Why You Need a Customer Service Policy
One of the most common customer service questions we hear from clients is “How do I get my staff to provide great customer service all the time?”
The answer is simple – accountability. The only way that you can hold your staff and providers accountable is to have a customer service policy. The policy offers a continuous reminder for your team that customer service is a top priority in your practice. It also provides a structure for service excellence.
How can you put accountability into your practice’s customer service policy?
Create a mission for service excellence. This mission clearly communicates the value of providing exceptional service.
Establish who is obligated to follow the policy. Everyone that represents the practice is obligated to follow the policy: providers, mid-levels, managers and staff.
Outline pillars. These pillars demonstrate the level of service expected from each practice provider and staff member. These pillars should also demonstrate the values of the practice.
Define the roles. The roles define who is a customer both internally and externally. Provide specific best practices on how to interact with all customers. For example, how should staff members address a patient face to face?
Employee Acknowledgement. This policy is addressed and revised on an ongoing basis. By adding to and changing the best practices, you demonstrate to employees that the leadership of the practice holds service to a high level. Instead of just adding to the employee handbook, think about addressing best practices verbally on a semi-annual basis and have a section where the employees sign that they understand and will implement the service policy on a daily basis. A quarterly award to an employee who demonstrates service excellence also shows your staff the ongoing commitment to service.
After you have created a customer service policy, you can look at other ways to provide accountability for delivering service excellence. For example, create a service council that is charged with the responsibility of monitoring customer service. Before you can have a council or other ways of staff accountability, everyone needs to know what level of service is expected and valued at your practice.
If you have questions about this topic or any other issues around the business of medicine, contact us via email or call us at 800-635-4040.