In today’s ultra-connected, social media-addicted world, ensuring your patients are happy with their experience is more important than ever. Word-of-mouth referrals and patient reviews take on a new level of importance.
Ultimately, the success of your practice depends on the quality of service everyone on your staff gives your patients. No matter how skilled the medical staff, no matter how successful the procedure outcomes, if you don’t have the right people interacting with your patients, your practice won’t truly shine.
Here are three ways to identify and keep the best employees:
Hire the right people
Regardless of what discipline you specialize in, friendliness and kindness are essential to connect with patients. Often, a patient may be feeling stressed or fearful about a procedure or treatment. When everyone who interacts with that patient is kind and compassionate, you can bet they will be singing your praises to others.
What do you look for in order to hire the right people? According to two companies who hit it out of the ballpark when it comes to customer service, Nordstrom and Disney, it’s actually quite simple:
- In Robert Spector’s book, The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence, it boils down to “Hire the smile, train the skill.” The book shares a question the author once asked Bruce Nordstrom — “Then who trains your salespeople?” The answer — “Their parents.”
- A paper co-authored by Disney Institute and McKinsey & Company gives almost the very same advice: “If you want friendly service, hire friendly people. Put another way, you can train for skill but you can’t train for attitude.”
Keep the right people
Once you’ve found warm, friendly employee,s and it’s clear they give wonderful service to your patients, you want to keep them. How do you go about making sure your patient service rock stars stick around? It’s pretty straightforward — make sure those employees love their jobs.
You can help do that with these four things:
- Recognition: It can be as simple as a handwritten thank you, or a gift card to a favorite coffee shop. Noticing a special effort or consistently great performance and saying thanks enforces the good stuff. Even a smile and a spoken “thanks” goes a long way.
- Appreciation: When an employee goes above & beyond, take them to lunch or give them a restaurant or spa gift card. Appreciating the late hours they put in, the complicated patient billing problem they solved, or the compassionate hand-holding you were witness to ensures you’ll get more of the same.
- Growth: Everyone wants to grow. Show you’re invested in helping your employees further their skills and career. Offering extra training, continuing education, attendance at an industry conference, or even a promotion are all ways to do so.
- Culture: You want your staff to look forward to coming into work every day. With each new person you bring into your practice, consider cultural and personality fit. Promote the belief that everyone is your customer, not just patients, but coworkers as well. Beyond fit, create a fun team environment with occasional outings and get-togethers.
Model the right way
Remember, all eyes are on you. As a leader or manager in your practice, you set the tone. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. Let your interactions with patients and staff speak for themselves. Be the example of what you expect from everyone in the office.
It’s a simple formula — staff your practice with those who enjoy people, enjoy their jobs and are good at what they do, and you’ll create happy patients.
Once you have all of those elements nailed down, consider adding one more piece to the great service experience you offer patients. Find out how LendingUSA’s point-of-sale financing portal can help grow your practice. With convenient, budget-friendly installment loans for your patients and savings for you, it’s a win-win!