affordable care act | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

Keep in Mind 3 Key Questions - 11/22/22


Customers want to be heard.  If they have an issue or need or something that requires your support, they want to be understood. When we are trying to find a resolution or fulfill a need, when we’re trying to help a customer achieve their goal, sometimes we can be so Read more

Don’t Let This Shot Affect Your Next Shot - 11/15/22


When I was a teenager, I used to play a lot of golf, and I was pretty good for my age.  I’d have a good attitude and enjoyed the game, but if I hit a bad shot, I’d get upset.  And more often than not, that one bad shot Read more

Value the Customer – Actions to Adopt and Avoid - 11/8/22


When conducting research for a local government CSS client, we interviewed and conducted surveys with many of their customers.  We analyzed the results of the research based on those who had a great experience v. those who did not.  We uncovered that there were distinct differences between customers who Read more

Appreciate to Appreciate - 11/1/22


Why doesn’t Jay, my co-worker, respond to my e-mails or get his task done on time? It’s hard to respect the delay, the incomplete work, the lack of follow through on the part of your co-worker. Why does the customer seem so harried and so frustrated? It’s hard to value the customer Read more

The Customer Can Hear Your Attitude - 10/25/22


Sherry was sitting in the lobby, waiting to be called back for her appointment.  Just off the lobby was an office that Sherry was sitting near.  The person in the office was on a phone call, but Sherry couldn’t see the employee.  She could tell it was a call Read more

How to Handle the Customer’s Error - 10/18/22


Are all of your customers perfect?  Anyone?  Bueller? Of course, customers are not perfect.  Neither are we, but let’s focus this Tip on what they do wrong and what we can do about it in a professional, positive, and productive manner: When the customer isn’t clear, you respond: Is it OK Read more

Critique Yourself before Others Do - 10/11/22


When we’re criticized, we can get defensive, push back, deflect blame to others, and focus more on defending ourselves than really listening to what the other person is saying.  And some of us who get defensive, once we allow our emotions to settle, take time to reflect on what Read more

Find a Connection Point – Part 2: Situational Connection - 10/4/22


Last week we highlighted key topics to consider when you want to find Personal Connection Points with the customer.  Today, we’ll cover some key questions to ask to uncover information about today’s situation that you can use to establish a rapport with the customer.  This is Part 2 - Read more

Find a Connection Point – Part 1: Personal Connection - 9/27/22


Some people are born almost like a master at communication.  They know how to establish rapport with just about anybody, and they do so in a way that seems so natural and so real.  They can form relationships and be laughing with somebody they met two minutes ago like Read more

Be Proactive without being Pushy - 9/20/22


Delivering great customer service isn’t just about responding and reacting.  It’s also about being proactive.  Developing relationships involves reaching out first, not just extending our hand when somebody reaches out to us. But it’s all too clear that those of us who are in service roles prefer those roles to Read more

ACA/Obamacare Emphasizes the Patient Experience…for Physicians

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare Please leave a comment

According to the article Physician Practices Seek Patient Satisfaction Surveys As Obamacare Emerges, payments for physician practices could be based in part on the patient experience – similar to what’s already happening for hospitals and home health providers.

“If you look at today’s environment under the ACA, patient experience is going to become more important,” said Todd Evenson, vice president of consulting services and data solutions at MGMA. “It is not clear what vehicle they are going to use as to how quality is evaluated but there will likely be clinical as well patient experience components the value equation.”

If this turns out to be anything like the hospital-focused HCAHPS evaluation tools for patient satisfaction, there will be a number of survey attributes dealing with communication, feeling cared for, frequency of activities, and consistency of service. They’ll ask about people, processes, and facilities when gauging the patient experience. The physician practice surveys will measure physician group v. physician group as well as how well an individual entity improves its own performance over time.

Therefore, physician groups should prepare by learning some of the key lessons of HCAHPS. It’s about getting ALL staff to ALWAYS introduce themselves, listen to the patient, and convey they care. It’s about having consistency from part-time to full-time staff, regardless of time-of-day or day-of-week. It’s about getting customer service standards in place, best practices identified and implemented, about hiring people with the natural inclination to be patient-focused, and it’s about constantly monitoring and improving today to get ahead of the ACA curve of tomorrow.

Find the gaps in performance today to begin moving toward the consistency needed tomorrow.

Did you like this post? Here are other Healthcare-related posts:


Federally-Driven Health Insurance and the Future of Customer Care

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare Please leave a comment

Who would want the Federal Government telling them what to do? Well…for a price…a lot of businesses. Many observers wonder why the insurance industry is behind the Federal Government mandating insurance coverage for all. The quick answer is this – if your product was mandated, how much would you fight Government involvement? If you’re Dunkin’ Donuts, and every individual in the country is required to eat a glazed donut every day, would you object? If you were Schwinn, and every person in America had to buy a new bike every year, would you object?

Yes, with that requirement will come a lot of oversight, but the insurance companies are looking in the short-term more at the increase in demand, not the increase in oversight.

And why are we discussing this? Because the structure of the legislation should result in at least one good thing for citizens – improved customer service from insurance companies. According to an article in Forbes magazine titled Why Customer Service Matters in the New Healthcare Insurance Landscape, insurers will “have to deal with challenges such as competition, price and margin pressure, and consumer education. In this environment, cost-effective, yet, reliable direct-to-consumer customer service before, during and after the initial “sale” will be a critical competence for success.”

The tips provided for the insurers in the article include the following:

1. Hire/retain great staff.

2. Make it easy for the customer to do business with you.

3. Go to the customer to serve them.

I made these tips a little more generic to illustrate the broader point of the article. No matter what kind of business you’re in, great customer service involves three core pieces: Your people, your processes, and your customers. Take all the strategies in the world on customer service, and boil it down to these three. Consider the following questions:

1. What are the characteristics of your best employees? Identify them, build those skills, and look to acquire others that have these best practice qualities.

2. How can you make things quick, self-evident, and simple on the customer do business with you? How can you make it equally as easy for your employees to deliver great service?

3. Determine where your customers make decisions, where they use your services, where they get information about your company and your competitors. What can you do to be more present with your customers?

If your business (or the health insurers themselves) answer these questions and take action, maybe the future of customer care may be a little brighter.

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/

Check out our Healthcare Customer Service Consulting Services: http://cssamerica.com/csshealth.htm