2020 has in many ways altered life as we know it. There has been distance, division, and unrest in many forms. And in a time where people are considering if handshakes will ever come back, and whether face masks will be a permanent staple in public settings, there has never been a greater time where people need authenticity and the “human touch”. Here are 3 trends we’re seeing and how your practice can meet patients and prospects where they’re at.
1. Anxiety and Tension is Running High
Everyone’s life has flipped upside down. People are contending with a home life that may now include work and schooling their kids, while missing out on the typical things that would normally give them a break – such as going out to dinner with friends, recreational activities, and traveling.
As such, tensions may be running high, and you may find patients to be more demanding or irritable. It’s important your staff is aware of this and are equipped with coaching to guide or even diffuse situations that get intense.
2. People are Wanting Empathy & Compassion
Part of the training you can provide your staff is how to show empathy. In times of chaos and uncertainty, humans crave empathy and kindness. They are paying attention to businesses that remain steadfast in values and care to understand and support the individual needs of the clients they serve.
This is when it becomes extremely important to focus on the details like:
- Being the friendly voice answering their call
- Asking about their day and how they’re doing
- Taking the time to address their questions and concerns
- Helping to resolve any issues quickly and efficiently
All of these tips have one thing in common: they are rooted in maintaining a focus on the patient and making their experience with your practice feel personalized.
3. The Demand for Talking to a Human is Booming
Even when times were “normal” general research showed the phone was still the #1 desired channel by customers. However, a recent study surveyed consumers about how they’re feeling about customer service during the Covid-19 pandemic and found:
- 38% of respondents stated that having the opportunity to speak to a live agent is a “make-or-break” factor to having a successful customer service interaction.
- More than 25% of respondents were disappointed by a brand not having a human-to-human option available.
A separate study that analyzed several million calls to a call center, found the number of calls to customer service agents went from 12% to 100%.
Don’t be surprised if your patients and prospects are calling more frequently, bypassing your dial directory and wanting even more immediate attention from you and your staff. It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to have trained staff ready to provide a human connection with your practice. An impersonal voicemail box or lengthy hold time will not fill their need to relate and can cause many to look elsewhere for personalized and attentive service.
Your staff may be spread thin, and you may have even had to lay off some people. If that’s the case, explore how you can outsource calls to help manage the ebbs and flows of call volume. OptiCall’s First Contact provides trained staff that can serve as an extension of your team, to ensure calls are answered and are always providing the personalized touch your practice is known for.
These trying times can bring out the best or worst in your people and your practice. When patients and prospects are looking for glimmers of the human connection, your practice has the opportunity to shine in the simplest of ways – a friendly hello, a caring conversation, and of course, an excellent overall experience.
So is your practice practicing the power of the human connection?
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OptiCall offers free practice assessments that can determine how many leads are either contacted too late or never followed up on, and the impact on your practice’s bottom line. Complete the form below to request your assessment today.