Customer service rules: Asking questions

By Brooke Strickland

In your years of medical training, you’ve been taught that asking questions is key to an accurate diagnosis.

Asking the right questions:

Listening and taking time to tune into what a patient is going through means you’ll start asking the right questions and will ultimately diagnose the medical problem faster. So how do you ask the right questions? The first step is to listen to what the patient is saying. This may seem obvious, but in the daily operations of your practice, you’re busy. You’re likely seeing a multitude of patients, you have paperwork stacking up, and phone calls seem never ending. It makes sense that you might not always feel you’re able to give your patients full, undivided attention. But in order to keep your patients coming back and make them feel heard, you must sit down, listen to them, and start asking them questions that will quickly and accurately diagnose their condition and put them on the path of healing.

How to ask the questions:

Maybe the condition the patient is describing is an obvious one to you. If this is the case, still ask some basic questions and do it in a caring, not condescending way. Resisting the urge to get into “answer-mode” and instead communicate in a clear, easy to understand way. Your patients will appreciate answers and questions that make them feel cared for and understood.

Questions are powerful tools. Use them to build your practice and keep your patients coming.