Millennials now represent the largest segment of our population. Like Gen X before them, Millennials bring a new set of expectations and needs to the healthcare industry. These patients tend to take a proactive approach to their health, seeking out information on their ailments online before ever talking with a doctor. Gen X and Millennials tend to be less trusting of authority, including healthcare providers and the pharmaceutical industry. Instead, they turn to friends, family, and trusted online sources for healthcare guidance.
It is the job of every medical receptionist to meet patients where they’re at. Because Millennials and Gen X tend to see healthcare providers are their partners in medical care, the same philosophy should extend to the medical office receptionist. If you’re hoping to win over these generations, start with a can-do attitude that’s respectful of the healthcare journey each patient may be on. Ultimately, Millennials and Gen X patients offer greater opportunities for collaboration and communication.
Lead with Empathy
Medical receptionists rarely know exactly what is going on in a patient’s life. When people call a practice, or visit the front desk, they bring all their stress, anxiety, and concern with them. This mindset can weigh heavy on a person, impacting the way they communicate with others. That’s why it’s so important to always lead conversations with empathy. Experienced receptionists know when to give patients grace – it’s a skill that comes with time.
We’re taught the Golden Rule in kindergarten. By treating others the way we’d like to be treated, the world feels like a more welcoming place. A medical office receptionist must always practice this philosophy, since we typically have no idea what burdens a given person might be carrying. By treating patients the way we’d like our friends, family, and loved ones to be treated, receptionists help foster a kinder experience for all. Of course, this applies to patients of all generations, but Millennials and Gen X will feel especially grateful for empathetic support.
Get to the Point
We live in the era of instant gratification. Millennials and Gen X grew up with technology and tend to be avid consumers of all the latest and greatest gadgets. Millennials, in particular, communicate extensively online. Their cell phones offer so much more than the chance to communicate verbally. Instead, they’re used to clicking and receiving information instantaneously. That can make interactions with a doctor’s office receptionist feel slow by comparison.
If you’re really hoping to leave Millennial and Gen X patients satisfied, be efficient in your communication efforts. Many people in these generations prefer not to make phone calls, so if they’re calling your office, they likely want their questions answered as quickly and completely as possible. While older generations might prize the opportunity to connect and chat with a medical receptionist, younger folks see lengthy phone conversations as an imposition.
Offer 24/7 Support
Living in a 24/7 world means offering round the clock support, especially for Millennial and Gen X patients. These generations are extremely online – they want quick, easy access to information on their own terms. They won’t typically wait around for a doctor’s office to open to schedule an appointment or ask a question. Instead of waiting, they’ll simply move onto another practice that offers the kind of 24/7 support they need.
Of course, medical receptionist duties can be very demanding. Your in-house team isn’t likely to volunteer to work the night shift sitting by the phone. They deserve time off to rest and recover after long days. If you’re hoping to prioritize a healthy work/life balance – something Gen X and Millennials definitely value – consider using a virtual medical receptionist to supplement your in-house administrative staff. These professionals can serve as your representative during nights and weekends, ensuring there’s always a helpful voice at the end of the line. This strategy is a win/win, as it keeps your in-house receptionists from being overworked while maintaining a consistent presence for callers across generations.
Build a Trustworthy Brand
Millennials and Gen X tend to be very brand conscious. Once a brand earns their trust, these generations are likely to be loyal to that brand. There’s an overwhelming amount of information online, leading patients to rely on trusted brands to help cut through the clutter. They turn to social media to spread the word about brands they’re passionate about. Research shows that 90 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds trust medical information – like a physician referral – when it’s shared online.
If your Millennial or Gen X patient had a good experience in your practice, ask them to post an online review. While you’re at it, consider your online presence. These generations expect a lot from their trusted brands when it comes to activism and social justice. They want to use brands that align with their own personal values. Share your volunteer work and charitable contributions online. These good works can add credibility and win over patients who might be on the fence about patronizing your practice.
How to Find a Medical Receptionist that Can Work with All Age Groups
Among the wide range of medical receptionist duties, communicating with patients is perhaps the most important. While the Baby Boomers might connect with receptionists in a different way than their Gen X and Millennial peers, all patients want to be heard. Finding a receptionist that can work with all age groups can be a challenge, but quality communication skills reach across generations. Medical receptionist training can help grow these skills.
If you’re in the market for a professional receptionist who is already well-versed in the communication skills required to communicate across generations, MAP Communications is the solution. You’ll save time, money, and increase revenue. Each of our virtual medical receptionists comes highly trained and ready to hit the ground running. By understanding generational differences, these professionals craft memorable, satisfying customer experiences with each ring of the telephone.