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    The 'intelligent' way to train staff

    How practices can make the solar eclipse into the best staff training

     

    What is great customer service?

    We may all think we know great customer service when we see it, but let’s break it down to the real world of eyecare practices. Your team’s EQ will ‘totally eclipse the heart’ of the patient if it shines in the following areas:

    • The interpersonal factors. This includes good manners and being attentive and thoughtful. Smiling has a huge effect. Using a patient’s name—even though you don’t have to—builds relationships.

    • Convenience. You might not think of convenience when it comes to customer service issues, but you should. Making wait times minimal and reducing the paperwork for patients are issues a highly functional EQ team voluntarily address. Another is dealing with medical work-ins. Is there concern in the voice of individual that triages calls? Would that patient think the employee cared that he or she was upset and in urgent need to come right over?

    • Easy to do business with. Often an ‘I Can EQ’ attitude of an employee impacts things like quick check-in and check-out and fast delivery times on glasses and contact lenses. Explaining policies and quoting fees in advance are other ways to showcase that ‘I Care EQ’ advantage in the patient experience.

    • Service recovery. How well does your office handle matters when something goes wrong? It’s easy to think one has that ‘I Care EQ’ advantage when the patient loves you and cooperates, but how does your weakest employee handle the unreasonable person?

    Is your head spinning? EQ training takes you and your staff to a deeper understanding about the big picture of customer service as a business development tool. Big picture, long term profitability is worth far more than the minor cost of staff training and practice policies that give an employee permission to let the patient win with dignity.

    Simply put, doctors and staff who understand the elements of connecting with patients don’t let their egos get in the way of the practice’s business growth goals.

    It begins with self-awareness. EQ training should include a way for each staff member and doctor to evaluate his or her current level of EQ. It isn’t unusual for someone who thinks he or she is an excellent communicator to self-identify through testings (without the results being seen by anyone other than that individual) as someone who others see as cold and unfeeling.

    Think about it—how can someone who does not excel at inspiring, guiding, and leading others to comply with treatment plans and invest in quality eyewear paired with the latest digital spectacle lenses expect to be successful at helping you grow your practice?

    Please don’t start adding up the cost of closing your office for two hours, feeding your staff, and hiring a professional trainer. As in the case of all employee-training, the practice that foots the bill for this solar eclipse viewing/training may turn in expenses as tax-deductible.

    Look on the bright side. It’s easy to see that the practices that shine brighter than the sun are those with better-trained employees.

    Donna Suter
    Donna Suter is president of Suter Consulting Group.

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