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Tips and Tools to Provide Excellent Customer Service in Healthcare


Presented By: CrmXchange

Contributed by: Clark Kyson

It’s ironic that most people don’t want healthcare to operate like businesses…but expect great customer service.  

No matter how emotionally driven the audience is— the bitter truth is hard to swallow.  

“No industry is immune to customer service.”

Healthcare institutes have to stay as much on their toes to serve & retain their “customers” as other businesses.

Now here’s why we’re emphasizing so much on healthy patient services and experiences. 

  1.  5% patient retention boosts up profit by 25% to 95%
  2.  86% of patients don’t mind paying extra for top-level medical experience 

It brings us to an important question…?

How to improve customer service in the healthcare industry?

At this time our understanding of improving patient experience was limited. Some followed effective communication, whereas others followed a bit of a personalized approach to earn extra brownie points… 

But guess what?

They still didn’t cover the need for the data-backed tools.

These tools usually help to make informed decisions and make patients more participative in healthcare. Patient service is no more just about communication or just about tools. It’s a mix-match of everything you’ve at your disposal.

Mix-match tips & tools for improving healthcare service.

Tip #1: Communication is still the key between them, and you

Patient satisfaction is directly proportional to how effectively the healthcare system communicates with them.

Be it  

  • doctors
  • nurses
  • healthcare staff
 No one should shy away from clearing patients’ doubts. You should be aware of your role and be able to explain every medical-related query. 

7 effective ways to communication with patients 
  • Take care of your body language. You want to be talking as if you’re talking to your friend at the same level. It makes the patient confident and open up about their hesitations. 
  • Most people don’t understand high-level doctorate language. Try explaining them in simpler language. Keep your questions and explanation short but concise.
  • Sound friendly to manage their dignity and respect. Instead of sounding in command, communicate safer choices.
  • Let them communicate their messages steadily. They might turn out slow in passing their words because of several conditions. Stay calm and patient with your listening skills.
  • Use simple language to maneuver your mechanics. Go slow, succinct, and composed while delivering your words.
  • Patients may not remember everything you say. Giving them visual representation should dispel their doubts and make your words more credible for the future.
  • Let them know they’re valued partners and give them enough time to think, question, and respond.

Tip #2: Tools will do what tips won’t 

The biggest problem with the existing healthcare is— patients don’t have access to their health information. Plus, they have to travel through a communicative roller coaster to schedule an appointment or have words with the doctors. If they could, why wouldn’t anyone want electronic records of their health?

Till now, healthcare has seemed more like an authoritative and commanding institution. You want to make your patients feel like they belong here with the hassle-free journey. Fortunately, software like patient portals streamline all the automation processes and communicate the message on phones, tablets, and computers.  

Advantages of tools like Patient Portals  

  • Patients have direct access to their medical info like health history
  • Doctors and patients— both can arrange visits.
  • The communication between doctor and patient remains secure.
  • No hidden costs and bills. Patients have access to the most transparent billing status.
  • Online insurance and prescription refill request.
  • Patients get reminded of their upcoming appointments.
  • They can set a reminder in case they want to make another appointment.
  • They can leave valuable feedback for you to make systemic changes in workflow and healthcare culture.

Tip #3: Give ears to patient’s complaints 

Healthcare customers expect the most from their providers.  While it’s almost impossible to please everyone, it would help if you used this as an opportunity to learn from their issues rather than going non-pliable at specific points. Think of complaints as constructive feedback and try to become better. 

How to become an active listener to grievances in healthcare  

  • Pass on non-verbal signs and agreeable expressions like nods. It shall demonstrate that you’re interested in what they speak.
  • Don’t judge or validate a speaker’s message with paraphrasing such as “Pardon me if I don’t get it right, but did you mean this…”
  • Encourage patients/families to elaborate on their experiences with you. Nothing betters your services more than words coming from your clients.
  • Don’t discount empathy! Some odd cases may get on your nerves, but empathy is the crucial tool to winning their hearts all over once again. 

Other tips to offer great healthcare service

Bonus Tip #4: Hire employees with the right medical skill sets.

Bonus Tip #5: Make follow-up calls once patients walk out of the door

The final argument

Treat healthcare as a business while making profits, but treat patients as your family when it's about customer services. What you make them feel is what they’re going to feel… so be careful! You’ll only have loyal and satisfied patients when customer service is your strong suit.