There are many institutions that still strive when it comes to providing customer service, and healthcare industry is also one of them. Enhancement of clinical experience for patients is essential. Constant creative strategies coupled with some of the very basic customer service philosophies can help bring that sought-after transformation. Following are some useful propositions that can lead to improved clinical service.
Time forms the most important part of customer experience, particularly when it comes to clinical setting. Therefore, patients should be scheduled in a way that waiting time is reduced to a minimum. The patient should be given priority instead of what suits the clinic.
This includes both verbal and nonverbal encounters. In this context, use of language and nonverbal cues are extremely important. For example, hospital employees should greet patients with a smile and handle their request and complaints empathetically. Medical staff should come across as welcoming, polite, willing to help and professional at the same time. For instance, an employee should never tell a patient “I can’t help you” even if their query doesn’t concern his department. Instead genuine concern should be expressed while helping the patient out by saying, “Let me find the right person to help you with that problem.”
Take cue from Apple’s Genius bar that uses compassion to enhance customer experience. That’s how they concentrate on “moments of truth” making sure that the customer is emotionally satisfied. Apple has a five-part plan that is all about approaching, probing, presenting, listening and ending, whereas the employees emphatically employ verbal cues like using words ‘feel’, ‘found’ etc., to show customers that they really understand their requirements. And the impact of such empathy on emotional satisfaction is quite measurable. Therefore, same course should be taken up by healthcare facilities as well.
Patient satisfaction isn’t just confined to the physical environment today. Since technology permeates every facet of life now, healthcare facilities can also use virtual tools to enhance patient experience. Initiation of mHealth services and live chat support are some of the important steps towards it. Making use of convenience that these services have to offer, patients can consult experts in real-time and get answers without having to visit the hospital in person.
Internal customer service clearly makes employees more engaged and passionate about their job. That includes a good work environment and giving incentives, both in terms of monetary rewards and recognition. Studies show that incentivization, employee actions and patient experience have a direct link with each other. Towers Watson’s research showed that creating engaging and high-performance-oriented work experience at hospitals improves patient satisfaction. However, hospitals should identify the drivers that affect the level of employee engagement and then translate those into meaningful outcomes.
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