Posted on October 25, 2019 in General
As the healthcare industry evolves, the improvement of customer experience has become paramount. In fact, more strategies are in place today to retain patients than ever. It’s about building community relations in the medical field to strengthen the overall level of care.
Customer experience has become an integral force, and often patients want to call healthcare service providers because they have no other alternative. What does it mean to perfect the experience even further? Contrary to misguided perception, customer experience is not an afterthought when it comes to medical care.
Although customer experience is important in every industry, it requires more subtlety in medical care. Since you are living in the golden of medicine, healthcare experience shouldn’t be frustrating for patients.
Create a Response Mechanism
Your website should have a response mechanism with clear calls to action (CTAs) and information that can be easily accessible. One of the best ways to create a response mechanism is to send birthday emails, friendly check-ins, and wishing happy LASIK anniversary after the treatment.
Birthdays are special since they generate long-term value for customers. You can collect birthdays from a variety of sources such as sign-up forms, distribution lists, email, and post-purchase material. Similarly, you can automate the response for all birthday wishes to render an ideal customer experience.
That said, make sure that the birthday of a patient is synced with your automated distribution list. To make things better, you can segment the birthdays and create a personalized birthday message for the patients.
The Relevance of ADA Compliance
Your website has to be ADA compliant. With basic research and planning, you can figure out and undertake easy tasks in a heartbeat. However, you should build compliance plans as per your affordability. The level of compliance and functionalities, on the other hand, depends on your range as a medical service provider.
Ideally, it would be suitable to allow your customers to make their ADA compliant website. It’s not mandatory, but it provides more freedom. The point is not to convey the idea to the customers that ADA compliance is not an extraneous added cost.
Organized and Integrated Customer Experience
It is true – patients want ideal customer experience from your healthcare organization more than ever. And it’s not just about showcasing shallow empathy but also about proving genuine concern and willingness to provide satisfaction.
In addition, patients detest waiting on hold consistently. They want an authentic answer that doesn’t create more confusion. You should be ready to answer basic questions, follow up on appointments, prescription refills, and do a follow-up after the treatment.
The same rules apply when you do not answer patients’ questions. And when communications start to fail, the quality of customer experience inevitably turns out to be poor. But good customer experience is not bound to just one or two parameters. Instead, it could take many forms.
A single patient, for instance, may require assistance in multiple areas. It could be about coordination, billing, or scheduling. The underlying goal should be to provide comprehensive information that could put patients’ minds at ease. It’s about combining segmented information and presenting it as a generalized record.
Optimal Customer Experience
In the age of customer service, patients don’t want to be oblivious to crucial information about their health. From administrative activities and financial information to secure medical procedures, all can play a different role.
The end-goal should result in an acceptable outcome for the patients. Furthermore, less layered communication between the service provider and the patient creates an optimal customer experience. In simple terms, customers don’t want to get confused with the clerical process, coding, verification system, or even billing.
How to Rid Patients of Long Wait Times
There’s only so much you can do to avoid lengthy waits. The time your patients spend on these waiting calls adds up. However, agents can adopt various techniques to counteract patients’ frustration.
The goal is to make your patients’ waiting experience stress-free. You can upgrade the reception area to make waiting customers happy. Distraction, for instance, is a great way to help your customers pass the time. In essence, waiting time doesn’t mean customers should get lost in limbo. You can avoid such ruckus by letting your patients know that they are valued.
Here’s the thing, customers want to know in advance regarding the waiting period. In fact, the majority of customers prefer to know the waiting time in advance to minimize frustration and confusion. Consequently, you will be able to improve your communication with the patients.
Think of perception as the key, which you can tailor as per patients’ requirements. It may not sound like a big deal, but it comforts customers when their information is confirmed. It goes a long way when you manage logistics and update customers about their appointment’s date and time.
Your ability to apologize is not a weakness. It shows positive behavior that alleviates patients’ frustration. Many agents have accounted that saying “I’m Sorry” bridges the communication gap and creates a better response. And sometimes, all that customers want to hear is that you care about their well-being.
In addition, you can sort out technical glitches and navigational issues on your website to allow customers to browse the information easily. Similarly, your reception area shouldn’t contain old furniture. When it’s not tidied up, it can impact the expectations of the patients.
In-Person Connections and Patient Retention
You should have the ability to provide customer satisfaction from the front desk to bedside manner without changing the quality of service. The key is to make the transition as seamless as possible. Interestingly, bedside manner is interconnected with patient retention. And that’s because when a patient feels satisfied, there’s a high probability he or she will return.
This should be of utmost importance. Consequently, a good bedside manner & front desk experience ultimately leads to customer retention for an extended period. Here are some of the bedside manner strategies you can use:
- Proactively Listen
A patient will likely want to share a story with you. Keeping that in mind, you should listen rather than belittle their urge to share the story. Also, when you listen actively to customers, it allows you an insight as to what exactly is going on. The more you listen, the better the interpretation you can form about their health history.
- Explain Your Job Responsibilities
Establishing your role can go a long way. Once you explain your job responsibilities, there’s a good chance the patient would be able to remember your name. For the sake of increased customer engagement, ensure that your patient knows who he or she is talking to.
- Call Patients’ By Their Name
Don’t make the mistake of conveying the idea that you think of your customers as a mere statistic. You don’t have to sound formal here. Instead, a patient prefers to be called by their name rather than a designated number. Besides, calling patients by their name sends the signal that you see them as individuals and want to help them get better.
- Show Respect
It goes without saying that your constant interruption will display a sense of disrespect. You should be able to show compassion by listening to the patient’s point-of-view. Furthermore, you should provide medical diagnoses without patronizing the patients. If a patient, for instance, just wants a check-up to relieve his or her mind, you should grant that wish. However, you should be clear about the added costs associated with the tests from the beginning.
Post Treatment Follow-up
Your job doesn’t end when the patient leaves the medical care facility. Patients want to know that you are interested in their well-being. Therefore, reaching out to patients can create a huge positive impact. When you add that personal touch, it creates a blanket of warmth for patients. Minimally, you can send a post-visit survey to respective customers for testimonials. In hindsight, think of it as a prompt reminder that would lead to better reviews.
You should be able to convey to the patients that they are not just numbers on the screen. And when the medical service provider makes a patient priority, it creates a link of retention. Furthermore, you should have a minimum level of curiosity to retain patients. A patient, for example, will opt for a better bedside manner medical service provider rather than going with a non-professional service provider with equal skills.
The top priority of your medical care should be to provide quality service to the patients. Agents shouldn’t cause the confidence of the patients to dwindle. Instead, make sure that customers feel that they have placed their trust in the right hands.
Modifying specific customer experience is only daunting when you’re not concerned about the patient. Your first course of action should be to find irregularities throughout patients’ experience and listen to the grievances with a non-judgmental behavior. Small details matter and this is where your collective concerns should reach the doctor, which will lead to better treatment. A flawless customer experience, after all, is in the interest of the staff, health care provider, and patients.
To learn more about the customer experience and how MDprospects can help, schedule a demo today, or contact us using the form below.