Do you dread going to the doctor or to a hospital for routine blood work? Put aside any phobia you have of getting “results.” The biggest issue is communication. It’s a hassle to call and schedule appointments. After you get an appointment, you are rushed through your visit leaving you with more questions than you came in with. And if you need to stay in the hospital for any procedure, it’s the dreaded poor “bedside manner” that literally leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth.
But what can be done to remedy these issues? Implementing great customer service training for healthcare professionals. Proper teaching techniques and simulations will go a long way for great patient/provider relationships. Plus, it will make for a happier work environment for your healthcare employees. So what are some of the other benefits to customer service training for healthcare professionals?
Benefits to Customer Service Training
- More engaged employees
Healthcare professionals by nature are laser-focused on the job at hand. Sometimes literally lives depend on this. The issue is these professionals can lose sight of the bigger company picture. Customer service training can help these employees see how their roles benefit the organization or company overall.
- Secure future
It’s important when you onboard a new healthcare professional, you provide adequate customer service training. All employees and especially new ones, want to grow and expand their skills over time. And ongoing training is key. If you provide customer service training, employees are motivated to stay with your organization and feel they have the tools to meet the customer or patient demands.
- Increase everyone’s strengths
Naturally, some of your employees are going to be better at some skills than others. Customer service training for healthcare professionals brings everyone up to speed. Courses can cover communication, listening, problem-solving, and organizational skills. That way every employee learns and masters each skill set. Plus, creating a team learning environment fosters a closer co-worker bond.
- Keep customers
Now more than ever, patients have options. If they are not satisfied with their care, they will take their business elsewhere. Worse, in this digital age, a disgruntled customer can easily post a bad review online bringing the company perception down for other potential new customers. But great customer service training for healthcare professionals can ensure lifelong satisfied patients.
- Increased profit
A healthy bottom line is a win for employees, the company, and its patients. Great customer service training of your healthcare professionals can help this. Basically, it creates a domino effect. First, you train your employees who are motivated to remain with the company. Less turnover is less money spent on hiring new staff. This savings can then be passed onto your customers. These customers are then happy with their level of care and will recommend you to other new patients.
How to implement customer service training
Now that you know the benefits to great customer service training, how do you introduce effective training into your organization? Here are some steps to take.
1. Put customers first
Before you can train your healthcare employees in customer service, you need to think “customers.” Ask yourself questions like, “what do our patients or customers want?” “What keeps people coming back to our company?” If you are not sure of these answers, simply ask your customers.
Create a comment card or ask people via a web survey how they would rate your customer service. Also, look at indirect feedback like ratings given to you on third-party healthcare websites. Customers will also comment on their level of customer service on these sites. Write down the areas for improvement mentioned. If you need help putting together an online survey, consider using a learning management systems provider to create one.
2. Observe customer service in action
Once you have a firm grasp of what your customers want, look at your employees. Are they providing what is being asked of them? A good way to judge this is by observing their behavior. Listen in on a few calls and sit in on face-to-face meetings between your employees and your customers. Are there areas for improvement? Do certain employees possess necessary skills that others do not?
3. Use contextual learning for training
After you’ve figured out what skills need to be taught, start building your training plan. Create learning objectives that meet each customer service weakness. Then use an ideal learning style for customer service training for healthcare professionals. Contextual learning is a great one to use. Basically, this style of learning utilizes role-playing as a group. Healthcare professionals will act out scenarios and be judged on how they react.
4. Evaluate your training method
Last, but certainly not least important is evaluation. Feedback is critical to your training program’s success. Again give your customers surveys on how their customer service experience was. And also let your employees weigh in. How do they feel the training is working? Are they better equipped to deal with patients or customers? Also, ask your employees how they feel their team is doing. There is no need to mention individual names, but this may point to certain skills that need more training.