The Importance of Customer Service in Patient Retention
We talk a lot about profit in the dental industry. Profit is our focus, our livelihood, our barometer of how well we’re doing. Yet, sometimes we can miss the smaller things that turn us that profit, the sort of “behind-the-scenes” stuff that makes your business the best.
Customer service isn’t a word you hear all that often in the health space, unless it’s in a negative context. Longer wait times between insurance verifications, languishing overbooked appointment schedules, all these things work against us and our quest for a profitable, friendly business.
Here are some quick tips for getting your customer service experience back on track:
- Encourage your employees to maintain a calm, helpful tone when helping customers. This can work out in phrasing terms like: “What’s wrong?” Into: “What can I do to help you?”
- Give your employees time management goals, such as logging calls with patients and how long it takes on average to solve a particular problem. Once you find out where you can best manage issues as they arise, you’ll find yourself with a lot more time for the face-to-face communication of patients in your office.
- Encourage your patients to leave feedback, whether through in-office comment cards or on Yelp and other business review websites. Ask for specifics, such as the best and worst parts of their visit, along with a section for suggestions or what could have gone better.
- Lastly, the most important aspect of any customer service is having a well-trained and knowledgeable staff. If your front office frequently deals with patient issues regarding insurance verifications or claims denials, give them a rundown of different paths or scripts they can use to calm down a particularly irate individual.
Once you implement and effectively utilize these tips, you’ll see an increase in satisfactory interactions with your patients, and ideally, more of those immensely helpful word-of-mouth referrals from your most loyal customers.