You’ve spent money on a logo, marketing materials and uniforms – maybe even some signage for your waiting rooms and offices, but what about your staff? Branding may surround them, but are they part of that brand? Do they represent what your practice represents? Let’s find out by asking a few questions…
Are they trained to be patient-centered?
It’s not enough to merely tell yourself, this is a patient-centered practice. If your practice wants to be known for its top-notch patient care and concierge-style service, then that must be conveyed to your staff and they should be trained accordingly. This high level of care must be evident from the moment a patient calls the office until he/she checks out from an appointment. A patient should walk away from each interaction feeling as though it was a pleasant and positive experience. Generally speaking, patients should always feel confident that this practice knows what it’s doing. They should be wow’d. Professional and caring staff can mean the difference between a glowing review on Healthgrades and a ranting complaint on social media. Word of mouth is imperative to the success and growth of a practice. Make sure your staff ‘s report with your patients is making them say the right things about you.
Are they trained on your messaging?
Regardless of which staff member a patient speaks – be it a doctor, medical assistant or receptionist, the messaging must be consistent. Navigating office policies and processes can be confusing enough for a new patient, don’t let inconsistencies create further confusion and, consequently, aggravation. For example, let’s say a patient calls the office at 10 a.m. and is told that he/she must pay $100 for a consultation. Then, an hour later, he/she calls back with a follow-up question only to now learn that it’s actually $500. The initial reaction will be an unforgiving mix of puzzlement and frustration. Not only will you likely lose that patient, but your reputation may be called into question.
Do they know about your physicians and services?
Did you recently acquire a new location and/or physician? Are you offering new services? Have you recently discontinued a service (such as offering MRI onsite)? It is important to keep your staff in the know. That way, they are able to bring in new patients looking for a treatment service that you now offer. It also gives your staff an opportunity to let current patients know about new offerings when they are in your office for a regular visit.
Meanwhile, you want to ensure that they don’t turn business away. For example, you don’t want to have a patient call your main office looking to schedule an appointment at the new office only to be told that the practice doesn’t have a new office. It’s such a wasted opportunity and an immediate loss of potential revenue.
Do they know what conditions you treat and don’t treat?
Training your staff on conditions that are treated by your practice is essential and can mean the difference between filling your schedule with meaningful appointments or wasting a patient’s time. The last thing you want is for a patient to fill out all paperwork, take time off from work for his or her appointment and travel to your office only to be told by the doctor that the practice doesn’t actually treat the patient’s chief complaint.
Alternately, the more your staff knows about the conditions treated at your facility, the more they are able to identify how urgently an appointment may be needed. They can even let a caller know whether or not the situation may be critical enough for an emergency room visit.
These are just a few areas where your practice can best identify whether or not your staff truly represents your ideal brand. If you’re looking for help with defining, creating and building your brand, contact us today.