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Customer Satisfaction Determines Reimbursement in Health Care

Customer satisfaction is essential in any industry. Whether you are providing a product or service, your reputation is determined by the people on the receiving end. With a shift in the healthcare industry, customer reports are now shaping and adjusting reimbursements.

In 2012, Medicare implemented a revised scale for reimbursements based on customer satisfaction reports. Healthcare providers will receive reimbursements on a sliding scale determined by customer experience and satisfaction. This new reimbursement structure encourages healthcare providers twofold:

1) When health care providers administer excellent service, customers report positive reviews.

2) When you provide the best customer service, you will receive maximum reimbursement.

To capture maximum reimbursement, training directors and executives in hospitals, outpatient organizations, and other healthcare facilities need to make customer service training a priority. Lets discuss several ways to initiate, improve, and maintain excellent customer service.

Building rapport is the first step in earning customer loyalty. Examine the first time patients are making contact with you (this could take place before they even step foot in your facility). Customers want to know they are being supported. Ensure your dedication to make their experience pleasant. Approaching with a friendly and genuine demeanor makes customers feel welcomed. Take time to learn and understand the patients reasons for medical attention, and provide useful information so there are no misunderstandings. Paying attention to customer’s needs is critical in every initial interaction.

Stay attentive to your customers throughout their entire experience. Loyalty is lost when customers doubt your presence. To avoid that, be assertive and proactive. Know how to do your job and demonstrate your knowledge to your customers. Patients should know how to communicate with a nurse, doctor, or other practitioner when they are not being attended to. Communicating, asking questions, and staying in touch with your patients ensures your presence and continued loyalty.

Exceeding customer expectations and creating memorable experiences are crucial to earning the maximum amount in reimbursements. Anyone can provide average customer service, but excellent customer service requires dedication. Customers love when you go beyond your duties to satisfy their needs. Customers also appreciate quality, efficient and persistent service. It will not go unnoticed to customers when you complete and excel at tasks outside of your job requirements.

Discussing ways to improve customer service will prevent low and average ratings. Understand and accept feedback from your patients and customers. Take detailed notes on how to improve and execute suggestions in future customer interactions. Remember to keep an open dialogue to prevent miscommunication and unsatisfied customers.  

Effective training in customer service involves course work and on-the-job training. To avoid customer complaints, take the initiative to implement customer service training into your organization. Don’t give up if customers are not responding to your training. Time, patience, and persistence are required to build excellent customer service skills.

Do you have a memorable customer service moment? In your opinion, what makes excellent customer service? Share with us in the comments below.

(Image source: Hang In There’s Flickr)

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