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(e)Merging Practice Growth Trends:

March Update

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The Rules of Customer Service


When it comes to healthcare, consumers make decisions based on a variety of elements.  While some perform a great deal of research into their decision making process and others simply trust the recommendation of a friend, studies will show, we all make decisions based upon emotion.  Consumer behavior research shows we base our purchase decisions on past experiences and personal feelings.  Knowing this, it becomes truly imperative as healthcare professionals, to provide exceptional customer service and create memorable patient experiences. 

A recent article from Small Business: Canada discusses the need for return customers, how to make each experience top of mind and the benefits of giving reason to come back to the business.  According to this piece, there are 8 rules for customer service; let’s discuss a few of the most significant rules.

1.)    Don’t make promises unless you will keep them

When it comes to healthcare, patients don’t want to wait.  When consumers come to us, they are sick, distressed and in pain.  We must be certain we are working together to communicate reasonable time frames for relaying results, filling prescriptions and scheduling follow up appointments.  Ensuring all staff is aware of current situations can help to avoid situations where promises are made that cannot reasonably be met.

2.)    Listen to your customers

While it may be difficult to put on a smile when the phone rings for the 200th time or you are seeing your 20th patient of the day, be certain to answer the phone and greet each patient as if they were the first and most important of your day.  Giving patients the chance to voice their concerns can help provide a more engaging experience for them and assist with proper diagnosis and treatment on the practice side.

3.)    Take the extra step

Letting someone else deal with an issue can be much easier than stepping in, however; to create memorable patient experiences, we must often push ourselves to take the extra step and do something for a patient or physician to assist.  These are the true moments where loyal patients are made and experiences are remembered.  Taking the time to go the additional mile for someone could mean the difference of retaining their business and the referrals they may bring along down the road.

There is no doubt customer service is important in all industries.  For those involved in the healthcare industry, we know how personal one’s healthcare experience can be.  A lack of compassion shown by staff inside the office can weigh heavily on a patient’s decision to continue care with an organization or move to another practice.  Each encounter with our patients is crucial and must be recognized for the importance it holds.

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Social media has been our focus this month.  We are all truly passionate about the ability of social media to connect patients and physicians.  The continued innovation and involvement opens a range of possibilities for medical practices to reach out to their patients and create a new form of communication.  We are working to spread our excitement for social media in the healthcare space through multiple publications.  We look forward to sharing a YouTube specific piece and a social media how to guide for practice administrators.   In the meantime, we have recently gone live with an online educational course for administrators, managers and physicians regarding social media and how to get involved in the online space.  We would encourage you to view this course for additional information!

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Put it into Practice!

Leadership and management roles are certainly not for everyone.  There are specific skills needed to motivate and direct that are essential to success in a leadership role.  Advancing those excelling in their current roles to a management position due to exceptional performance may seem logical, but many times the skills possessed are not congruent to those needed to lead.  Here are some qualities to look for when promoting to management from within:

  • Honesty
  • Clear communication skills with co-workers
  • Confidence
  • Ability to delegate responsibilities when necessary
  • Creativity
  • Intuition

Using these characteristics to guide your search for management and leadership material are likely to bring better long term results than simply judging by current success rates within departments. 


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What's (e)Merge?

(e)Merge is a medical practice growth consulting firm specializing in providing innovative, patient-centric marketing initiatives and medical mystery shopping services that enhance patient experiences to increase referrals.  Our programs are designed to strategically achieve sustained patient volume growth for medical practices and health organizations.

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Give us a call!

1.877.362.6584

816.326.8464

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