Why you should know your patient’s behavior styles

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Understanding your patients' behavioral styles can help you customize their practice experience and boost satisfaction. Here's how.

Lauren King, director of customer service at DoctorsManagement, a medical and healthcare consulting firm based in Knoxville, Tenn., recommends that her clients use a behavioral-style approach to customer service training. Staff members are trained to pick up on cues that signal a patient's particular behavioral style so they can better respond to their needs. For example, one patient might appreciate getting a lot of personal attention while another might value efficiency over bedside manner.

"You can customize patients' experiences based on their behavioral styles," says King. "It also helps with teamwork because you can assign people to jobs that are more suited to their personalities."

The behavioral styles fall into two broad categories - task-oriented and people-oriented - each of which has two subtypes. Here are some of the traits associated with each of the four types: