Healthcare is a people business. How you treat your customers and potential customers is more important than whether it is in person or virtual.

Going into a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital is ratchets up the blood pressure for most people. They are going into what they feel is an unknown situation. The doctor might tell the patient something that they don’t expect, especially if the visit is a routine one. Seeing a doctor is nerve wracking for many people even if they are not sick.

Treating a person as a friend, regardless of whether you know them or not, puts them at ease. They are more likely to feel that that the environment is friendly and bad things including bad news are less likely to happen in a friendly place.

A stranger will feel like he doesn’t belong and the people and environment are unfriendly. Their attitude will be that of a wary person even if the patient has been there before. This manifests itself in less trust of the entire transaction.

Easy ways to be friendly to your customers:

  1. Smile! Smile when you speak. It conveys warmth and tells the person that they are welcome. It’s like answering the door when you invite a guest to your home.
  2. Acknowledge a customer’s prese
    nce when they walk in the door even if you need to stop what you are doing  o say hello and you’ll be with them soon. Ignoring a customer until you are ready gives the impression that the customer is not important. 
  3. Personalize the encounter by introducing yourself by name and asking the customer’s name. Explain where the restroom is if needed, enjoy water, coffee and other refreshments while waiting, and give an estimate of how long it will be until they see the doctor.

These same behaviors work with virtual encounters as well. They can even be enhanced by displaying friendly messages before and after the encounter.

In return, you will have a more relaxed customer who will feel like she is in an environment she can trust. And that goes a long way toward engaging your patient. 

The cost to implement? $0. The cost of not implementing? Priceless.