The Next Big Thing in Healthcare : Customer Service

What is the importance of customer service in healthcare?

Healthcare industry exists to serve and take care of the health of the customers. The quality of service provided can dictate the life of both the companies and the consumers. There is no way in which a good healthcare brand can exist without a great customer service. Hence it is of utmost concern that healthcare providers focus on excellent customer care. After all, who would ever want to visit a hospital that lacks hospitality?

Why is customer service important to healthcare companies?
Any hospital without its service stands nowhere to its customer. Customer Service is essential to healthcare providers for the following reasons:

  • Service-based companies and industries grow in the long run only when the customers are happy with the service.
  • Patients with a prior positive experience are likely to return. They also tend to recommend that experience to others.
  • There are always expectations of positive experience from the customers. They are even ready to pay more for wholesome experience when the services justify the costs.
  • Bad service is a sign of more significant issues. It can be a sign of inefficiency or friction within the organisation.
  • Bad service can make the organisation liable for lawsuits and other expenses.
What could be the future healthcare trends?

We all must have come across the phrase ‘everything is transforming’. But do our ritualistic life process help us reflect on the transformations yet? Hence, in this blog, we have tried to accumulate together a few of the essential future healthcare trends. In order to talk about what is transforming and how is it transforming for better understanding.

Why customer service and care is essential to patients?
Customers of the Healthcare services are the patients. They suffer from illnesses and ailments. They use these services in hopes that they get better and improve their quality of life. These conditions and expectations make it even more critical for the patients to look for excellent customer service. A bad customer service can turn down a patient and all its acquaintances from you. Hence, it is important to understand the essence and improve the way you deal with your patients in general.

Here are a few tips on how you can improve your customer service to help you better:

1.Invest in proper data and have a data-driven approach

According to Patient Experience Journal, most providers don’t understand about the needs of patients. They instead focus on the changes they think that the patient needs. Patients and their feedback are very crucial for understanding their needs and help in improving the service. And to gather this information, there has to be a good investment for the collection of accurate data of the patients.

A data-driven approach can rapidly improve the quality of the service. Relevant Data can help you pinpoint the factors that you need to focus. They also detect the fault line of your business and service models way ahead in future. But, bad data can result in wastage of money, time and resources. Or even worse, they can lead to faulty treatments and can cost lives.

Telemedicine

Though the adoption of telemedicine is gradual and slow, we know it is going to work like wonders. It is not wrong to say that telemedicine is the first in the list of trends that are taking over. But how is telemedicine beneficial for its providers? Well, believe it or not, telemedicine can increase the efficiency of the care model of the providers.

Telemedicine means remote delivery of healthcare services. It includes interactive medicine; storing and forwarding information and remote patient monitoring. From just 1.16 million in 2015 to 7 million in 2018 the number of telehealth users is on a hike.

The patient turning out to providers can increase. How? If the providers can convince that they are receiving the best, telemedicine is a win-win option for both the sides.

2.Hire the Right Staff and train them.

The people you hire become the baseline of the service that you provide to the customer. They are the in-person representative of your company. Their values reflect the values of your company honours and care. So you must hire the right staff and check how committed they are in living up to those values. And all of this, is even more important to a healthcare based company. It is important to note that here, the customers are patients. They are already suffering from different ailments and diseases. They need care more than any other customers of other industries.

The type of service and care you provide can change their life and have immediate consequences. Inadequate services, on the other hand, increase the chances of having lawsuits and labilities. So you must hire the right staff and see how committed they are in living up to those values.

Here are some tips on what aspects to focus on while training the staff:

  • Establish their code of conduct properly and focus on their values.
  • Educate them about customer care and different aspects of it.
  • Teach them about the proper ways of communication.
  • Set clear targets so that they can help more.
  • Honour the staff that gets the best result.
  • Gather feedback.
  • Check in with patients.
  • Set Clear Guidelines and protocol

3.Focus on the communication between the staff and the patient.

Understandably, you cannot please all patients. But that doesn’t speak for most patients. For the ease in services, there has to be an ease in communication. And to provide the best services, there has to be proper communication between patients and the staff. Gaps in communication can affect the services and can even prove deadly.

We know patients nowadays are smart and enabled in taking up their decisions. Hence the one primary benefit is finding the right provider. The healthcare providers need to provide more information about their services. Not just that, they should also introduce information related to health care industry in general.

Train the staff so that they can make communication easy. Training can also prove itself as a massive relief for the patients and help you treat them in the best way possible. You must also hold regular sessions with staff to find new ways to serve the patients better.

4. Scheduling

Scheduling an appointment is most often the first point of engagement between the patient and the hospital. It is also essential in many aspects. More because, this is exactly where the hospitals get to collect the primary information. It also informs about the case and the urgency of the situation of the patient. So focus on the collection of useful data. Use it to make scheduling a smooth and hassle-free process for the patients. Customise the data and regulate the lists that provide the most convenience.

5. Appointment Check-in

Patient Walk-in and check-up visitations usually are the first point of contact between the patients and the staff. Patients form the first impression of the services here. The atmosphere, quality of the services and the facilities a hospital has, leave a mark. The friendliness of the staff is also an important barometer. So train the staff to be as helpful as they can be. Find ways to deal with patients with empathy and patience.

Waiting time is another area where you can use the data and make the waiting process a lot less cumbersome and less time-consuming. These little changes will improve the experience of the customer and lead to a good impression.

6. Treatment

Check-up and treatment is the most critical part of the whole visit. Generally, the customer care and service isn’t a significant focus of the healthcare specialists (doctors, dentists, lab technicians, etc.) Hence, it is essential for health practisers should realise their role in the whole process. The treatment has to be more than the focus on the ailments. It should also focus on helping patients to have a better lifestyle. In order to make that happen, practisers should focus on the needs and experiences of the customers. That, in turn, can improve the quality of the whole process.

Health practisers’ have to be empowered with as many tools as possible so that they can check for the old records, reports and history. In doing so, you will enable them to treat beyond the scope of regular check-up, and make a proper judgement about the situation of the patient. With such help and support, they can further help the patient to the best of their abilities.

7. Post-Appointment Follow-up

Post-Appointment follow-up is another very important aspect that often goes unnoticed. They show that the company cares which further helps in future recommendations. They also provide you data and feedback, which can help you improve your service. It can even change the wrong impression that the patient might have gotten because of any reason in the past. But how do you do a follow-up that helps maintain a relationship with your customer?

Here is how you can maximise the most of this opportunity:

  • Personalise the process.
  • It pays to have personalised calls from staff, try that. Emails and automated calls generally have a negative impression on the customers.
  • Make it a point to know how the patient feels and how the whole recovery process is going.
  • Find out if the patient had any queries about the entire process.
  • Give them proper details for future and further engagements.

If you’re a healthcare provider who wishes to up their game in customer experience, all of these should come to you as responsibilities. It is important for providers to stop viewing patients as subjects of their business interest. It is also high time for the healthcare service providers to treat healthcare with the patient-centric model. That will, in turn, help your business grow and let you have the edge over your 

 

 

Content Writer at

Gaffar Ali is a Content Writer at Wolftain. Currently into blogs, his passion lies in story writing. He is a linguistics enthusiast, and loves pondering over philosophies. He is curious about the markets, peoples, and world in general. But most importantly, he is a certified lover of everything "anime". His favorite series are Code Geass, Monogatari and Chihayafuru. He loves talking to people one on one. He is lazy and isn't active on social media.

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