“Patient experience” has become a hot and trending topic in today’s healthcare industry. Patients seek out radiology clinics to fulfil their diagnostic imaging needs, but they should also be viewed as customers who are seeking a service because they expect to be treated with care and dedication from a diagnostic imaging centre.
Because of this, medical imaging centres need to create better interaction with patients and increase patient satisfaction. This article will help you learn about healthcare marketing tools and how they can improve your patient experience and become a key growth engine for your radiology clinic going forward.
How to offer excellent customer service
What comes to mind when you think about customer service? A hotline where your patients call to complain? A receptionist at your clinic who welcomes your patients when they first arrive?
The truth is, customer service is everything your patients see and interact with when they reach out to your radiology clinic, from how easy it is to find information about the range of services you offer to their experience on the phone when booking an MRI scan, to their experience inside your clinic itself.
In other words, great customer service can only be achieved when customers can receive a well-rounded experience from their first interaction with you to when they have left the clinic after their appointment.
Although this seems really difficult, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It can be translated into the following steps:
- Offer multiple channels to help patients easily find information about you
- Using Patient-Centric Automation to promptly connect with your customers
- Train your staff to offer a great patient experience when they visit your clinic
Let’s take a look at each of these points below.
Make it easy for patients to reach out to you
We all know that when we have any kind of healthcare need, the first thing we consult is not our doctor, but actually Google.
Then, after browsing the web and finding the right radiology clinic that offers the right services, whether it’s an MRI scan, CT scan, mammogram, or something else, the patients will try to contact you in a number of ways. They may try to find your phone number or email address on Google, or find a booking page on your website, or even direct message you on your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account.
One way to improve the customer experience is simply by making it easier for them to contact you. Some patients are more comfortable with phone calls, while others find it easier to text, email, or submit a form on the website. Offering several channels for your patients to reach you will increase the likelihood that they contact you to book an appointment, which is always a great first step.
Here are some channels where should allow customers to reach you:
- Phone number – You should make your phone number available on your website, social media accounts, and your Google My Business page.
- Text/SMS: This is a nice-to-have feature but is increasingly popular.
- Email: Email is another must-have, second only to a phone number.
- Direct message on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: Young people love using social media to contact businesses, so if you can make yourself available on these channels, you have access to a much larger pool of potential customers!
Automate your responses
Making yourself available on many channels is only the first step. Making yourself responsive on many channels is the difficult part of this process.
Nobody loves an unresponsive business: calling a business phone number only to be put on hold for 10 minutes, emailing a business, and getting a response after 2 or 3 business days,… It’s no different with a radiology clinic; people want to be able to reach you and get the answers to the questions right away.
When you respond quickly to a message, it shows that you are engaged and ready to serve your patients, which will then lead to a much better patient experience.
This isn’t to say that you should employ more people to wait around the phone all day to answer every call that comes up. You can have someone man the phone during working hours, but outside of the regular hours, there are automation tools that can help you take care of your patients.
Patient-Centric Automation can help you automate your responses so that patients can always get prompt answers and feel taken care of, but you don’t have to invest too much in manpower.
Here are some ways you should
- Have a Frequently Asked Questions page on your website so that patients can easily access information about your available diagnostic imaging services.
- Have an appointment booking system in place and send an automated confirmation via text or email when a patient submits an appointment booking form on your website.
- Set up an automated text message to respond to missed calls.
- Set up automated responses for your work email address and let patients know that you have received their emails, and link to your FAQs page to help patients find information, and even send an appointment booking link to your patients.
- Set up chatbots to answer common questions on your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts. You can program that chatbot to send patients an appointment booking link when these questions come up.
This way, you only need to respond to a small percentage of the emails and requests that come your way, and the AI will take care of the remaining requests for you!
With Patient-Centric Automation, your patients are always taken care of, even outside of working hours! The AI on this system can also learn over time so that your system will get better and better with time.
Create people-centric communication
After successfully getting patients through the door, nothing can replace the experience that your patients have with everyone in your radiology clinic. From the receptionist, the staff, to the technicians and doctors, everyone needs to deliver a great experience so that your patients always feel comfortable and welcomed. This is the heart of great customer service.
Creating a team of motivated individuals who are dedicated to providing excellent customer service is the best way to improve a clinic’s image. This way, the professional yet friendly staff will be what patients remember the most when they visit your clinic!
This requires continuous training to help your staff improve their communication skills, organisation skills, and technical skills, especially when working with automated systems and software.
These factors are even more important in the healthcare industry and especially for a diagnostic imaging centre when patients expect to receive clear and prompt communication, as well as knowledgeable and dedicated care.
This training helps your team learn about how to work with patients and deliver an excellent experience, and your team will also become happier and more fulfilled, knowing that they have made someone’s health journey a bit more comfortable.
Medical imaging centres are a crucial part of the healthcare industry. Delivering excellent patient interaction is essential to help your patients get the right care they need at the right time, and these simple steps and tools can make a huge difference in the overall patient experience in your clinic.
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