When you think about a medical assistant and what they do, customer service might not ever cross your mind. You probably picture them collecting blood samples and taking vital signs. While these are also medical assistant duties and responsibilities, one of the most important tasks a medical assistant has is providing good customer service.
Medical assistants are often the first person a patient speaks to, often setting the tone for the entire visit. If a medical assistant is rude towards patients, that spills over into the rest of the appointment and can make the visit an unpleasant one for everyone involved. Good customer service extends beyond face to face interactions as well. It’s important that medical assistants have good phone etiquette and positive body language.
Here are a few simple ways a medical assistant can demonstrate good customer service skills:
Give Patients Personal Attention
Patients are much more likely to be in a pleasant mood when they feel welcomed. A warm greeting whenever a patient enters the office can go a long way in setting the right tone for the appointment.
Patients are often feeling stressed and anxious about being at the doctor in the first place. Perhaps they had to take time away from work to attend the appointment or had to pay someone to watch their children. It’s also likely they are not feeling their best and are nervous about any upcoming tests or results. By providing them with caring customer service with compassion and positivity, you can help minimize their anxiety.
This doesn’t mean having a lengthy, full on conversation with every single patient, but a warm, polite greeting is a must. It’s also important to remain professional and discreet when talking to patients at all times.
Maintain Waiting Room and Exam Rooms
Patients spend a good deal of time sitting in the waiting room, along with patient exam rooms. Part of providing good customer service is making sure patients’ needs are being taken care of while they wait. This can be done by maintaining clean, organized, and well stocked spaces for them to wait in, as well as checking in with them to make sure they don’t need anything or have any questions or concerns.
Provide Good Follow Up Care
Medical assistants have a busy, hectic job, but that doesn’t mean that the personal care and attention should end once the appointment does. It’s important to ensure that patients still feel welcomed, even as they are preparing to leave. This can be done by assisting them with directions or instructions on where to go next, setting up a follow up appointment, knowing where to go to pick up prescriptions, or directions to the nearest lab. By taking a little extra time to ensure that your patient’s needs are met beyond your doors, they will be more likely to look forward to returning for future appointments.
If you have a strong desire to help others and are fully committed to providing excellent customer service to all of your patients, then a Medical Assistant career may be just the right fit for you. Contact Athena Career Academy for more information on how you can get started on your journey to this exciting new career in healthcare.