Most businesses and industry sectors understand, acknowledge, and accept the fact that customer reviews are a normal part of conducting business operations. Whether or not said reviews are fair is not important. The reason is that all companies at some point will be subjected to negative online comments and such posted information may be unfair. This suggests that part of the customer-company relationship is communicating, handling expectations, and resolving problems that can occur during the interaction. Failure to manage the relationship will lead to bad reviews. Doctors, however, have been more sensitive and opposed to allowing patients to review their services, even though the importance of these reviews is undeniable.
The Problem With Reviews
Medical professionals often complain that patients do not have the necessary expertise to judge the quality of service and generate an objective review. Many also consider the practice to be of little use and does not help others with the process of selecting a doctor. However, the industry is not the only one to have similar problems; therefore, doctors may be better served by understanding how their treatment process is received by patients to improve customer service practices. Complex scenarios and a high degree of knowledge and education to understand processes is an occurrence in many fields. Therefore, doctors should not be exempt from receiving feedback.
For example, the technology industry faces the issue of failed implementations. Projects often run past deadlines and are over budget. Customer reviews, in these cases, may be unfair or unwarranted given the complex nature of said installations and the failure may occur based on the misuse of information technology by the end user. Nevertheless, a company within the industry will be judged by the review of its user base. Therefore, customers will require high levels of communication and support to offset confusion. In the case of the healthcare industry, doctors need training on how to treat patients as customers who can choose to take their business elsewhere. With this change in perception, a practice will be forced to review the overall client experience, including the frustrations that arise from excessive wait times and other non-medical factors that affect patient perception of quality of service.
The Importance of Feedback
Feedback is important to any company, and no industry should be immune from receiving recommendations on how to improve any business process. In the case of doctor reviews, much of the feedback that a practice receives has to do with the overall business practices in addition to the actual patient care. What this means is that communication is indispensable in handling patient relationships. Doctors, as with other service professionals, should take the time to understand their customers’ expectations and needs. For example, if a patient walks in seeking information about breast cancer, the doctor should address the concern and provide information regarding facts about breast cancer. If a patient feels that a doctor seemed too busy or distracted or did not place enough importance on the issues at hand, a negative review is warranted regardless of the doctor’s reasons. The same results are justified when patients wait for an hour past their scheduled appointment without a reasonable explanation.
If medical professionals and healthcare practitioners take the time to understand what their patients’ needs are and address those requirements and expectations, reviews will be an accurate reflection of the rendered services. This is visible with the reaction that the University of Utah Health Care (UUHC) received when they surveyed patients regarding the organization’s level of services. UHHC quickly understood that feedback was the perfect way to improve patient perception. Furthermore, the results helped the company reduce costs and improve profitability. Much of what UUHC learned regarding a high level of customer service was that being compassionate, respecting patient’s time, and communicating helped create the five-star rating that they enjoy.