The customer is almost always right. Unless, of course, they’re abusive or otherwise downright unpleasant. But a few bad apples aside, most customers are polite and happy to spend their money on your products or services. With that in mind, customer service is important in all sectors and professions. In this age of Google, Facebook and other online review platforms, if you’re not offering a five-star service, you can expect your average ratings to reflect this.
Yet one profession where customer service can often fall by the wayside is in the medical space. And fair enough some people might say – doctors and medical staff are busy people, used to juggling multiple priorities and working insane shifts and hours. But customer service is still important in this sector – let’s take a look at why.
Doctors aren’t the only busy ones
As we mentioned, doctors are very busy people with a much-needed societal role, the importance of which cannot be overstated. However, that doesn’t mean the needs of those that require this service can be discounted. People are often dealing with very demanding schedules, and if you are hoping to have people return to your clinic, you need to keep this in mind. Taking steps to update your practice management software and ensuring that your staff are well-versed in up-to-date appointment scheduling will allow your patients to feel considered. It will also make them more likely to choose your clinic over competitors in the future.
People have feelings, especially when they’re sick
You could have a modern super clinic, with the most flash practice management software, the latest and greatest in equipment and medication but without stellar customer service you could upset people. Let’s discuss why:
People are generally more vulnerable and prone to be upset when they are dealing with a medical issue. If they’re coming to the doctor, they’re either newly sick, might be sick, or have been dealing with a chronic health issue for a while. This means that, while they may usually have a thick skin and be quite resilient, they may be easily hurt or offended in their time of need. Delivering a premium customer experience at this time is very important as you don’t want to run the risk of a disgruntled patient leaving bad online reviews or bad mouthing your practice or way of working – word of mouth travels a lot faster than you could imagine.
It’s not just doctors that need good manners
You hear a lot about the importance of good bedside manner in doctors, and yes, this is extremely important. Nobody wants a brusque, dismissive or rude doctor when they’re unwell. But good manners, kindness and courtesy needs to extend to the whole medical profession. So, if you’re a medical receptionist, pathology collector, nurse, radiology tech or even an orderly you need to ensure that you treat patients with respect, empathy, compassion and care. No one wants to be in hospital or in for a day procedure so make it easier for them if you can.
Repeat business is important
This may seem morbid as you probably hope that people don’t need recurring medical care – but for those working in general practice will rely on regular patients to keep coming for check-ups and to come to you when they get sick. If you’re not offering outstanding customer service, they may take their business and their money elsewhere. So, look after your regulars and new patients’ with impeccable patience, compassion and care and they’ll keep coming to you for their healthcare needs – and, if they really become unwell and need help they’ll trust that you can provide them with the help that they need.
Summing it all up
It’s important to treat your patients with the utmost of kindness, care, courtesy, respect, empathy, compassion and grace because when people are sick or worried about their health that are more prone to become upset – and rightfully so. So, practice good customer service to keep them on an even keel. Bedside manner is important for all medical professions, not just doctors, so if you’re a nurse or tech make sure that you brush up on your customer service skills. Regular patients bring in money for practices, so this is another reason to offer a stellar patient experience each and every time.