We usually think of restaurants or retail stores when we think of people providing customer service. Servers and store clerks try their hardest to accommodate the needs and wishes of their customers, making modifications to orders and fulfilling special requests, all while remaining cheerful, unflappable, and seemingly happy to serve the customer. I, myself, come from the world of restaurants where the motto at my former place of business was “The House of Yes” – we did our best to do whatever our customers wanted. It is the hospitality industry, after all, and it was my job to be, well, hospitable. Now that I’ve been working in healthcare for over 10 years, I’m finally starting to see an emphasis on making sure hospital staff are hospitable, too!
Customer service is more than knowing how to provide excellent and courteous service to “external clients”, or patients in the context of healthcare. It’s also about knowing how to communicate effectively with our “internal clients”, our colleagues. It’s about understanding how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can impact our teams, how we work with one another to resolve errors, correct claims, and resolve underpayments. It’s about how we strengthen the feedback loop that enhances the success of an organization’s revenue cycle processes. By enhancing the service we provide our “internal clients”, we will positively impact the service and experience we provide our “external clients”, thereby increasing patient satisfaction scores.
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