Top 3 Tips for Better Customer Service
Clients are the lifeblood of every business. And regardless of the industry, keeping customer service front and center in the workplace should be a priority for every business owner. But health and wellness professionals can run up against unique challenges in the client service arena. Why? Because when it comes to providing necessary healthcare, it often happens that the customer is NOT always right.
How do health-oriented organizations span the uncertain gap between efficient client care and the-customer-comes-first service? By providing a positive client experience that stems from a culture of competency, compassion, and teamwork.
Here are three classic customer service tips that prove as effective in the health and wellness trade as they do in the most stringent of hospitality environments:
1. Make First Impressions Count
According to Psychology Today, first impressions matter – for better or for worse. We often judge our experiences based on our initial exposure to them. Whether you’re meeting a client for the first time – or simply for the first time this week – take steps to make that (and every other) encounter as pleasantly memorable as possible. Consider the following:
Does your practice …
- provide a visually welcoming office, retail, or website space?
- handle customer inquiries politely and diligently?
- strive for a positive online presence, especially where customer reviews are concerned?
- make itself as accessible as possible in terms of contact information, hours of operation, and the provision of an answering service or other after-hours care?
2. Automate When It Makes Sense
If your organization is lagging behind technologically speaking, it may be time to correct that. Not only can automation in the right places keep customer frustration at bay, it’s a proven way to improve employee productivity and morale.
The nature of your business will largely dictate the best ways to take advantage of modern technology, but here are a few strategies worth considering:
- Streamline credit card processing and back-office billing – both online and off – with the help of a reputable payment processor
- Offer web-based payment solutions with the help of automated recurring billings, electronic funds transfers, and other online bill payment options
- Implement software programs and apps that automate appointment scheduling and appointment reminder tasks
- Make it possible for customers to order your products and services online wherever it makes sense to do so
3. Be Prepared to Apologize
Things go wrong in every business – from miscommunications and technical glitches, to billing and scheduling errors. Even when you strive to do everything right, you’re bound to run across the occasional client who feels you’re doing it wrong.
Having a plan to deal with disgruntled customers will go a long way toward preserving your professional reputation. Don’t be afraid to apologize sincerely for inconveniencing clients – even when circumstances are beyond your control. Remember: most customers just want to be heard. Offering a sympathetic ear – and asking what you can do to make things right – is often all it takes to smooth ruffled feathers.