients are speaking to you. Hear the patient out and acknowledge what they’ve said. In many circumstances, just feeling heard will improve a customer service situation.

Set your staff up to provide excellent medical office customer service

Coach your staff to include “please” and “thank you” in their conversations. And, the best answer to a patient’s “thank you” is “my pleasure,” rather than “no problem” or “all good.”

Prepare your staff for difficult questions. Teach them simple phrases, such as “I don’t know the answer to that, but I can find out,” and ensure they know who to go to for the answers.

You also can provide your staff with simple scripts for answering the phone, greeting patients, and other interactions. They don’t have to be word-for-word recitations, but guidelines for the tone and level of service you expect.

As good medical office customer service skills are implemented, reinforce the behavior by recognizing and thanking employees who are incorporating the techniques. Consider an informal reward system for excellent customer service.

The interactions of the front office staff with your patients are critical to the success of your practice. Incorporate these simple points into your healthcare customer service training, and you’ll reap the benefits.

For more information on customer service, or for customer service training, contact Catalyst Healthcare Marketing.

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