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How To Use SMS To Increase Customer Satisfaction In Healthcare

5 Mins read

Modern times have changed the way people communicate. Whereas before, people write letters that would usually take time before it reaches the recipient, now, people can send messages in the blink of an eye using SMS. In this era, everybody lives in a fast-paced lifestyle. Time is of great importance, and everyone prefers options that are convenient and will bring fast result.

When it comes to businesses, communicating with clients and partners needs to be done in an efficient and fast method. The way your company approaches communication methods may affect your company’s brand, value, and relationship with the customers. Not only does a good communication tool improve the way your company performs and increase your sales, but it also brings in potential clients, retains the old ones, and builds customer satisfaction and loyalty.

A lot of researches show that SMS is a powerful tool for businesses. A survey suggests that texting is the top communication method among Americans younger than 50. About 89 percent of people always their smartphones close to them. Consumers also say that they prefer receiving SMS compared to taking phone calls. Additionally, SMS is also more preferred than emails since 82 percent of SMS are read in under five minutes while only about 1 in 4 emails received are read.

Using SMS also brings great benefits to the healthcare industry. It’s not a secret that this is one of the most hectic industry with staff, employees, and professionals always on the go and alert for patients in need of help. Healthcare professionals may be assigned different departments and shifts and because of this, communicating important updates, notifications, and changes can be a challenge.  Text messaging can help healthcare professionals improve efficiency, be updated instantly, reduce the time required answering calls, and avoid challenges that may result from person to person phone calls. Furthermore, SMS can also help healthcare professionals improve customer satisfaction.

SMS can be used to update patients of their appointment schedule  

Most patients can be disorganized. Furthermore, their health issues may pose a problem with them remembering simple things such as their upcoming appointment. Healthcare professionals can use SMS to alert the patients of their schedule. This helps ensure that patients really show up and get the help they deserve. In addition, since SMS is a two-way communication method, patients can set-up, reschedule, cancel, or update their healthcare professional instantly and easily in just a single text message.

Since most patients are uncomfortable with setting up appointments through phone calls to the point of them just opting not to receive help from a healthcare professional anymore, an SMS approach to accessing the health industry is greatly helpful.

Most times, when patients need to go to a health facility for a walk-in check-up, there may be a waiting line for their preferred healthcare professional. This may take a few minutes or even hours depending on the number of patients that the health professional currently has. Obviously, waiting for a long time can get very boring and for people who have plans following the checkup may not have extra time to waste. Healthcare professionals can alert their patients in real time regarding their open schedule to minimize their waiting time.

SMS can be used to provide patients with feedback on their diagnostic test results  

Most diagnostic test results can be really sensitive in nature and highly important which needs a face-to-face meeting with the healthcare professional for a serious discussion. Some diagnostic test results, on the other hand, are not that much complicated in nature. Communicating the results to the patients using SMS can save time, money, and effort from both parties.

Additionally, most patients are busy with their work, school, daily lives, or just don’t have the time and energy to pick-up or wait for their test result results. Through SMS they can instantly know the results whenever and wherever they are.

SMS can be used to alert patients of their prescription or scheduled medicine intake  

Another way that patients can benefit from and become satisfied with the healthcare professional’s services is through the use of SMS for their prescription reminder. As mentioned above, some patients can be disorganized and forgetful, either because of their illness or just a part of their characteristics. Prescription medicines should be taken at a proper dosage and at the proper time for it to be effective. SMS can be configured and customized for each patient with different issues and prescriptions. Alerting them and letting them know when their prescription is approved, when they need to take their prescription, when they need to collect their prescribed medication, or when their repeat prescription will expire, will help ensure that patients really take their medication and get the treatment they need.

SMS can be used to give patients their treatment options  

Healthcare professionals can also use text messaging to relay the various treatment options that are available for their patient to choose from. This allows the patients to have some space and some time while they are making a decision for their treatment and health issue. Furthermore, healthcare professionals can use SMS to relay new treatment offers or packages that patients may greatly appreciate.

SMS can be used for a patient’s follow-up messaging  

After receiving their treatment or medication, some patients may be required for a follow-up check-up to ensure the treatment or medication’s effectiveness. There are times where the patient may not have any free time to meet up with their healthcare professional. Through text messaging, healthcare professionals can ask their patients how they are feeling, if they are experiencing any side effects, or if the treatment or medication is effective and working for them. As a result, patients may feel that they are genuinely cared for. Furthermore, this will help improve relationships with the patient, build trust, and improve customer loyalty.

SMS can be used as a 24/7 support system for patients  

Most businesses only offer customer support that is available in office hours, but an around the clock and always on customer support is one of the features that will help attract potential clients, retain old ones, and improve customer loyalty. When it comes to getting sick, catching illnesses, or getting into a life-threatening situation, it doesn’t choose a time or day. When it happens, it happens. People just need to get help as soon as possible to immediately relieve symptoms, fully heal, and avoid life-threatening events. Because of this, it is important the healthcare facilities (such as alcohol rehabs) have a 24/7 accessibility to cater patients and get the help they need as soon as possible. An open text messaging line ensures that patients can reach healthcare professionals any day and any time they need.

SMS can alert other healthcare professionals instantly  

There are times when the patient has a unique problem that may not be within the healthcare professional’s line of specialty. In addition, some health issues may need additional diagnosis which requires collaboration with a different field of the health department. Healthcare professionals can immediately contact their peers and ask for their opinion or help in diagnosing their patients. Healthcare professionals can also refer patients to other healthcare professionals. This ensures that the patient can immediately receive the complete and correct diagnosis that they need.

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About author
Adam Durnham is a freelance blogger that primarily writes on healthcare, health, and wellness. He currently lives in Detroit, Michigan along with his dog Beignet.
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