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What are the customer service skills in healthcare?
The healthcare industry is typically divided into main parts: Hospitality activities and Medical and nursing activities.
The hospitality industry includes food & drink service, event planning, or transportation which belongs to the hotels, restaurants, and bars; while the medical and nursing industry consists of medical equipment, supplies, and healthcare service which belong to hospitals, health centers, and nursing homes.
If you are working in the healthcare industry, you will have to deal with many customers during a day who can be clients, client’s families & friends, doctors, nutritionists, or other members of the healthcare team, etc.
The above jobs require many customer service skills in healthcare (also called customer service skills healthcare), to do which, you need to be trained attentively by the organizations.
As you belong to the customer service team, you are now a company representative. Thus, you need to be an expert in customer service skills in healthcare to support others and make sure that you can provide the best answer or solution.
Today, company performance depends a lot on the quality of their customer services, which is mainly based on their staff customer service skills in healthcare.
Assessment of customer service skills importance in the healthcare industry
Nowadays, many healthcare organizations are getting consultants to improve their service and investing in professional development training to help their staff increase their customer service skills in nursing and hospitality.
Customer service skills in healthcare play an important role because if you are running a good customer team service, customers will feel appropriate to your company and coming back. Otherwise, nearly 90% of customers said that they will leave the company because of the bad customer service experience following Help Scout’s research, the US-based global customer service company.
In order to achieve customer satisfaction and business goals, it is necessary that all people in customer teams are trained with all must-have customer service skills in the hospitality industry.
The professional healthcare customer service team will come with a fulfilled customer service skill in nursing & hospitality and help the company to bring out exceptional customer service.
The key list of customer service skills in healthcare
Specific industry required specific customer service skills which can help the organization get 5-star customer service. Here are some recommended must-have customer service skills in nursing and hospitalities that each company needs to consider to train their employees.
Top 5 most important customer service skills in nursing
Practice active listening to your patient
Patients come to you when they have questions or concerns that need to be answered or solved. Thus, as the healthcare companies representative, you need to hear their problems, be empathetic and do the best to help them overcome their challenges.
Active listening is one of the most needed customer service skills in healthcare that helps you provide not only exceptional service but also a chance to improve your relationship outside of your organization.
Be a perky employee
It is clear that waiting times in healthcare can be a big problem because normally, people do not want to wait too long. Therefore, an agile staff can commit to providing prompt support to patients & customers.
More indicatively, perky is one of the indispensable customer service skills in nursing homes because the elders might need help 24 hours a day, even with very basic activities.
In case your customers have to wait a very long time, you should admit the discomfort of waiting, apologize to them and find out what is the problem to avoid it in the future
Creating positive emotion
Press Ganey Associates (a leading health care consulting organization focusing on patient experience) points out three key factors driving patient loyalty to nurse and healthcare suppliers:
- The patients believe in the healthcare providers.
- The teamwork and coordination of healthcare’s staffs.
- Care and support of organization’s staff to customers’ questions and problems.
It is a fact that good emotions always come from human touch. Be assured that you care about your customers by charting their eyes when communicating instead of looking at the electronic screens.
Therefore, your great customer service skills in hospitality can impact not only your patient’s desire to come back to your service but also their willingness to introduce your healthcare organizations to others.
Know how to apologize
When medical problems happen, great customer service staff know how to say “ sorry” and keep their patients calm, even if it is just a small mistake.
For example, your patient reported she was cold and would like a blanket. You can bring her a blanket and simply say “ Sorry”. Or the treatment time of the previous patient can take longer than your expected, so you can talk to the next patient during the waiting time and offer a sincere apology to her/him.
You’ll be remembered for your nice behavior!
Be professional anytime
You might be rushed, you might be tired, or feel exhausted with your daily tasks, however, discipline yourself to create a good impression on your patients.
Take a deep breath and present your professional but warm and friendly whenever you go to work and talk with others. Your great human behavior will make your customer feel satisfied and comfortable.
Top 5 most important customer service skills in the hospitality
Of course, communication skills are highly valued in most industries nowadays.
Especially in the hospitality business, each customer service staff has to communicate with hundreds or thousands of people with various backgrounds, ages, nationalities, and gender at a specific time.
Thus, it is crucial to be able to communicate well with a single individual as you are the business’s staff so that they can understand and get your points.
Compared to other industries, customer service skills in healthcare requires more flexibility. In particular, customer service skills in hospitality often include a high level of flexibility because people who work in hospitality normally have to work at night time or weekends.
This position also requires people to work many tasks at the same time as well as switch the job quickly when necessary.
Thus, flexibility is one of the most important attributes to successful customer service skills hospitality.
Knowing more than one language is always a plus in the hospitality field as it can create the person’s value as an employee.
Working in a hotel or a restaurant means you have to serve people from different countries. So, if you are able to speak the client’s languages, you can establish a strong relationship with the customers to promote customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Being able to do multiple tasks in the business is the key to work in a demanding industry such as the healthcare or the hospitality industry.
In the past few years, many businesses in the hospitality industry tried to reduce the cost by decreasing the workforce volume and boosting staff productivity. The reduction of employees’ numbers creates pressure on business’s employees, which makes them have to take additional responsibilities.
Thus, if you can manage multiple tasks at the same time, you can become more competitive in the labor market.
As restaurants and hotels are the places that many foreign people come and go, the customer service staffs have to be able to communicate and deal with customers from many nationalities and cultural backgrounds.
People from different countries will have different values, beliefs, and perceptions, thus it is important to understand the cultural norm of different countries and know how to break the barriers.
In general, the ability to recognize customer’s nationalities will help staff to build a successful career in this sector.
Customer service skills in healthcare primarily determine the quality of the customer service. The superb customer service will invest in a service team with fascinating skills, who are openly communicating, puts himself in the customer’s shoes, and focuses on the customer’s needs.