With hundreds of healthcare providers and options to choose from, the quality of customer service is often the distinguishing factor for patients. As medical costs continue to rise, informed patients are already hesitant to spend money on their healthcare needs. And, when they do, patients expect a high level of care and attentiveness throughout their patient journey. For most patients, how their initial phone call is handled could mean the difference between gaining a new patient or losing out on potential revenue.
In a recent survey, patients were asked how long they would be willing to wait when put on hold. Of those surveyed, 44% of patients would not wait longer than three minutes before hanging up. Only 18% of patients would wait longer than five minutes to get their questions answered over the phone. When your patients call, how they are treated, how quickly they are helped, and the overall customer service they receive is an important component of their decision-making process. In fact, 59% of consumers cite poor customer service as to the leading reason why they stopped using a healthcare provider. To ensure that you’re attracting and retaining new customers, it is essential for health and wellness vendors to consider all of the “touch points” in the patient journey. Understanding when, where, and how patients interact with your staff and customer service representatives can be an effective way of managing the level of care they receive.
What’s the first point of contact?
For most healthcare providers, the first impression of your business comes with the first phone call. How long prospective patients are put on hold, how thoroughly their questions are answered, and the professionalism of call staff are all key factors that play a role in the success of your business. Researchers have found that 74% of consumers acknowledge that when customer service staff have a poor attitude or lack of knowledge, this contributes to a negative experience. As the level of customer service has declined, over the years, when patients call, they may already anticipate a poor level of service. In fact, patients say that customer service agents failed to answer their questions 50% of the time. By training call staff and ensuring they are well prepared to answer incoming calls and questions, healthcare providers can carve out a competitive advantage. However, if your phone inquiries are not handled with the utmost care, you run the risk of turning off new patients and quickly gaining a negative reputation.
With healthcare consumerism on the rise, patients are willing and able to find hospitals with the best customer service and the best physicians. Modern hospitals must upgrade their customer service experience if they are to truly attract new patients. It is important to keep in mind that launching stellar marketing campaigns quickly become useless if hospitals struggle to keep consumers happy long enough to convert them into patients.
Having a proven call center can be one of the most efficient ways to enhance your patient experience. At Response Mine Health – providing the highest quality customer service is our top priority. As the only marketing agency with a fully HIPAA compliant call center in the United States, our award-winning customer service representatives are always knowledgeable and professional.
If you’re ready to upgrade your customer service experience to attract and retain new patients, click here.