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How to Improve Customer Service in Healthcare?

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Author: Uthaman Bakthikrishnan

Is healthcare a customer service industry? There is a lot of debate on this aspect, whether patients have to be treated like customers, and whether healthcare should be worried about the customer’s revenue value. 

I’d say that healthcare is a customer service industry, where patient care takes precedence over everything else. The patients should not be treated as customers, and everything in a healthcare facility should revolve around the patients. 

Customer service in healthcare requires an approach that covers every part of the patients’ experience. 

While I am not going into the soft aspects of customer service, I will talk about key features that technology can enable to provide exceptional customer service in healthcare. 

Keep your accessibility easy

Whenever a patient tries to reach you on the website, phone, or at your facility, make it easy for them to book a service or an appointment with the doctor on their first try. Send them a confirmation in the form of an email and text. Remind them with an automated voice message, where they can choose to reconfirm or reschedule it for a later point in time. 

With this, you would make it easier for all patients to meet the right doctor or specialist, and there would be very few no-shows. 

Seek feedback from your patients 

How many healthcare facilities do this? Very few, in my opinion. 

How would you feel when a friendly person asks you to review their service after meeting with your doctor. It can be an in-person survey, a link to visit their website and provide the response, respond to an automated voice message system, or a choice between these. 

The fact that you are asking your patients to provide feedback about their entire experience itself would make them feel good. The patients would love the fact that you care about their opinion, and they would love the fact that you are willing to listen and better the experience. 

Never miss a patient request 

What if the patient calls your facility, and all your phone lines are busy. There has to be a provision for you to dial out the number from which you missed the call as soon as a customer experience person gets free. 

Just imagine the thrill it would give the patient and the kind of experience they would feel. 

The same goes on your website interaction, where the patient tries to reach an agent through the chat feature, and you don’t have free agents to attend to the patient. A call back from you would be the best alternate solution with help of the healthcare contact center platform, resulting in a better experience for your patients. 

Enable virtual consultations 

Your patient has had surgery, and they need to come for preventive checkups to ensure that post-surgical recovery is progressing as expected.

Often, this won’t require a physical visit by the patient, which can be handled virtually. People outside of town and from remote areas can also consult their doctors and specialists using the virtual video conferencing facility. 

In fact, we helped set up a few virtual consultation facilities for healthcare facilities at the peak of the pandemic. 

Patient care is everyone’s business 

Be it the front-office person or the chief doctor of your facility, make everyone accountable for providing the best patient care. 

Analyze all of your call recordings with voice analytics. This would throw up improvements, training requirements, compliance, and quality issues, which can be immediately addressed. 

Analyze the text, email, and voice feedbacks provided by your patients, and understand how you can improve the patient experience. 

Please provide feedback to every individual in your facility, and get them to sign up for improvements to provide a better patient experience. 

Client case study for teleconsulting in the healthcare industry


Finally, you want your patients to have an outstanding care experience from your facility. You want to provide the best care and excellent customer service. The ones I have covered in this blog are simple things that any healthcare facility can implement without overhauling its existing systems and at low investments. 

So, what is stopping you? 


About the Author: Uthaman Bakthikrishnan


Uthaman believes in the power of creation - it gives him a high to grow something from scratch and make it sustainable. Uthaman is the Executive Vice President and helps set the strategic direction and roadmap for ClearTouch, a pioneering provider of a cloud-based call center platform for enterprises, contact centers, BPOs, and financial services companies in India.