Customer service training benefits just about every type of company in any industry. Healthcare companies, in particular, can experience business benefits that lead to a better bottom line as a result of providing staff, from schedulers and finance professionals to doctors and nurses, with customer service training.
3 Ways Customer Service Training for Healthcare Staff Improves a Company’s Bottom Line
Healthcare organizations should provide customer service training for staff across all departments because it can increase business performance in three key ways:
1. It improves efficiency -- A report by Accenture revealed that it takes healthcare providers 60 seconds to answer a patient phone call, while the cross-industry best practice is 23 seconds.¹ The report also indicated that it takes 8.1 minutes for a patient to schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider, whereas the cross-industry best practice is 3.7 minutes.
One of the goals of a customer service training program is to ensure a better customer experience by increasing staff efficiency. Providing healthcare professionals with this type of training may help reduce patient wait times on the phone and get their calls answered sooner. Since 32.3 percent of people aren’t willing to be put on hold at all, and 60 percent of customers will hang up after 60 seconds, this can have a very positive impact on a healthcare company’s bottom line.2,3
2. It promotes a better work environment -- Customer service training is designed to teach professionals of all kinds to relate to others in an empathetic, respectful way. Providing customer service training, which can include empathy training, to healthcare workers fosters good work relationships and a better work environment. According to NCBI,
“Disrespectful behavior (from healthcare staff) chills communication and collaboration, undercuts individual contributions to care, undermines staff morale, increases staff resignations and absenteeism, creates an unhealthy or hostile work environment, causes some to abandon their profession, and ultimately harms patients.”4
The majority of healthcare workers are kind and helpful to patients and peers. Customer service training can help close any gaps in this area, facilitating better experiences for staff as well as patients and promoting a better bottom line via less absenteeism and staff turnover.
3. It boosts patient satisfaction, retention and referrals -- Referrals are the lifeblood of any business, including healthcare businesses. Only patients who are satisfied with the care they’ve received will refer others to their provider. This is why it’s critical to get healthcare professionals trained in customer service best practices.
“Now more than ever, patients have options. If they are not satisfied with their care, they will take their business elsewhere. Worse, in this digital age, a disgruntled customer can easily post a bad review online bringing the company perception down for other potential new customers. But great customer service training for healthcare professionals can ensure lifelong satisfied patients,” wrote a contributor to Continu.5
Increased patient satisfaction leads to patient retention, referrals, and more business income. Customer service training can equip healthcare staff with the skills they need to meet and even exceed patient expectations.
Related Reading: How to Close the Healthcare Skills Gap Through LMS-Based Training
Deliver Customer Service Training with a Healthcare LMS
Customer service training isn’t a cure-all for healthcare companies. However, it’s an effective tool for optimizing work environments, promoting retention of both patients and healthcare workers, ensuring customers are satisfied and increasing revenue through patient referrals.
Consider providing customer service training to healthcare staff with a healthcare LMS.
1. Hospital CFO Report. How poor customer service in healthcare industry risks revenue. https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/how-poor-customer-service-in-healthcare-industry-risks-revenue.html.
2. Velaro. How long will they wait? https://velaro.com/long-will-wait/.
3. Opticall. The cost of putting patient phone calls on hold. https://www.opticall.com/patients-are-not-patient/.
4. NCBI. Disrespectful behavior in health care. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5265230/.
5. Continu. Customer service training for healthcare professionals. https://blog.continu.co/customer-service-training-for-healthcare-professionals/.