Inspire the front desk staff
As I have mentioned many times over, I believe the front desk is arguably the most important position in a physician’s office. As such, you should always look to inspire these people to provide exceptional customer service. For example, by them (and everyone in the office) the book entitled Five-Star Customer Service: A Step-by-Step Guide for Physician Practices. It can be found at http://www.hcmarketplace.com/prod-3688/FiveStar-Customer-Service-A-StepbyStep-Guide-for-Physician-Practices.html. Have your staff listen to a set of CDs called How To Handle Difficult People http://www.pryor.com/mkt_info/products/4.asp.
Also remember the “touchy feely” things work very well with employees. Send your front desk people e-cards to thank them for exceptional work. And it never hurts to bring in small gifts, baskets of candy, lotions, etc. This is always a good moral booster and lets them know that you appreciate them and the hard work that they do on a daily basis. Finally, as you well know, praise is always a positive message to the staff.