Now that so much interaction and business is being done online, it may seem that customer service has become a relic of a bygone era.

Many businesses once defined their success as a company by the excellent customer service that they offered. Companies like Nordstrom and Chick-fil-A come to mind.

Customer service has changed and it seems that many businesses have not adapted to offering a new more modern forum of excellent customer service, especially in the medical and health care fields.

All of this creates an opportunity for medical practices that do provide excellent customer service to not only be proud of what they're doing but also to use it as an excellent marketing tool to grow their practices.

Here are five steps to make customer service your biggest marketing advantage.

Step no. 1

Define customer service.

The first thing that you need to do is define what excellent customer service is in your practice. If your team doesn't know what's expected of them to create excellent customer service, then they can't be expected to do it and do it consistently.

Create a document that captures the spirit of what excellent customer service is at your practice, as well as specific steps to create an excellent customer service experience. Be specific and give examples of excellent customer service to help employees start to see opportunities.

You can even ask employees to think of a time when they received excellent care or service. Have them describe what happened, and ask how they think service like that could be implemented in your practice.

The first thing that you need to do is define what excellent customer service is in your practice. If your team doesn't know what's expected of them to create excellent customer service, then they can't be expected to do it and do it consistently.

Create a document that captures the spirit of what excellent customer service is at your practice, as well as specific steps to create an excellent customer service experience. Be specific and give examples of excellent customer service to help employees start to see opportunities.

You can even ask employees to think of a time when they received excellent care or service. Have them describe what happened, and ask how they think service like that could be implemented in your practice.

Step no. 2

Measure it.

If you're going to say that you provide the best service in your city, you had better be able to back that up. The way to back that up is to be able to measure the effectiveness of your customer service.

Of course, the way to do this is to find out what your customers actually think about your service. One of our favorite ways to do this is using what's called a Net Promoter Score. 

measure

The Net Promoter Score is a simple, consistent, very brief survey tool that gives you back statistically significant data to help you determine how you're doing with your customer service.

online reputation

You can also utilize our Reputation Marketing System. We've designed an easy-to-use system that makes it simple to generate a flood of 5-star reviews for your practice. We also syndicate those review across the internet so that everywhere a potential patient looks, they'll see real-life glowing reviews about your staff and services.

Whether it's Net Promoter Score or our Online Reputation Marketing System, make sure you have a way to consistently measure the feedback from your customers

Step no. 3

Number three is to report it.

Once you have that data, you need to use that data to help your team understand how they're doing and make adjustments so that they can improve any shortcomings that they have in their customer service.

It's our experience that by reporting this data to your team, your team gets very motivated to improve that data and define ways to improve that data, which creates a culture of improvement and accountability in your practice, which is what great customer service is all about.

report

Step no. 4

Compensate for it.

Compensation

Behavior follows compensation in business. If you want to make sure that something happens, pay for it. By tying compensation to excellent customer service, you can ensure that you'll have the attention and focus of your team.

This doesn't have to be a major change in compensation plans, it can be as simple as finding ways to offer fun bonuses like a gift card, based on customer service experiences and feedback from patients.

That alone can be enough to create a cultural shift to focus on customer service within your practice.

Step no. 5

The final step, and this is where the marketing comes into play, is to brag about it.

Once you have excellent data around your customer service that's worth bragging about, don't let it go to waste.

Excellent customer testimonials and feedback and specifically showing data that you're performing at top of industry levels is an incredibly effective marketing tool. Take that data and use it to create marketing campaigns.

You can also use it to create campaigns where you're bragging about your employees and the job that they're doing for your patients.

By humanizing the story around your customer service, you not only motivate your employees, who will appreciate the attention but also add more character to your company to show that you're human.

Most of all, it shows that you really care about the personal experience that your practice can offer to new and current patients.

That's five ways to make customer service your biggest marketing advantage. Look for opportunities to implement all five of these steps in your practice and turn customer service into your most effective growth marketing tool.