Amy's blog about training

Great Customer Service Enhances Physician On Call Schedule Results

Posted by Amy Engebretson on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 @ 06:43 PM
fishingWho is being served, you or your vendor?
Optimize the value of your on call physician scheduler system through training and free ongoing personalized support.

Who is really being served when the only convenient “training” available is self-serve manuals, videos or email support?

At Adjuvant Call Scheduler, we believe in a personal relationship with the schedulers we train. We believe that ultimately, we serve you best by spending time from the beginning to "teach you to fish", vs handing you the equipment and packing you out the door to learn on your own, "sink or swim". We supply you not only with automated on call physician scheduling software, but also the skills to work on your own and a dedicated trainer to work with you for a successful implementation.

This assigned person then gets to know your group's idiosyncrasies, just as your physicians get to know their patients. The understanding that comes about in a dynamic customer service relationship will impact the results you receive from your on call scheduling software every day.

An attitude of service means going the extra mile. A great client support person may take the risk of making a comment or proposing an idea new to you, based on accumulated experience with other physician schedules and schedulers. These ideas may be alternative ways to get the on-call schedule done or gentle "pokes" to see if a particular rule is globally needed, or is really an individual physician’s preference.

Can you be served with only a "How To" manual, DYI videos, and self-set up? Sure. But are YOU served well, or are the vendor's needs really being met over your own? Is your time better spent looking things up to try them out, or better spent working with a specialist to answer your questions as they come along in order to avoid do-overs?

I submit the vender is being served more than the client with self-serve DYI customer support.


What does great customer support look like?
How does it impact your productivity and ultimately the value you receive from your On Call Physician Scheduler system every day?

1)      Many clients report that responsive attention is vital to solving their problem the first time they call.  Being heard fully with a thoughtful response requires an experienced listener and a real conversation instead of being handed off to someone new each time you call. Being answered in anticipation of your full question with a quick response from a busy call-center person is inadequate and frustrating. Sound-bite responses can be as misleading as a physician who pre-judges a patient’s complaint before hearing them out.  

2)      A live person answers the phone! Avoid the telephone tree that never seems to list an option for your specific situation. A telephone tree may be fine for common issues dealing with common services such as your power company or returning a pair of shoes... but not when dealing with turning out a fair on-call schedule for your most expensive resource, your physicians! Not to mention your own precious time as a scheduler in your busy office, whether you are a physician, an assistant or executive administrator. Most clients don't want be waiting on hold for a non-answer.

3)      Having a dedicated support person assigned to each account ensures continuity not only for your current scheduling process, but also for future process changes and the integration of various new rules and/or staff updates. Even though many on-call physician schedules have some basic items in common, each is also unique to accommodate their physician's needs. A dedicated support person becomes a “specialist” regarding your individual group and how they do things.

4)      Many times having an email follow-up synopsis that addresses your specific question is wonderful for reference, especially after a detailed phone conversation. Instead of a general answer from a generic manual, you can end up with a one-of-a-kind manual of your own to supplement whatever other support material is provided. Of course physician scheduling software comes with "how to" manuals and videos, but even the best of these benefit from these small supplemental documents created just for you.

5)      Any automated email customer “check-in” should augment a real relationship, not be an automated “newsletter” that is really more about vendor accomplishments than helping you get your job done.  Many clients are curious enough to poke around and find new features, but an automated update focusing on software features (new or existing) helps you zero in on them more effectively.

6)      Truly free customer support encourages you to call with questions without fear of being nickel and dimed for each support call. Even die-hard do-it-yourselfers can avoid do-overs when they pick up the phone for support as needed. If you have one eye on the possible “bill” you are incurring and the other on your problem at hand… you probably are not freely exploring good alternative solutions to your problem.

7)      The continuity of “hand-off” to the next on-call physician scheduler is vital, and shouldn’t be left entirely in the first scheduler’s handwritten notes and verbal suggestions. This is where the dedicated trainer assigned to work with you from the beginning is important. Support, documented processes, and review of the on-line software as needed makes such transitions much less stressful for everyone concerned.


So, do you want to continue with DYI support for your on call scheduling software, or are you ready to use all the features available and optimize its value with a dedicated support person? Your choice will impact the results you and you’re on call physicians live with every day.

 

Key takeaway: Optimize the results and value of your on-call physician scheduling software beyond implementation and training with personalized ongoing support.

 

Topics: on call scheduling customer service, on-call scheduling software implementation