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Annual Customer Service Training is a Must


When was the last time you provided your staff customer service training? If it's been more than a year, it's time to set up training again.

Why only a year?  At the beginning of each year, you assess your businesses strengths, accomplishments, growth, and areas of opportunity.  This means each year you're stepping your game up a little more.  So, you'll need to make sure your training is up to speed along with your overall process.

Here are some areas to look at :

Front Office.  This is the face, voice, and first line of the company.  This group should be reminded of company policies, any updates made at the beginning of the year, and if there are any exceptions they need to be made aware.  Since they take all of the customer phone calls, a call center training program is key for this group.  I've used this websites information and found it to be VERY helpful when empowering my employee : https://www.callcentrehelper.com/the-right-words-and-phrases-to-use-with-an-angry-customer-30110.htm

Back Office.  This often is your billing department, scheduling department, and insurance verification center.  Although you may not think there is a lot of customer service in these areas, think again.  We have completely changed the way we interact with our patients by being proactive up front in the billing department.  We review each statement prior to it leaving the building to make sure the patient actually owes that money.  Since we have such a high up front collection rate, patients don't get a lot of statements from us.  But prior to brining the billing in-house in 2013, we've decreased the number of statements that do go out by 42 percent.  This is also indicative of the decreased number of errors in the statements.  The customer service brought by this alone is phenomenal.

Practitioners and Providers.  Most people in this field went into it to help people.  So, you have a very high percent of people who really want to do whatever they can to reach out and fix any health issues that your patient population may have.  So, why would they need training?  Most staff feel they are overworked and undervalued.  With insurance companies constantly decreasing your visit reimbursement, and pulling out delay and denial tactics, you are paid less and less each year.  How do you continue to provide for your staff?  You see more patients.  Patient load increases, and your staff becomes more stressed, tired, irritable, etc.  Sometimes taking their frustrations out on the patient, resulting in a poor customer service interaction.  It's best with this group to check in with them at least monthly to see how they are doing.  Are they working too many hours?  Are they keeping up with the workload?  Just have a five minute conversation to let them know you understand and keep your finger on that pulse.  The last thing you need is for your staff to get sick, or worse, quit.

No one should be exempt from customer service training.  It should be an annual event, should only take an hour or so and our will consistently reap the benefits and your customers will thank you!

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