5 Ways to Train Your Front Desk Staff and Improve the Patient Experience

It’s a common pitfall for a practice to focus mostly on what goes on with patients in the exam room, and we get just how important it is to focus on exams and procedures. But your front desk staff pulls a lot of weight when it comes to overall patient satisfaction. 

They are the first point of contact for patients and this experience is just as important as what goes on in the exam room. Here are 5 tips to help you properly train your front desk staff to provide top notch customer service to patients. 

1 | Make it Welcoming

Train your front desk staff to greet patients immediately after walking in the front door, even if they are in the middle of something. A simple, “Hi, I’ll be right with you,” is a great way to let a patient know you are aware of their presence. Your staff should always use a friendly tone and present a helpful attitude. When a patient is leaving after an exam, they should thank the patient for visiting. 

2 | Make it a Consistent Experience

While it’s amazing to have one front desk staff member who’s always on top of things and super friendly, it won’t do you much good if you have other front desk staff who play by their own rules. Make it clear what you expect of all your front desk staff to create a consistent experience no matter who a patient interacts with. 

3 | Make HIPAA a Top Priority

Upholding patient privacy isn’t just a courtesy, it’s a legal issue. Do routine training with all your staff, including front desk staff, on HIPAA regulations to ensure your practice is meeting the legal mandates. At these trainings, don’t forget to discuss ways your practice can improve the implementation of these regulations. Remember, your entire medical practice’s bottom line and reputation are at stake!

4 | Improve Time Management

Your front desk staff juggles a lot of different tasks, from answering the phones to processing paperwork. Properly training your staff on how to do these tasks isn’t enough. You also need to make sure that if someone is falling behind on tasks, that you help them improve their time management strategies. If it is still an issue, consider reevaluating or redistributing workloads to help overloaded and stressed staff members. 

5 | Learn How to Diffuse Situations

It is inevitable that there will be an angry or upset patient at some point. This means your front desk staff should be well versed in how to handle angry patients. While your employees don’t deserve to be treated poorly, their first line of defense should be to empathize with the patient. Sometimes letting a patient win an argument or vent can diffuse a tense situation. But no matter what, let your staff know they have your support if the situation becomes threatening, and make sure that you have a procedure in place to deal with this kind of situation. 

Final Thoughts

With the right training and guidance, you can be confident that your front desk employees will provide excellent and consistent patient experiences. This great customer service can lead not only to practice growth and patient retention, but it can improve the work experience for your employees too! 


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