Customer Service in HealthcareI might be stating the obvious here, but it seems to me that businesses in the healthcare industry provide some of the worst customer service, ever.

Recently, I have dealt with several doctors’ offices that take messages, but don’t return phone calls.  I actually had one doctor’s office tell me that the person that handled referrals was let go so they switched me into someone else’s voice mail that never called me back.

I wasn’t even a patient yet and they were already dropping the ball.

I also had a poor customer service experience after I had my yearly physical.  When I called my doctor’s office for my blood test results, I was told to make another appointment because the person that answered my call was “busy and didn’t have time to pull my chart” to give me the information over the phone.  So, I had to take time out of my busy schedule to go into the office for an additional visit that the doctor’s office would then bill to my insurance company.  They had already refused to let me give blood and come in for one visit after the blood work was complete.  No wonder the cost of health insurance is so high!!  In what other industry can businesses force people into spending money on follow-up services stating that the business personnel are “too busy” to provide account information over the phone?

No matter what industry you’re in, healthcare, automotive repair, retail or legal, if you don’t make it easy for people to communicate and do business with you then you’re hindering the growth of your business.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your clients will tolerate poor customer service just because you’re in a niche or highly specialized industry.  There are hundreds, if not thousands, of other doctors, lawyers, auto repair shops, etc. and, thanks to the internet and social media, it’s easier than ever for your clients to find your competitors.  Don’t force your clients to look.  If you can’t properly staff your medical office, consider using a medical answering service.

If I don’t provide our potential clients with top-notch customer service from day 1, then why should they trust my company to provide their clients with the same?