Customer service with a smile: The importance of patient satisfaction

Patients are customers and their expectations are to be treated as such, especially when their health is on the line. They expect certain standards to be met, but are hospital personnel aware of those standards and expectations? Politeness and a smile can go a long way in regards to patient satisfaction, but so does a little customer service and patient relations training.

Monitoring patient satisfaction in your facility is an important step towards building stronger credibility and goodwill in the community, and one such monitoring tool that can be used is PressGaney.

Through PressGaney survey results, your facility can gain a clear indication of the direction patient satisfaction is heading in your facility. It can sometimes be difficult, however, to interpret and understand what specific changes need to be made and implemented.

A good customer training program can benefit all personnel in a hospital, regardless of their level of interaction with patients. The keywords here, however, are patient interaction.

More than likely, patients are already nervous about being in the hospital. To help them feel more at ease and comfortable, the personnel there need to make a concerted effort to help patients reach that certain comfort zone.

I believe there are more than a few ways to do this. However, there are areas I would like to focus on, particularly with regards to friendliness, attitude, punctuality, and attention.

In my opinion, friendliness and politeness are one in the same. People in general will always appreciate something that is as simple as making eye contact and saying “please” and “thank you”.

Personnel attitude is important in terms of how it can affect the patients’ feelings towards their current health situation. A positive attitude will reflect positively on the patient.

Punctuality is essential in regards to a patient’s health. Patients not only want their requests to be taken care of in a timely fashion, but they need them to be. In doing so, it will show patients that your word is your bond.

Making sure to pay attention to a patient’s needs, whether spoken or unspoken, proves to the patient that you have genuine concern for their wellbeing. Also, sometimes a little bit of light conversation can help lift the patient’s spirit and show them that they are priority number one.

Personnel interaction is an important cog in the healthcare machine, but that sometimes gets overlooked. Great customer service and patient relations will not only improve your reputation in the community, but will help increase patient volume and reduce out-migration as well.

For more than 21 years, I’ve been working directly with hospitals improve their presence in the market place. Through a customized, comprehensive approach in improving communication, your facility can quickly grow census and local support. I invite you to call me at 214-528-5775 to learn more about how customer service training can help you reach your goals. You’ll be glad you did.