In an excerpt from an article dated October 30, 2010, written by Steve Smith, then Healthcare Success Senior Consultant on healthcaresuccess.com he stated the following: “One of the great myths of customer service is that providing great – or even good – service requires a “program” or a “policy.” The program or policy can be so grand that in larger enterprises there may even be a person whose sole function is the maintenance of a customer service program.
That’s the myth. The reality is that creating a memorable patient experience requires only a few basic principles explained in a meaningful way to your staff.
That memorable patient experience most often depends not only on what is said to a patient but how it is said. Delivering that to your patients takes less than ten seconds per visit.” I wholeheartedly agree! After a breast cancer diagnosis in early 2018, and subsequent surgeries, treatments and follow-up visits, my “customer service eye” might add that the patient room should also provide a comfortable atmosphere. I was fortunate that 99% of my visits provided top-notch customer service and a comfortable atmosphere. Customer service is everywhere-even in the atmosphere-it matters!!
When patients are facing an unknown, often scary, medical journey they may not be the best customers. They will, at times, bring frustrations into a call or face-to-face interaction. Here are five tips for managing challenging customers:
●Smiles can be heard as well as seen
●Remember, it’s not about you
●Take time to listen
●A small “thank you” goes a long way
Taking the time to show that you appreciate them in spite of their cantankerous dispositions will leave a lasting impression. In the end, one old adage remains true “treat others the way you would like to be treated”.