government

Should I Stay or Should I Go? - 2/23/21


Should I stay or should I go?  That’s not just a classic song by The Clash.  It’s also the question customers ask more and more, especially during difficult economic times. A recent study in the Charlotte Business Journal noted that 50% of North Carolina businesses are concerned with how to Read more

Optimism – A Force for Good in Customer Service - 2/16/21


Will 2021 be a better year than 2020?  I have absolutely no idea.  Maybe it would be nice to see into the future and know for certain, but I can’t and I don’t.  But as I wade further and further into this year, I can hope that the water Read more

To Assure, Ensure You Do This - 2/9/21


Vince Lombardi – famous professional football coach – became a big hit on the speaker’s circuit during his time coaching.  He applied many of his principles in football and life to business, and one of his great business quotes is:  Confidence is contagious and so is lack of confidence, Read more

Let Your Goal Determine Your Question - 2/2/21


In the early 2000s, when the economy hit the skids, companies realized that they couldn’t take their customers for granted.  They needed to ramp up customer service.  They needed to listen to the Voice of the Customer. During the Great Recession in the 2008-10 timeframe, much of the “new marketing Read more

Excellence is Not Perfection, and that’s OK - 1/26/21


Surveys have questions with ratings that range from Excellent to Poor.  We custom-design and deliver Service Excellence Training.  Tom Peters wrote the book “In Search of Excellence.” But how do you define Excellence, particularly in customer service?  Let’s start with what Excellence is not.  Excellence is not something reflected in Read more

Bring Magic to Your Account Management - 1/19/21


One of our first sports-industry clients was the Orlando Magic.  They were a true leading-edge organization in the early 2000s when it came to dedicating resources to season ticket holder retention.  They didn’t make customer service, relationship-development, and renewals simply a function of the Sales department.  They broke it Read more

Customers Want Easy, but Easy is Difficult - 1/12/21


New employees go through days of training to learn products and services.  They have formal workshops to learn how to use their office applications, web functions, and whatever programs are specific to their department.  They test new technology, and they get quizzed on knowledge of policies.  This is hours Read more

Make 2021 the Year of Building Relationships - 1/5/21


I’ve been very fortunate over this company’s 20+ years in business to have great and long-lasting relationships with many clients, colleagues, business partners, and co-workers.  It’s a gift to be able to call on these individuals for advice or referrals or to be a sounding board.  And it’s just Read more

Bring Warmth During Winter - 12/29/20


Winter is upon us.  Now, winter can mean different things to different people in different regions, but just the word conjures up cold.  It conjures up visions of snow.  It conjures up feelings of wind and lack of warmth. Although some of us may like the cold at times of Read more

2020 Holiday Poem - 12/22/20


When in the role of customer service,We are wired to give and give.It’s built into our DNA.It’s simply the way we live. In order to give to others,We need to find ways to give them their fill.We need to pour empathy and openness into them.To serve, we need to have Read more

Physician Clinics, Processes, and Patient Satisfaction…oh my!

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare Please leave a comment

A recent study noted in American Medical News evaluated multiple aspects of a patient’s experience in a physician’s practice and determined that the three most important aspects of the experience all related to the doctor. The doctor’s knowledge, time spent with the patient, and access to the patient’s medical records were of greatest importance to patients.

However, there are a few points that might not be so obvious. Six of the next seven most important attributes all dealt with process – ease of billing, efficient billing process, time spent in the waiting room, etc. We believe that the 3 drivers of customer satisfaction in any industry are Employee Attitudes/Skills/Knowledge, Service Processes, and the Product/Service itself. So this process impact is not surprising, but it’s important. Key Conclusion: Make it easy and efficient for the customer to do business with you.

But another point in the article is typically as important. Other studies have shown that 40% of customer dissatisfaction is because their expectations weren’t met. This article notes how many patients compare their experience at a clinic to their experience in other industries. So it’s time for physician clinics like most other businesses to look outside themselves to learn. If the Ritz-Carlton makes you feel special, what can a physician clinic learn from them? If a NASCAR pit crew can change four tires and fill a gas tank in 12 seconds, what can a physician clinic learn from them? If Amazon.com can enable a 1-click purchase, what can the clinic learn from them?

It’s not just for healthcare organizations like clinics; this “looking outside yourself” benchmarking approach should be undertaken by local governments, the business operations staff for sports teams, community colleges and other education industry organizations, and retailers alike.

Key Conclusion: Customers come in with expectations about your business based on experiences with other businesses. So look at other businesses to identify improvement opportunities in your own.

Make it easy for the customer to do business with you…and to enjoy the experience, too!

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/


Achieve and Improve

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare Please leave a comment

Hospitals learned years ago that their reimbursement from the Federal Government would begin being impacted by patient satisfaction. Essentially, the higher patient satisfaction, the higher the reimbursement. The hospital could potentially make less money for the same services provided if the patient satisfaction level was low.

But when that impact became more well-defined over the past couple years and has become a reality, it’s interesting to see how the Federal Government adjusts its reimbursement. HCAHPS (this new government mandated measurement/reimbursement program) is changing how hospitals get reimbursed, how they’re measured, and about what they care most.

According to Janette Jones, a consultant and HCAHPS expert with the healthcare research firm The Jackson Group, starting this summer, the Government will begin withholding reimbursement from hospitals based on patient satisfaction and clinical measures. The dollar impact can be as much as $500,000 for mid-sized hospitals, and more for larger hospitals.

And while the Achievement of key levels of performance comes into the calculation today, Improvement will also be considered down the road. And as Improvement in performance is taken into account, gradually the overall impact of the reimbursement will increase until 2% of Government reimbursement (in some cases equating to millions of dollars annually) is at-risk.

So the Government is focused on patient satisfaction, and it’s asking the hospitals to focus on two factors: Achievement and Improvement.

Think about your business in this manner. If your financial success was determined in part by achieving certain levels of customer satisfaction and then continually improving customer satisfaction, how would your priorities change? How would your strategies change? How would your decisions change?

When it comes to customer satisfaction – focus on Achievement and Improvement.

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/


Find a Fun Benchmarking Organization for Lessons on Service and Retention

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service 1 Comment

Why did Apple benchmark with the Ritz-Carlton? Are computers the same thing as hotels?

Why did Southwest Airlines benchmark with NASCAR pit crews? Are airplanes the same things as cars?

Benchmarking is usually more about how you do something than what you do. In the article How the Ritz-Carlton Inspired the Apple Store, the author notes how Apple Stores went to the Ritz-Carlton to learn lessons on customer service. Similarly, many years ago Southwest Airlines went to work with NASCAR pit crews to learn how to turn planes at the gate more quickly.

Continuous improvement in any organization involves thinking beyond your world, growing your organization’s collective knowledge by learning from others. What’s more, it can be lots of fun learning, particularly from those in other industries.

To most effectively benchmark, think about how you deliver a service, interact with customers, communicate, process, produce. Try not to think of this in industry terms; instead, think of this in functional terms. For example, as a bank, don’t think “What bank does a great job of increasing the number of accounts with current customers?” Think more broadly such as “What organizations are great at retaining and selling more services to existing account holders?” Instead of benchmarking with another bank, they might consider benchmarking with a pro sports team.

Instead of a local municipality asking “What City/County governments do a great job with their website?”, they should ask “What organizations effectively engage their customers online and leverage those sites to drive interest and traffic to their programs and facilities?”

Benchmarking is a fun way to get creative ideas, to continuously learn, grow, and improve.

So what industry (other than yours) is interesting to you? Go and learn from them.

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/