3 Easy Ways to Improve Medical Practice Customer Service

Lea Chatham January 3rd, 2013

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3 Easy Ways

Following up on our last 3 Easy Ways post on improving patient satisfaction at your medical practice, we’re going to look at some additional ways to improve customer service. The fact is that patients are paying for more of their medical expenses and their expectations are higher. They want to feel like they are getting what they pay for. You want their experience at your office to be worth their time and money or they may go elsewhere. Beyond staying on time, being polite and having clean, comfortable spaces, consider these other customer service tips:

  1. Easiest: Change your attitude and the attitude of your staff. In a recent blog post for Physicians Practice, Audrey “Christie” McLaughlin, RN, discussed this topic. Her main suggestion was simple—be grateful for your patients. Say thank you and let them know that you appreciate their business. Say thank you for coming in, thank you for waiting, thank you for your payment, etc. Having an attitude of gratitude can go a long way towards improving a patient’s experience.
  2. Easier: Go beyond how you interact with patients to changing how you interact with each other in the office. When staff chitchat and gossip at the front desk or in the halls, patients can hear them. You may need to create a personnel policy about this to reinforce its importance. How patients see staff interacting and behaving impacts how they perceive their professionalism. And remember when it comes to staffing, you are looking for quality personnel. They should want to be professional and good at what they do. If there is an issue that is affecting how patients perceive your practice, your staff should want to change it!
  3. Easy: Change your physical environment. By removing clutter and paper, you can create a nicer physical space. You heard me right, remove paper. Walls of charts look outdated and create a perception that you are not up-to-date with the times. Just one more reason to consider going paperless with an electronic health record. Other things you can do to improve your space include removing walls or partitions between the front desk and waiting room and seeing patients in an office for a consultation and moving to an exam room for the physical examination.

Medicine is changing. Your medical practice has to earn patients’ business. Even if you do it one step at a time, it’s worth your effort to make changes that improve customer service and satisfaction. The end result is an increase in revenue, making those changes a win-win for you and your patients.

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