The world of healthcare is changing. Health professionals are no longer just treating patients with a cure but instead have to take the time to treat their patients with care.
A focus on patient experience is now more critical than ever.
Take a read to learn how healthcare marketing tools can assist with patient customer service and why it’s essential to implement a customer service strategy at your practice.
Communication is key to excellent customer service
When you make it easy for customers to contact you, they will feel more comfortable and engaged during their interactions with your practice.
One way that practices can engage positively would be by promptly responding when receiving patients enquiries from all mediums.
Society has placed great importance on customer service and needs to be at the forefront of approaching a patient’s care.
PatientHub’s aims to help practices with patients communication. Enabling practitioners to free up their time to attend to patients’ needs can be more efficient at what matters most- patient care.
Considerations for providing a great customer experience in the digital age
Practices in all sizes can offer excellent customer service for patients by:
- Using the right tools;
- Leveraging digital assets;
- Identifying weaknesses in the clinic.
- Learning, training yourself and the team;
Any tools or management strategies will be less effective if they don’t help you and your team do the following.
Maintain Multiple Communication Channels and Respond Quickly
In the era of mobile, maintaining multiple communication channels (texting, email, voice messaging) is a given.
Quickly responding to messages sends a clear signal that you are an interactive and engaging practice with a finger on the pulse.
Customers want accessible communication channels. It’s your job to offer them a few different ways for that:
- Phone: A must-have
- Email: Another must-have
- Webchat: Optional, but soon becoming the norm
- Text / SMS: Optional, but can set you apart
- Social: Optional – think Facebook chat, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
When you can’t find the number for a place online, what’s your reaction?
At a minimum, publish customer service phone numbers clearly across your website.
Avoid using emails if you find it difficult to reply quickly.
Choose the channel wisely because customers expect responsiveness through any of them!
Implement an effective chatbot or FAQs page set up on your website or GMB so if there are questions about common questions, they will get answered on your website.
There is pressure on practice administration staff to do multiple duties.
There’s much pressure for practice administration staff to:
- Answer phone calls within 10 seconds
- Respond to emails within 2 hours
- Reply to web chats, texts, and social channels within 30 seconds
In this day and age, with customer expectations, you cannot afford not to have someone available at all times to attend to patient requests.
PatientHub has your back.
The phone rings all day long with patients who need responding. It can cause much stress, but you will feel much better if you only call those who matter and automatically respond to common questions.
PatientHub automatically responds with the following examples:
- If you miss a call, PatientHub can follow up with an automated text message. EG. Sorry, we missed your call, were you looking to make a booking?
- Set parameters around responses to auto-reply to messages. EG. Patient requests to make a booking, you can automatically send them a booking link.
- Through AI, over time, the system can learn how you respond and respond on your behalf.
Communicate with Transparency and Honesty
In the healthcare industry, communication with patients must be clear to be aware of what is happening and be informed about their options.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an extensive practice or just starting in your solo practice – this needs to happen at some level for customers to be informed and ensure that you’re honest with them.
Consider which tools are suitable for your needs.
If you want to make customer service more successful, your team needs the right tactics and tools.
- Phone: Setup dynamic intelligent phone numbers that can respond to missed calls with a text message
- Email: Setup a [email protected] email address. Then, have an auto-response that contains information linking to your website for most commonly asked questions, along with an indication on how long it generally takes you to respond. Our tip: Don’t publish a Gmail email on your website. It says “amateur hour”.
- Webchat: Webchat has become increasingly popular, and it’s almost expected nowadays on most websites.
If you want to utilise these techniques, you have to use a variety of software applications. However, the good news is out of the box. PatientHub not only includes these three channels but also includes the technology to respond on your behalf.
Train Your Team
Creating a team of motivated customer service-minded professionals is the best way to improve your clinic’s image. Let them succeed by empowering and training those who work for you!
A well-trained, empowered staff can change everything about how customers feel when they come in contact across each touch-point with your practice.
Your training should cover:
- People & Communication skills
- How to handle patient requests and enquiries
- How to effectively use your practice management software
Empowering your team is all about instilling them with a customer service mindset and knowledge of how to handle those patients who need more than just medical attention.
Not only will this create happier customers, but also employees!
Furthering your customer service training is highly recommended.
Create transparency by communicating quickly and honestly with patients about what is happening throughout their interaction.
Consider which health marketing tools work best for your clinic needs (e.g. webchat) to ensure customer service success! Train staff to handle different patient requests effectively using PatientHub software applications, including automated intelligent response options through A.I. over time.
Empower them to succeed at all levels of contact across touchpoints within your practice.