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The importance of customer service in clinics

Emily Tan

4 min read

Jul 2

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Customer service is more important than you think

Introduction

Running a successful clinic requires more than just providing quality medical care. Excellent customer service is a cornerstone of success, impacting patient satisfaction, retention, and the clinic's financial health. Beyond the quantity and quality of services provided by your clinic, quality customer service can also serve as a differentiating factor to make your clinic stand out amongst competitors.


In this article, we will explore the top 5 reasons why investing in superb customer service pays substantial dividends for your clinic.


1. Increased Patient Loyalty

Having the most skilled physicians and latest technology means little if it's coupled with poor customer service and leaves patients unhappy with the process. Amongst stiff competition arising from the growing healthcare sector, clinics have to rely on more than simply the quality and the variety of their services to attract and retain patients. Building patient loyalty is a prime example of how to retain patients, as those who experience exceptional customer service tend to become loyal advocates of your clinic. 


By providing quality patient care, the patient feels valued and increases their satisfaction with the services rendered, making them more likely to return for follow-up appointments. Inadequate customer service will have the opposite effect, with a survey by Accenture indicating that 89% of patients switch healthcare providers because they were difficult to do business with, had a bad experience with the front desk or administrative staff, or the digital/online service and support solutions do not meet their needs.


2. Improved Reputation

In today's age of online reviews, your clinic's reputation is more important than ever. A one or two star review on google reviews can be a death sentence for the business as patients shy away from such clinics in favour of those who are rated better. Reviews play an essential role in how your clinic is perceived and is almost always the first thing people see when they search your clinic on google, hence a bad rating can deter potential patients from exploring your clinic further. 


Vice versa, a good review can propel your clinic’s growth. Providing excellent customer service can help ensure that your clinic is perceived in a positive light, driving people to leave positive reviews and comments about your service. A survey showed that 59% of customers want to see at least 2-3 reviews before making a decision as no reviews leave customers uncertain about the quality of your service. Furthermore, good reviews drives search engine traffic to your website, improving exposure and SEO.



3. Maintaining and growing customer base

Acquiring new patients can be an expensive endeavour. Marketing and advertising costs can steadily pile up, with its effectiveness not guaranteed either. Prioritising exceptional customer service allows you to diminish the need for costly marketing campaigns or patient acquisition strategies as your satisfied existing patients become ambassadors who naturally refer new patients to your clinic.This ongoing stream of new patients requires no additional effort or expense on your part. 


A survey showed that the top source of recommendations for 29% of people would be friends, family, and coworkers, leading to a steady influx of new patients through word-of-mouth referrals. Such patients are also more likely to enthusiastically recommend your clinic to their social circle, and leave positive online reviews. The benefits are twofold, increasing revenue from the repeated visits while simultaneously expanding your patient base.



4. Improved Patient Compliance

Patients who feel valued and respected by their healthcare providers are more inclined to adhere to treatment plans and follow-up appointments. Certain procedures require patients to adhere to strict treatment plans or refrain from engaging in some activities. Having braces is one such procedure, requiring patients to refrain from eating certain foods and grinding your teeth. Without proper compliance, it may lead to damage being done to the braces and extending the overall treatment time. Patients will also be more inclined to show up for their follow-up appointments on time if they have a satisfying clinic experience, and this heightened compliance from quality customer service improves patient outcomes by reducing the risk of patients straying from their treatment plans and increasing the effectiveness of the treatments. 


Customer service that is oriented towards enhancing the patient experience helps create an environment where patients can share their health concerns freely and comfortably. This is essential in collecting vital data and input from the patient themselves in order to formulate the best treatment plan possible for patients. However, this process can sometimes be hindered by an unfriendly environment or a lack of care from the physician, leading to poorer patient outcomes in the long term. Facilitating clear communication through good customer service can thus diminish the requirement for additional healthcare services and benefit patients tremendously.


5. Reduced Liability

Exceptional customer service contributes to reduced liability for your clinic. Excellent customer service helps build trust and loyalty among patients, and even if something goes wrong, are less likely to resort to legal action as they feel valued and supported. By emphasising and acknowledging the concerns or criticisms patients have, they feel understood and have little inclination to leave a bad review or make a formal complaint as they are confident that the clinic will take their opinion into consideration and improve upon these areas. Good customer service goes a long way towards making the patient feel satisfied, even if something goes wrong. As such they are less inclined to file complaints or malpractice lawsuits, thereby minimising legal and financial risks.


To sum it up

Exceptional customer service is integral to the long-term success of your clinic. By prioritising outstanding customer service, you can cultivate a thriving clinic that delivers exceptional healthcare services to patients while also fostering significant business growth.



Emily Tan

4 min read

Jul 2

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0

0

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