Customer service rules: Your front desk

By Brooke Strickland

Many times, the first glimpse patients have of you is through your front desk, either in person or on the phone. How can you make this first impression leave a positive, lasting impression on each patient?

Tip #1: Phone presentation is key. The first time a patient calls, they’re expecting prompt, friendly service. If they call, get a grumpy voice on the other end or are made to sit on hold for lengthy amounts of time, they will likely feel irritated and unimportant. Each staff member should be courteous, prompt, and make each patient feel like they’re valued and understood. If a phone call needs to be put on hold, make sure the patient understands why and for how long.

Tip #2: Take time to train your front desk staff to be thorough. Sloppy, unfinished paperwork or not following through on getting accurate insurance information to the patient can leave patients very frustrated. Make sure your staff understands the importance of detailed service in this area.

Tip #3: Make face to face interactions comfortable. When your customers come in to the office, make sure your staff acknowledges them right away and greets them in a friendly manner. Your patients are busy, just like you are, and they don’t want to wait around to be checked in. A smile, a convenient and speedy check-in process, and a minimal wait time can go a long way in making patients comfortable and happy.

These are very basic ways of upholding a positive image of your practice, but they are simple building blocks to success and important to the growth of any practice, big or small.