It’s safe to assume that healthcare professionals don’t look for ways to produce a poor customer/patient experience, but in reality, negative patient experiences and perceptions occur all too often, and in many cases, you may not even be aware that you are causing them.
Indeed, there are some big—but completely avoidable—mistakes that cause poor customer service. Keep the following three mistakes in mind, and be sure you never make them!
- Mistake #1: Treating sick people like they’re not people. There’s a difference between acknowledging and taking precautions to avoid contagious disease, and then there’s treating a patient purely as a case number. We already know that sick people aren’t at their best when they come to a healthcare setting, so make that extra effort to ease their pain and discomfort. It could be as simple as a smile and a reaffirming statement like, “we are going to do our best to get you better.”
- Mistake #2: Forgetting that a curtain or closed door doesn’t prevent patients from hearing your conversations. Be mindful of others who can hear what you are saying, especially if you are talking about things that might make them feel worse than they already do. It may seem like a casual conversation with your co-worker, but a patient who hears something like, “I can’t wait until my shift is over so I can get away from here!” or “If I see one more case of this flu strain, I think I may barf myself” will not be comforted or feel good about their time at your facility.
- Mistake #3: Talking about patients in a patient setting. You never know who might be listening to your conversation when you’re in a patient setting. Sharing personal and private details about a patient in a public setting where others can hear (i.e., “that patient was 90 pounds overweight.” “Did you see how she took her time getting on the scale?”) is never professional and will likely always result in a bad customer experience. Even if patients don’t know the person you might be talking about, they may assume you will be just as vocal about them when they leave.
Remember, although these mistakes my seem like common sense things to avoid, it’s all-too-often that they happen. Make a conscious effort to avoid these mistakes, and you will be on your way to helping your customers feel truly grateful for your care and service.
“One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.”