Customer service is one of the most important aspects of running a healthcare-related business. Think about it — your patients want to know that you care about their concerns and are willing to take steps to solve them. So, it’s vital that healthcare businesses do everything they can to provide their patients with the best customer service possible. This will help ensure that people are comfortable and getting the best care possible. Additionally, providing excellent customer service can lead to happier patients, more repeat visits, and recommendations to family and friends.
In this article, we’re going to outline how you can provide the best possible customer service for your patients. Let’s get started.
Provide A Range Of Contact Options
Different patients will likely want to communicate with you in different ways — this means that you need to provide your patients with multiple ways to get in touch. Phone, email, 24/7 live messaging, social media, and even good old-fashioned snail mail are all good options for healthcare businesses.
When deciding which options to provide for your patients, keep in mind that email, fax, and phone service are fairly standard for the healthcare industry — they can help ensure that there are records for patients, doctors, and insurers. Then, consider the needs of your specific patients. Different demographics will likely want to communicate with you in different ways — you might find that your older patients prefer to talk on the phone, for instance, while your younger patients prefer live chat or social media. You could even consider conducting a patient survey in order to see which channels you should implement.
To ensure these channels are managed properly, be sure that you have the team members to support them! There are lots of different channel types to choose from, but it’s best to just stick to a few that you can manage comfortably. And be sure to also provide your customer service team with high-quality training in order to help them use each channel well.
Publish Content That Addresses Common Patient Queries
Your healthcare business will likely receive the same queries time and time again. You might get questions about your health services, how to use your different products, or how to maintain medical equipment, for instance. You also might get inquiries from patients looking for help with various non-serious medical conditions.
You can save your patients time and help put their minds at ease by publishing content that addresses these common queries. Consider offering informational guides to different conditions you treat, how-to guides to maintaining different equipment, or video guides that demonstrate your products or services, for instance. This type of content will be helpful to your customers and offer your employees a resource to refer patients to for more information and support.
If you need help determining what types of questions you should be answering with your content, start by checking in with your customer service team. They can tell you what types of questions people are frequently asking — basing content off of them can help save everyone time.
Publishing high-quality content on your website will be great for your search engine optimization, or SEO. SEO is the process of improving your website in order to make it as visible as possible on search engines. Creating content is a huge part of this, and can help you reach more prospective patients. In order to get more SEO benefits from your content, you should have a strong content strategy. Loganix’s content brief template can help with this! It can support you in telling a writer what keywords to include in an article, what questions to answer, and the like. Using a specialist template like this can help simplify the research and writing process, so your team can create better content at a faster pace.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of health businesses that have helpful content on their blogs for inspiration.
Helix Hearing Care, a hearing aid supplier, gives their customers helpful content on their hearing aid maintenance page. They have several videos that show the viewer how to change their hearing aid batteries, how to change the filter, how to clean them, and more. This is a great way for Helix Hearing Care to provide hands-off customer service — people who have purchased their hearing aids don’t need to flip through an instruction manual or wait through long hold times. Instead, they can simply go on the company’s website and watch a short video.
On your website, consider providing your own video tutorials for your products or for basic, non-expert medical care. Tutorials for things like maintenance or properly applying a bandage can be helpful for your website visitors and save your customer service team time.
Caring Advisor, a network of senior living and lifestyle websites, has a wide variety of articles that help their patients and target audience well. For example, they have an article that answers the question, “when is it time for assisted living?”. The article discusses what signs of aging to watch out for, the types of assisted living communities available, and more.
Making the choice to move a loved one into an assisted living facility is a complex and difficult one. However, by writing articles like this, Caring Advisor helps put the reader’s mind at ease. It helps them determine what steps, if any, they need to take for their family. It’s an excellent form of customer service that shows the reader that Caring Advisor cares about them.
On your website, be sure to write your articles in a way that shows you care. Healthcare can be emotional for a lot of families but, if you can show that you have their best interests at heart through your content, your customers will be more likely to trust you. When you build trust with your customers, they’ll be more likely to continue to do business with you, making this content a great way to provide better customer service.
Blue Cross Blue Shield, a health insurance company, provides their customers with helpful content in their article on addiction treatment during COVID-19. The article points out that isolation as a result of the global pandemic has taken a toll on many people with substance abuse issues, but that Blue Cross Blue Shield is working hard to tackle the epidemic. This is a great form of helpful content because it helps to put the reader’s minds at ease and positions the health insurance company as an authority.
Customers that are affected by the opioid epidemic are likely going to be searching for information about what their insurer is doing to help. By posting these informational articles on their website, Blue Cross Blue Shield shows their customers that they are a helpful resource of information in the healthcare industry, and it helps to put their minds at ease.
On your website, consider publishing content that tells your customers what work you’re doing in your industry. It will show transparency and build trust! Building trust in this way can help strengthen your relationship with your patients and encourage them to stay with you as a provider, making it a great way to help provide better customer service.
Lastly, The Urgent Care Walk-In Clinic, based out of New Orleans, has an excellent article on staying hydrated during the summer. The article acknowledges that, during the hotter months of the year, they tend to see a lot of dehydrated patients. They discuss how people can stay hydrated while exercising outside, how to measure water intake, daily fluid requirements, and more. This is definitely content that people would be searching for, particularly in the summer. The article can build trust and help prevent patients from needing to come in for dehydration because they didn’t know the signs.
On your website, think about what basic health processes you could explain and demystify for your customers. Providing them with these types of resources is a great form of customer support — when they have simple questions, they can refer to these resources and find the answer.
Automate Elements Of Your Customer Service
You may be able to automate certain elements of your customer service in order to save your patients and staff time. For instance, you could offer a live chatbot that provides your website visitors with links to helpful information or implement auto-responses to certain social media messages. That being said, if you do choose to use a chatbot, be sure that people can quickly and easily reach a customer representative if they really need it.
You can also automate elements of your customer service by implementing canned responses to your emails or live chat services. These responses can serve as quick replies, reduce typos, and help your employees manage several conversations at the same time. But keep in mind that you don’t want your customer service reps to sound like robots, so stick to using canned responses in situations where it makes sense, like with greetings, ending the chat, asking for further details, or transferring patients to another agent, for instance.
An excellent practice would be to create a knowledge base that your patients can reference whenever they have a question. This way, your automated systems can send these in-depth guides to your patients whenever they’ll work well to answer people’s questions or concerns. It’ll speed things up and keep your patients happy.
Welcome Patient Feedback And Put It To Good Use
You can ensure that you’re providing your patients with everything they need by asking for feedback. One of the easiest ways you can do this is by sending out customer surveys — Google Forms and Survey Monkey can help you easily create a survey and compile the data.
In your surveys, be sure to ask questions on a variety of topics. You can ask your patients how they feel about your employees, your services, your customer support options, and the like. Be sure to also include at least one open-ended question where customers can say whatever they want; this is particularly helpful if none of your questions touch on something that’s bothering them specifically.
Once you have the data, look for patterns in the feedback before making changes. If a lot of people have the same complaint or concern, it’s probably worth addressing. Once you implement any changes, be sure to inform your patients. They’ll feel heard and appreciated!
Keep A Record Of Previous Patient Communications
You can save your patients and customer service team from going over old ground by keeping track of the communication your company has had with certain contacts. This means that, if a complaint or query is passed between members of your team, everyone can get caught up quickly and easily, saving your team time and your patients a headache.
One option for keeping a record of patient communications is to use customer relationship management (CRM) software. These programs keep all customer interactions in a single place so that any employee can find information on their previous purchases, customer service interactions, and more. By having all of this information in one place, your employees can better help provide the best service possible to your patients.
Customer service is one of the most vital parts of any business, but particularly for healthcare. If you want your patients to trust you with their health, you need to ensure that they can rely on you for answers to their questions!
In this article, we outlined how you can provide better customer service to your patients by keeping communication records, providing a variety of customer service options, creating helpful content, and more.
Aaron Haynes is CEO and co-founder of Loganix. The company is an SEO fulfillment partner for digital marketing agencies and professionals, which provides the services businesses need to improve their online visibility and grow. If you liked this article, check out the Loganix blog, where you’ll find more SEO guides full of expert advice.
Follow Techdee for more informative articles.