Patients are a hospital’s most vital asset. That’s why it’s imperative that hospitals demonstrate superior customer service skills to wow patients and excite their communities.
Wise administrators wouldn’t question whether their facilities need a customer service training program. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. If your scores aren’t in the 90th percentile and are trending downward, now is the time to take action.
There are many reasons a hospital should opt for an ongoing customer service training program. Below are five that immediately come to mind:
(1) HCAHPS Scores
As you are well aware, the Department of Health and Human Services has launched a program in which Medicare reimbursements are based on care quality, not just the services hospitals provide.
In a nutshell, if your team delivers poor customer service and if that experience is reflected on the patient’s HCAHPS survey, your hospital could lose tens of thousands of dollars (or even millions, depending on your facility) in reimbursements.
I don’t know about you, but to me, poor customer service sounds like a foolish way to lose critical funding.
(2) Patient Expectations
When you’re sick or in pain, the last thing you want is to have a nurse, receptionist or physician who has a bad attitude or isn’t showing compassion. Patients expect their experience at your facility to be seamless and without hassle. Wouldn’t you expect the same?
(3) Word of Mouth
Personal experiences are far more persuasive than any mass communication campaign. If one patient has a bad experience at your facility, that person’s family and friends will hear about it.
Negative word of mouth can cause great harm to your hospital’s reputation, especially in the digital age, where online reviews can last a lifetime.
(4) Employee Satisfaction
Let’s face it—nobody likes to work with grumpy colleagues. Poor attitudes can often bring down the overall satisfaction of your staff, causing poor customer service. Likewise, high employee satisfaction will always correspond with positive patient satisfaction.
Always have a pulse on the status of your entire staff. Anytime you discover a problem, do your best to resolve it as quickly as possible.
(5) Competitive Advantage
Exemplary customer service offers a way to differentiate your hospital from others in the region. This is especially true for communities that have several hospitals within a short driving distance of each other.
As regulations continue to hold healthcare facilities accountable for patient satisfaction, competitors are likely to focus on customer service to improve patient experiences.
Having the right attitude and being responsive in the event of a complaint are key to turning a negative experience into a positive one. With the appropriate training and empowerment of your team, your hospital can make strides toward high patient satisfaction—it just takes work.
An ongoing customer service training program doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, it should be seen as an investment to potentially save your facility tens of thousands (if not millions) of dollars in reimbursements.
Contact me today to learn more about my affordable on-site customer service training programs. You’ll be glad you did!