We have all had a day that was ruined with bad customer service. Never underestimate how important having properly trained front office staff is to your patients’ overall visit satisfaction. Below are the top four skills everyone at your practice who interacts with patients should know.
Great service always beats fast service. Make sure your staff members know they should give every patient as much time as they need at the front desk. This ensures they can ask all the questions they want and feel confident about the details of their visit.
There are a lot of things your staff members know about office visits and insurance that your patients are trying to understand. Adequately explaining things, especially anything that has to do with money, is of the utmost importance. Nothing will ruin a patient’s perception of your practice more than a larger bill than they anticipated. While it is ultimately the patient’s responsibility to understand what is and what is not covered by their insurance, most still look to the front office staff as the experts.
Knowing what you are talking about and being able to discuss it competently is really important. If a patient asks a question about an upcoming visit, they expect the person answering them to know all about it. If you don’t know, it is always better to double check before guessing at an answer. If you have patience with your patients, then they return the favor while you go and figure out the answer.
What sounds better to you, “we can’t schedule you until next month” or “we can schedule you at the next available appointment, which is next month”? While neither response is particularly negative, the tone of the first response may be seen as abrupt and impersonal by patients. The second statement, while telling you the same thing, is focused on getting the patient what they want (an appointment) and getting it to them as soon as possible.
As you can see, properly trained individuals can greatly improve the patient experience. Consider a yearly training for your staff members, to remind them of the importance of good customer service.