Five Habits of Exceptional Customer Service Leaders

Outstanding leaders in customer service share certain traits. Let’s take a look:

Good communication

Like any other relationship, a positive doctor-patient relationship starts with good communication. Listening closely to what your patients are telling you about their needs is essential. This includes paying attention not only to what they’re saying, but how they’re saying it--including intonations, facial cues, gestures, etc. When you respond, it’s important to speak directly to the needs your patient has expressed (as well as any issues you feel should be part of the discussion) in a polite, sensitive manner and in a way that he or she can readily understand.  

Setting the tone

As a customer service leader, you set the tone. Anything you do or say will have ripple effects throughout your practice.  Your staff looks to you for reference. If you demonstrate integrity and good sense in the way you face challenges—whether that means how you handle a difficult patient or a mix-up in scheduling--your staff is likely to reflect your attitude.  


Sometimes being right means giving in—not because you’re wrong, but because putting the patient first may require it. So even if an office situation is not your fault, you may have to make amends—just so your patients continue to feel special and secure in the belief that their needs are always considered above your own.

Being a good boss

Outstanding leadership in customer service is not only about how you treat your patients; it’s also about how you treat your staff (“staff service”). Be patient, respectful, and communicative. Listen carefully to staff insights and concerns and show that you are genuinely interested. When your staff is happy and working in an environment of mutual respect, support, and trust--this transfers directly to their attitude with your patients.

In good company

Good leaders are aware of their own strengths and weaknesses and will defer to others for advice whenever it makes sense. That’s why customer service leaders make it a point to hire staff made up of talented people with a variety of skills. All those strengths contribute to a practice that provides a welcoming and trustworthy atmosphere for your patients.

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