Excellent customer service is at the heart of every great healthcare organization. As the world changes, customers are more particular about where they put their money, especially when it comes to their own health.

This makes it more important than ever to have a reputation for quality customer service. When customers come to you with questions and problems, you have a chance to build a stronger relationship and develop greater customer loyalty. Read on to learn 10 tips on how to provide excellent customer service in healthcare today.

1. Show Some Personality

If you’re looking to set your organization apart, you’ll need to make human connection with your customers. One of the best ways to do so is by showing personality in your customer service. Encourage your employees to go slightly off script (within reason) and show the more human side of your healthcare company. Ask how the customer’s day is going, make a joke — anything to remind them that your organization is made up of people just like them.

2. Provide Ongoing Training

No matter how thoroughly you train your employees when they first start working for you, it’s important to keep their minds fresh with continuous education. Mix up how you teach and introduce more advanced principles as time goes on. Try role-playing, case studies, and other interactive ways to teach excellent customer service.

3. Admit Fault

Not everything goes right in healthcare, and admitting fault can go a long way in helping a frustrated customer cool down. Some healthcare providers worry that admitting fault will drive patients away, but it can actually have the reverse effect of making your organization seem more relatable and appealing.

4. Learn How to Listen

People come to customer service because they have a question or problem that needs to be addressed. While they of course want answers and resolutions, they first want to express what’s on their mind. Make sure your employees let the customer talk their way through the issue before taking a turn to speak. While the customer is talking, employees should be practicing skills like listening for understanding, clarifying, and re-phrasing to make sure they’re on the same page.

5. Go the Extra Mile

Most healthcare organizations strive to settle customer problems or answer questions, but they shouldn’t stop there. Win over loyal customers by really going the extra mile with your customer service. Train employees to ask what else they can do for the person they’re talking to, even if their initial inquiry has been addressed. Delight customers with unexpected freebies or other rewards to show you care.

6. Make Sure Employees Know Your Products + Services

Healthcare is an industry that many customers have a hard time understanding. Make sure your customer service representatives know the ins and outs of your services or products so they can clarify and give answers as needed. Customers will be upset if they get passed from person to person as they seek help, so you want every representative to be able to efficiently solve problems and give answers right away.

7. Instill Values in Your Team

What are the values you want your healthcare organization to be known for? Whatever they are, make sure your customer service team can rattle them of at any time. When employees are familiar with what your company stands for, they’re more likely to adopt the values themselves and exude them in their daily work. Customers will notice if you’ve taken the time to instill values like patience, humility, and concern in your company culture.

8. Utilize the Power of Persuasion

Most customers don’t think they come to customer service to be persuaded, but it’s an advanced skill that could benefit your business — and if you play your cards right, you’ll end up with a happier customer. Train your employees to use subtle strategies and positive language to persuade customers to upgrade their services or go with the outcome you’re hoping they choose.

9. Be Efficient

Customers are more impatient than ever. Eliminate grumpiness and frustration by having a quick and efficient customer service department. If you can resolve issues speedily and accurately, your customers will be more likely to come back to you and develop a loyalty to your organization.

10. Show Gratitude

Everyone wants to be appreciated. Take time to show gratitude for your customers — after all, your company wouldn’t exist without them! Any customer service interaction is the perfect opportunity to thank a customer for working with you. You can even go above and beyond by offering them a gift or discount as a gesture of your gratitude.

Implementing These Tips

Now that you’ve read through our 10 tips on how to provide excellent customer service in healthcare, it’s time to put them into action. Sit down with your customer service team managers to decide how you want to implement these tips. You can start by identifying your main weaknesses, and seeing how these tips can improve your situation. Then set goals and think of ways to measure your progress. Look back on how you’re doing in a few months — we’re sure you’ll be pleased with the results!