Top tips for success in Practice Management
One of the best ways to apply the skills from your practice management qualification is to provide excellent customer service. You will create a point of difference that will help you to stand out from competitors, strengthen customer loyalty and encourage repeat business.
To be a successful Practice Manager, you need to embrace a customer-centric culture where your clients constantly feel respected, understood and valued. Traditionally, medical and other practices have not focussed on service as a key to successful practice management. However, in today’s customer-led climate, great customer service is essential to retain your clientele and encourage business growth.
7 Top Tips for Practice Management Customer Service:
1. Identify your Customer Service touch-points
What are the key interactions you have with clients? Once you have identified these, explore what you can do to improve service at these touch-points. Bookings, reminders, reception greeting, and client interaction are all examples of practice management service touch-points. These are your opportunities, the ‘moments of truth’ that give you a chance to show your clients you are efficient, helpful and caring.
2. Utilise Practice Management Digital tools
Use digital tools to maximise service and efficiency in dealing with your clients. These digital tools simplify the process of booking, confirming and attending appointments for clients;
- SMS Reminders
- Online booking systems
- Integrated software
- Smartphone apps that allow payment with bookings
These practice management digital tools are also used by many organisations to provide an extra level of service that benefits the business.
3. Create Customer Service Standards
Set guidelines for customer service in your business. Create a simple Customer Service Procedures Manual based on the touchpoints you identify within your organisation. Train your staff using your service standards in areas such as answering the phone, acknowledging clients as they arrive, communicating with a helpful attitude and tone with frequently asked questions and greetings. Having good standards create consistency and fosters a positive customer-centric culture.
4. Implement Practice Management Marketing
Automated email marketing allows you to communicate news, relevant information and special offers directly with your database of clients. Good practice management means using your valuable database as a key marketing tool. A monthly email with news and information in your specialty areas serves to engage your clients and also encourages them to remain in positive contact with the business. Create a call to action on all email marketing to set a measurable response.
5. Provide Customer Service staff training
All practice staff need to be empathetic, skilled and engaged with clients to provide excellent customer service. In the past, practice receptionists did not focus on prioritising the customer in day-to-day business activities. Now, friendly and professional service at reception is essential and expected as the norm from customers. Using your Customer Service standards, train and set staff expectations for service. Ensure your staff understand and have the skills to engage in a proactive, productive and friendly manner with all clients at all identified service touchpoints.
6. Improve Administration processes
It must be an easy process for clients to book, pay and enquire about your practice. Work through all your processes, internal and external and identify improvements. It is a good idea to involve your practice staff in this process and allow them to take ownership of continuous improvement.
7. Collect and utilise customer feedback
It is important to get regular feedback from existing clients, and there are many practice management digital marketing tools available to gather simple or more extensive feedback. Continuous improvement heavily relies on customer feedback, whether it is good or bad. When you view negative feedback as an opportunity to improve service and repair a situation, then you are more likely to retain customers.
A Practice Management qualification (HLT57715) can give you a competitive advantage, and the confidence to improve customer service and grow your practice.