If you can’t see patients as human beings first, there is no way your patient will walk out the door satisfied!
Healthcare is not the industry that comes to your mind when you think about customer service. It’s often the hospitality and aviation businesses. The fact, however, is that customer service is the most integral part of the healthcare industry.
A report by Cisco stated, 70 percent of the patients wanted quick and fast communication with the healthcare providers.
Besides, happy customers are highly likely to return to your clinical facility to meet their healthcare needs.
In this post, we have listed a few best practices you can adopt to improve the customer service experience in your healthcare business. Here’s a look:
Top Practices to provide outstanding customer service in healthcare
Do you know 86% of customers are ready to pay higher for a better customer experience?
Digitization has enabled customers to check and compare their options before planning a hospital visit. In fact, they can get a virtual tour of the hospital from their PCs.
This also means they are now more careful when choosing a healthcare service provider. Your customers will not consider you an excellent healthcare industry if you do not deliver the quality.
The goal is to build a long-term relationship with customers, make them feel at home, and ensure their satisfaction.
Healthcare service is often perceived as a necessity for patients rather than a luxury. These patients are made to feel that they do not need customer service.
However, the medical industry has evolved a lot in the past few decades, especially after the digitization trend. Patients have choices today.
44% of patients are highly likely to switch their healthcare service provider if they are unsatisfied with the customer experience.
Here are a few practices a healthcare company should use to improve its customer service.
1. Have a system to secure customers’ sensitive data
Privacy is the utmost priority of customers and healthcare departments.
In the USA, HIPAA standards are followed for sharing and storing customers’ medical information. Similarly, there are many such laws that govern how medical data must be stored and processed.
Any healthcare company has to comply with the privacy regulations to protect patients’ data. Compliance failure can lead to legal issues, which is why the healthcare sector is concerned about protecting customers’ private data, more now than ever.
So, how can you have a system that protects your customers’ private information?
First things first, you need to provide your employees with thorough training during onboarding. They should be trained to deal with the patient’s privacy and manage important documentation efficiently.
A dedicated privacy protocol that explains to your agents the privacy compliance and HIPAA laws is a must.
Training is necessary not only during the onboarding process but every now and then. Patient privacy is a sensitive matter. It’s important for healthcare sectors to keep their employees up-to-date with the current trend in privacy laws.
It is equally important to run audits to ensure that your agents are complying with the privacy rules. These few things will improve your privacy protocol.
2. Follow a patient-first approach
33% of patients do not continue taking services from a healthcare supplier if the company fails to deliver a personalized customer experience.
The biggest challenge for any healthcare company is to satisfy their customer. That’s because the customers’ expectations from a healthcare company are totally different from that of hospitality and other industries.
Think about it — who wants to see a doctor, get tests, and go through invasive medical procedures?
Unlike aviation and other businesses, customers do not want to receive healthcare services in the first place.
As a healthcare expert, your job is not limited to treating the patient. But, you must take steps to make their customer experience as good as possible. From hospital visits to tests, your patients must feel at ease at your hospital.
So, where and how should you start? How can you ensure that patients get the best experience when they walk out of your facility?
It should start with staffing. Here are a few staffing tips that will help make your healthcare business patient-centric.
Just prescribing medicines or suggesting the best treatment plan will not work. If you want your patient to return to your facility and recommend your services to others, you need to tailor your services to customers’ individual requirements.
3. Embrace digital trends
The Healthcare industry is quite slow in adopting digital trends. You might be running the most popular medical company in the world. But, you are losing hundreds of thousands of customers to your competitors if you don’t have a robust digital marketing plan in place.
Nowadays, customers use online services to collect medical details. Here are some statistics from DMN3 that shows the importance of a digital presence for healthcare businesses:
Start with the online appointment. Have a dedicated software system on your website that helps customers book an appointment online and in simple steps. Digitize the appointment scheduling and give them a perfect walk-in experience.
Secondly, a proper follow-up is important.
Let’s say you are in the mental healthcare industry offering cognitive-behavioral therapies and other mental treatment plans. Whether you offer therapies virtually or in person, you should remind your patients for the next appointment and send the follow-up emails regularly.
4. Motivate your patients
Customer service is more about convenience and comfort in the healthcare industry. For example, booking an appointment for them or helping them complete the online payment are two simple ways to build customer trust in your company.
The easiest way to improve their experience is by ensuring that your customer does not need to reach out for support. From booking an appointment to getting the diagnosis results, the entire process should be easy.
Understand your patients and motivate them throughout the process - from the moment they walk into your clinic to the treatment. They should be 100% satisfied with the treatment, as well as, customer service.
5. Learn more about the customer service trends
You need to keep up-to-date with the latest trend in the customer service industry to achieve customer satisfaction.
If you are having a hard time learning about these trends, Help Scout’s guide on the best ways to deliver customer service in healthcare is a great place to start. It is your one-stop destination to find everything you need to know about the healthcare trends, latest digital tools, and tips for improving your customer experience.
6. Collect patient feedback
How do you know if the patient was satisfied with you and your team?
They will not say it until they are asked. It becomes your responsibility to collect feedback from every patient and make changes to your customer service protocols accordingly.
Customer feedback gives you insights into where there’s room for improvement, what can be done to implement changes in your healthcare service, and where you excel. These metrics are important for any medical company that has expansion plans.
A survey is an excellent way to know what your customers think about your customer services.
Ask your customers how they would like to rate you and whether they had a decent experience with your staff. You could also ask if you should make any changes to the appointment scheduling process.
The healthcare industry has started focusing more on customer care service lately.
Many hospitals and healthcare providers are embracing the digitization trend to ensure seamless interaction with customers.
The above tips will help improve your customer service, making it easier for you to interact with your audience and achieve their satisfaction.
Let us know in the Comments section which of the above best practices you plan to implement in your business.