Healthcare is the very industry that stands on the two very important pillars namely, care and patience. Hence, hospital customer service becomes more important to make greater efforts when it comes to customer satisfaction. So, here at Triniter, we give utmost importance to health care industries.
Making mistakes in this section of services can have severe consequences and thus, patients, who equal customers, have to be handled with utmost care and supervision.
Patient’s satisfaction goes in accord with the reputation of the healthcare organization. And since, healthcare is a very critical part of the industry and remains in the public eye all the time, one bad review or feedback of the organization can land it in ashes.
It’s in the way how you interact and empathize with the patients that describes to the world about the kind of people that one could expect in the organization you run.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 strategies to provide patients with superior customer service.
#1. Communication is the key in hospital customer service
You might be telling the patient about the virus or some illness they must have caught. Or it might as well be about some big disease whose treatment may take some time. But are you actually communicating?
It’s human nature to be needing some sort of soothing words or assurance that they would heal and recover from whatsoever ailment they must be suffering through.
You might diagnose the disease and prescribe the meditation but assuring the patient and making them feel secured and valued is what we are talking about here.
Consoling the patient and empathizing with them and their family in times of distress is the key to great customer service.
#2. Acknowledge Complaints
When a customer approaches you with some complaint or any kind of issue, listen to the customer and take him/her seriously. The customer wouldn’t have bothered to come to you if the issue wasn’t serious.
Put yourself in his/her place and then try to think of the issue of the person and you’ll be able to understand better.
Most importantly, don’t just listen! Help him/her by trying to resolve the issue or taking the issue up with the concerned department, whatever suits the situation.
Try to do it soon. Patients or customers don’t like waiting. So, less the time it’ll take, the better.
#3. Be Empathetic
For a fact, when it comes to hospital customer service, no one can tell by just looking at the other person of what he/she might be going through. And because it’s the healthcare organization we are talking about here, I’m sure that wouldn’t be something good.
Other than the doctors and the medical staff, if we really can’t help the person through his agony (or disease if that’s a patient), the least we can do for him/her is empathetic, gentle or polite with him/her. We wouldn’t even know and that might just make the person feel better already.
#4. Never Differentiate Between Patients
You might be surprised to find the indifference with which many people are treated at hospitals. It’s generally between the rich and poor.
Besides treatment, patients aren’t even behaved properly which is a serious issue if closely looked at. But people are simply indifferent to the issue just because it’s not them facing.
The rich who can afford it are given with the best of patient services due to the simple reason that they pay huge. This is totally unfair and unjust.
A doctor who is educated should know how to treat his patients fairly and without discriminating. Irrespective of his/her background, no patient should have to feel discriminated and unimportant. It’s the foundation of healthcare customer service.
The doctors should be taught to not differentiate and certain guidelines should be laid down stating the same.
#5. Survey and Satisfy
While it is important to treat a patient right, the right way, it’s equally important to get their feedback on the same.
You might really be thinking of the good of the patient while he/she might not feel the same on the service they got.
It is important to survey the level of satisfaction they are being provided with, to outdo anything that must have been going wrongly
Surveys not only just tell you about the feedback and reviews of a patient, but they as well help you in tracking your progress throughout when it comes to customer support. They help in identifying the problem and resolving it. They are the keys to providing the best patient service.
#6. Hire the Right Staff
Hiring the right staff is as equally important as treating the patients and in the right way.
It’s mostly upon the staff depending on the reputation of the organization who interacts more with the patients who might be disabled or even seniors for that matter, who should be treated with respect and dignity.
You can teach a person to be friendly, loving, and exhibit good qualities but it all depends upon them and their nature if they are willing to adapt to what they are being taught.
On the other hand, all the above-mentioned qualities will come naturally to a person who is kind and soft-hearted and knows how to treat each and every person according to the conditions and situations in the way others might not.
Additionally, hiring the right staff would increase revenue and mark a decline in turnover, profiting the organization.
#7. Explain In Easy Language
It’s quite possible that patients might know many of the scientific terms, but they are not as educated on the subject as you are.
In order to avoid any misunderstandings and miscommunications which further might lead to big problems, try and explain the patient in simple and easy language.
They don’t have to know the scientific details.
Nobody wants any mistakes when it comes to treating a patient nor anyone has time to go back and fix things. Try and avoid the use of complicated terms while explaining to the patient and be as brief about it as possible. Keep things to the point.
#8. Don’t Get Too Business-Minded
Remember the time when you were young and wanted to be a doctor because you loved helping people and wanted to be able to treat people? Where did that passion go?
Nowadays, people especially in the healthcare industry see their profession, which once used to be their passion, as just a job. When passion turns out to become a mere job, something that people just do as their duty but find no interest in, the mistakes are bound to happen.
The difference between a job and a calling is that, in a job, things or services are imposed forcibly, work is not done with utmost sincerity and whole-heartedly which lands you off track while calling is what you call passion.
Never forget what made you choose this profession in the first place and that you’re not in it for mere money-making. Try to love what you do and why you do.
#9. Exhibit Good Behavior And Manners
Your behavior and manners make people judge what kind of a person you are. To be a truly good healthcare professional, you should be able to talk to your patients calmly and patiently. Try to smile often.
Smiling not only creates a welcoming environment for your patients but also makes them feel assured and safe.
Make eye contact as often as possible which is a benchmark of your confidence. Act cool and in a collected way around your patients and try to maintain the good vibes in your organization.
Most importantly, be honest with your patients no matter how hard the truth is. They have the right to know and it is your duty to tell them. Soothe them, console them, be supportively empathetic in every way possible.
Never behave rudely, contradict, or argue with patients. They might be agitated, wrong, or irrational but insulting them in any way could morally discourage them which is really not going to help the patient and more, would knock your reputation down.
#10. Keep in touch with your patients
Many professionals might think of keeping up with patients as an unnecessary task, which for a fact, is really not true.
They think of it as a time-consuming task which they don’t really have time for. This mindset is totally incoherent and unacceptable.
Reaching out to the old patients in any way, either through call or simply an e-mail, gives out the impression you are caring and highly dedicated to your profession.
It simply shows that you value your patients and that they are really important to you.
You don’t have to climb mountains in order to show your patients that you care. Simple acts of generosity and kindness can just work the magic.
Your supportive presence in times when they are lonely can boost their mood.
A person who is ill is just not physically disturbed but mentally isolated as well. Half of the illness would just disappear if they are sprinkled with words filled with courage and assurance.
Your positive attitude towards others would nourish them with hope and willingness.
It is the staff that has to really work in order to satisfy each and every customer. And to do that, staff should have some level of bonding and understanding between them which is only possible when there are no disputes between the organization.
Now, this section of the service might not be directly in relation to the satisfaction of the customer but if you look closely, a happy employee is more likely to deliver an outstanding service than the one who is just performing his/her duties for the sake of it.
Customer satisfaction is not something that can be achieved verbally or by pretense. It has to be earned by continuous efforts in the fields where you lag and can improve. It comes naturally when you put sincere attempts into delivering high-quality service.