For the next installment in this customer service blog series, we will cover how to build and maintain a positive customer service atmosphere – not only for your front desk or call center employees but for all members of your team.
To do so, your gut instinct is probably telling you to observe your team’s current behavior, discover the undesirable aspects and work with them towards change. In actuality, it is up to leadership to design the ideal environment. Employees tend to respond to their environment so that means if the workplace is managed like it is 5 o’clock rush hour on a holiday weekend, the employees will pick up on that rush, rush, rush vibe. They will be stressed, overwhelmed and possibly hasty. This compromises their ability to provide exceptional service and affects patients’ perception of your practice.
So how do you create an ideal environment?
Follow these tips to ensure that your practice becomes synonymous with good service, thus allowing previous customer service training to really sink in and become a part of your overall brand…
Positivity by Design
Lead by example could not be a more fitting phrase for the way leaders and managers should behave in order to achieve a positive workplace environment. Showing anger, frustration or impatience with situations in the workplace will only enforce negativity and derail morale. This is especially true during customer escalations. If an employee comes to you for help with a patient matter, it is imperative that you handle it with patience and grace. Handle it exactly how you would want that employee to handle it.
After trying experiences, your follow-up is equally important. Harping on a difficult situation and complaining to your team may seem harmless. It might even seem like a way of connecting but rise above it. Keeping your response and outlook incessantly positive will only show your team that there is a professional standard in your practice. It also shows them that exceptional customer service should be their number one priority as it is yours.
Now that your team has participated in customer service training, you will likely begin to witness the skills they learned in action. As the level of patient satisfaction with your practice increases, you must show appreciation to your hardworking staff. There are many simple ways to award outstanding behavior – mugs, badges, a highlight in the company newsletter, handwritten notes, etc. A little will go a long way when it comes to rewarding good behavior.
Providing a forum for your staff to acknowledge each other is also a fantastic way to create a positive culture that will have a trickle-down effect to your patients. Try creating an Atta ‘boy system where employees can tip their hats to each other when they notice a job well done. Perhaps, host a monthly lunch where employees can vote for the coworkers that are going above and beyond. Also, be sure to promote and broadcast positive feedback from patients for the whole team to celebrate. It’s team-building and brand-building all wrapped up in one.
When new employees are hired, practice culture should be a part of onboarding and training. This goes beyond workplace procedures. It means all aspects of culture – how your team supports each other, how to treat patients, etc. Explaining this upfront to new hires will also allow you recourse if you find that a new employee does not comply with company procedures and standards. Remove employees who do not believe in exceptional customer service and do not embrace positivity.
For exceptional customer service to flourish, management must exhibit a top-down approach and first hold themselves to the highest standards. To learn more about designing a workplace with customer service at the forefront, contact Points Group LLC.