7 Ways to Train Customer Service: The Doctor Was Great, Could Not Stand the Staff - E12
Customer Service is probably my biggest focus as a business owner. I believe it is the key to having a great business and growing your practice. I have recently quantified what I have been cultivating in my practice for the past 9 years and came up with 7 keys to training customer service with your staff.
The first thing you need to do is define what great customer service is to you. In my office we are there to make the patient happy. We do this by giving exemplary care, amazing quality, and timeliness. This starts at the top, which means you better be doing this as the Doctor/owner. You can define it any way you want, but whatever you say it is you need to live it and make sure your staff sees you doing it.
#2: Educate (why you are better)
The next thing you need to do is educate your staff why you are better than other offices. You cannot assume they know this and it makes a difference. I recently had an interview with an optician from another office, and she outlined some issues she was having at her current job. I took note and shared these things with my staff. I let them know that what we do is not the norm. We go above and beyond in what we do and how we do it. I do this with our customer service policies, but also with the products and services we offer.
#3: Train (listening/communication)
Once you have defined your standards and educated your staff on why you are better than your competition, you need to train them to provide great service. Training is a never ending process and you have to make sure it does not get lost in the day to day grind. Make sure it's consistent and make sure you emphasize the ability to listen. Too often we want to jump in and offer a solution without fully hearing the problem. Great customer service starts with hearing the entire problem and then and only then, offering the solution.
#4: Give power
It is one thing to listen and hear the problems your patients may have. It is a completely different thing to be able to fix the problem. If your staff has no power to help patients, you are going to get complaints. They will not trust your staff and constantly want to talk to “someone that can help” or “the person in charge”. Set a standard such as if the problem can be fixed for $300 or less, then just do it. Or give your staff the ability to handle 90-95% of the issues that come across their desk without intervention. This will give them greater job satisfaction and increase customer service.
#5: Real Life Scenarios
When conducting office meetings or training sessions, make sure to use real world examples that have happened in your office to teach the behavior you want and the behavior you do not want. This can be general and broad in regards to who was involved as you are not calling any individual out, but you want to make sure you reinforce the good and eliminate the bad!
You have to be involved in your office, or at least make sure your manager is involved in the office’s day-to-day happenings. Make sure you compliment the things you see that you want to keep happening. I advise you to do this publicly. The other staff will want the same praise and do what they can to get the same recognition. This is great to do in the moment and bring back up in your office meeting.
#7: Highlight the positive feedback
In that same vein, make sure to let your staff know if a patient makes a positive comment, you get a good review, or someone sends a thank you card. We know this happens, but in the hustle and bustle of running an office, we can forget to relay these positive messages. Believe me, the good will help you fight through the day-to-day grind, make sure your staff gets those positive affirmations as well.
There you have it in a nutshell! Make sure you do not let the little things slide. Set your standards and hold your staff accountable. Your patients will thank you!
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