Many people visiting an ophthalmologist for the first time feel anxious about the testing and treatment. Great customer service for ophthalmologists includes, making the patients feel comfortable, providing relevant information and guiding them through the process in order to ensure smooth and stress-free treatment or testing. Customers might be visiting an ophthalmologist for eyesight testing or other minor procedures; whatever the need might be, it is essential to deliver quality customer service. Here are a few ideas on how to deliver great service.
Streamlined Appointment and Scheduling System
One of the most common complaints from patients include long waiting time, disorganized scheduling system, inability to remotely book an appointment and lack of information. In order to streamline the process, many ophthalmologists now have an online scheduling system, which lets patients book their appointments from the comfort of their home. It allows patients to select their preferred time slots; hence, the waiting time is considerably reduced as patients arrive just in time for their appointment. Moreover, clinics can send automatically generated text messages on mobile phones to remind patients about their appointments. Alternatively, a customer could be called up before their appointment for confirmation and reminder. An appointment management system will also allow for the clinic to effectively schedule appointments based on the time required for each patient and schedule of doctors. Similarly, through an effective management system patients should be able to cancel or reschedule their appointments online.
Focus on Waiting Area Ambiance
No matter how efficient and precise the scheduling, it is normal to expect some waiting time on arrival. It is paramount to good customer service that the waiting time is as pleasant as possible. The clinic should invest in a comforting and welcoming interior design, with appropriate fixtures and settings that go well with the overall ambiance. Installation of LEDs or music would greatly enhance the experience for the waiting patients. There should be ample space and comfortable seating arrangement so that customers are relaxed. Reading material should be provided for the waiting patients to keep them busy. Relevant informational brochures and pamphlets should also be kept. Additionally, literature pertaining to eye care and precautionary measures should be available for patients in the waiting area. Offering them tea or coffee are small gestures which will enhance the experience and make the patients more relaxed.
The last thing patients want to deal with is rude staff members, since they are already stressed about their eye tests and treatments. Clinics must ensure that all staff members including receptionists, janitors, ushers are well-trained to do their jobs. Clinics can organize in-house training sessions to teach staff members on how to interact with a certain level of sensitivity while maintaining professional decorum. Patients must be dealt with kindness and courtesy which is a basic in the healthcare industry. Moreover, the staff members should be well-versed in the technicalities so that patients can be helped and guided through their visits. Technical knowhow would enable the staff members to share all the relevant information and answer any questions patients might have. Lending a sympathetic ear and being emotionally sensitive are fundamentals of providing customer care to those visiting an ophthalmologist.
Effective Record Keeping
All records of patients must be managed properly and effectively in order to provide better service to returning customers. Clinics must invest in an electronic patient record keeping system, which would ensure that all files are accessible easily. At the same time, an electronic system would ensure that privacy of patients is guaranteed as access will be limited to the concerned doctors and staff members only. Similarly an app can be developed for patients where they can access all the necessary information on taking care of their eyes. Reminders can be sent to them about their next appointment via the mobile app.