Preserving your patient-provider relationships is incredibly important in the healthcare space. This is why approaching medical debt collections can be rough. One wrong move could negatively impact a relationship. Healthcare providers depend on their patients coming back for more services and treatments as well as referring them to other people. This is why maintaining and improving customer relationships is top of mind when collecting.
However, the reality of the healthcare industry often includes medical debt collections—lots of them. It’s best to navigate the process with caution to maintain and even improve your customer relationships throughout the process.
We recommend the following steps to improve your customer relationships during medical debt collections:
Deliver exceptional customer service.
Customer service is king when it comes to strengthening customer relationships during medical debt collections. It’s essential to have customer service representatives who build rapport with your patients, stay attentive to their requests, and offer clear, prompt communication. Staying on top of problem resolution matters a whole lot when it comes to collecting debt. Keep in mind that patients who have debt are often stressed about paying it back. Offering cheerful solutions to any questions or concerns that come up is incredibly important.
Communicate with empathy, honesty, and respect.
Maintaining an assertive, caring, and helpful attitude while communicating with patients and collecting debt is key. Since debt collection is a sensitive issue, empathy, honesty, and respect are necessary elements of a good collection strategy. Patients are much more receptive to collections when they are treated with respect, given support, clarity, and honesty by default. This also makes them feel as if the collectors understand them and their situations.
Work with your customer and stay flexible.
Although collectors are often made out to be big, bad, scary individuals, they’re human, too. And the best results come when your customers feel like this is true. Staying open to working with your customer’s unique situation and coming up with a payment plan that accommodates their income and ability to pay makes your customers feel that much more supported than if you don’t. The difference between an improvement in a customer relationship or creating a divide may be working with the customer, no matter how difficult, to make the collection as painless as possible for them.
Provide multiple solutions.
Having multiple payment solutions like early-out and other incentives in place to encourage your customers to pay their outstanding medical debt helps them feel more open to paying their bills. Choices allow customers some autonomy over their decisions. This empowers them to feel like their providers aren’t bullying them into paying up. Customers appreciate options. They may even be impressed if your options are presented in a respectful manner.
Although it may seem impossible to improve customer relationships during medical debt collections, we assure you that it isn’t. However, it does take a lot of time and intentionality to preserve and improve your patient-provider relationships throughout the often difficult collection process. Leave it to the experts at Frost-Arnett to handle your medical debt collections and patient-provider relationships with care. We’ll do the work for you so you don’t have to worry about it. You can reach us at (855) 287-7043.