The occupation of physician might not be the first one to come to mind when you think of the phrase “customer service,” but when you really think on what a physician does, it really is the ultimate type of customer service. Being a physician requires you to discuss highly sensitive information with patients, nurture a relationship of trust, and make decisions that could impact your patient’s health for a lifetime. All of this is to say that customer service really does play a central role in providing care to patients, and that can be easy to forget when working in an industry as fast paced as healthcare. Here are five small ways that physicians provide better customer service to their patients for an overall better healthcare experience.
Recognizing that the patient could have gone elsewhere
A customer service oriented physician recognizes that while ultimately these are patients with very real health needs, they are also customers who could have chosen to go elsewhere with their healthcare needs. Recognizing this as a physician can make you much more appreciative towards your patients.
On that note, just as anyone working in the customer service industry would do, a mindful physician shows appreciation to patients with things like cheerful greetings and a thank you at every interaction.
Keeping their promises
A truly customer service oriented physician will keep his or her promises, no matter how small they are. This means getting back to patients within a designated time window, providing them with requested health information following an appointment, etc.
Making it easy for the patient
Patients will have a much more memorable experience if the healthcare staff they interact with makes it easy for them to navigate the appointment. This means having healthcare staff greet them just as they walk in, telling them what to expect from their appointment (including how long it will take) at the beginning of the appointment, and telling them what they can expect in terms of follow-up after the appointment.
Respecting their time
A physician’s office gets extremely busy from time to time, and sometimes this is simply unexpected and unavoidable. One way to build strong rapport with patients even in this circumstance is to inform them as they arrive that there will be an unexpected wait time, and to phone patients who have not yet arrived of the delay.