One of the keys to creating patient loyalty is providing superior customer service. Practices will do well to remember to always consider the point of view of the patient. Although serving your patients should be a priority year-round, now is as good a time as any to examine what you could do better.
Here are some reminders:
1. Empower employees to do the right thing.
Southwest Airlines and the Disney Company are commonly cited examples of companies that do this well, as noted in a recent post from BlanchardLeaderChat, a forum for management discussions. Consider this scenario: a baggage handler leaves his post to return a dropped item to a customer. Think about how you can ingrain that mindset within your employees. Although you can't permit staff to break payer or legal regulations, you can encourage an attitude that promotes "going the extra mile" for patients.
2. Avoid jargon.
When discussing a bill with a patient, for example, don't rattle on about EOBs and E/M codes unless you're certain the person understands this language. As a recent post from Forbes noted, all businesses can stand to take a lesson from Winnie the Pooh and stick with short, easy words to help customers solve their problems.
3. Listen, listen and listen some more.
"We have all gone through the motions, pretending to listen to a complaint while we swipe a credit card," wrote Forbes contributor Marc Compeau. "But keep in mind that actually solving the problem leads to two important outcomes, exceeding expectations of one potentially loyal customer and the potential to eliminate the same bad experience for a few more future shoppers [patients]."