A Refresher: Nine Ways to Enhance Customer Service

While the ideas listed below are nothing new, in our time-crunched world, they too often go ignored.  

  1. Remember that it costs 10 times as much to acquire a new patient as it does to keep an existing one.
  2.  Along the same lines, know that 91 percent of unhappy patients will NEVER visit again, and on top of that, they will make their dissatisfaction known to at least nine other people.  Turn off 1 patient, and you discourage 10!
  3. Call patients the day after they’ve had surgery or an office procedure to see how they’re doing.  And don’t underestimate the positive impact this simple call will have.
  4. Survey a sample of your patients each year to learn more about their needs, wants and expectations regarding your services.
  5. Periodically send a brief postage-paid evaluation card or survey to each patient after his or her visit.  Use responses to praise outstanding employees and address and correct any negative issues.
  6. Make it convenient for patients to see you.  Evaluate whether you should set practice hours for select evenings, lunch periods or Saturdays to accommodate people who can’t get to your office during typical weekday work hours.
  7. Personally give all patients your business card.  Thank them for choosing you for their care and encourage them to call if they ever have a question.
  8. Have your staff acknowledge all callers and wait for a response BEFORE putting them on hold.
  9. Ask patients if they understand their diagnosis and instructions.  Listen to what they tell you.