hospital

Create a Common Definition of Customer Service - 9/15/20


Peter, Paul, and Marie are co-workers. They are all customer service representatives.  When Peter thinks of good customer service, he defines it as being friendly to the customer. “And I am friendly,” Peter says.  “That’s why I don’t know why they send me to customer service training.” Paul thinks customer Read more

COVID-19 Demand Management Strategies for Customer Service Channels


We all want demand for our products or services.  This helps us to generate revenue and to provide something of value to our customers and communities.  But customer demand does not strictly relate to products and services.  Demand also relates to communications, information, issue resolution, education, and other aspects Read more

Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance? - 9/8/20


This is a quote by Edgar Bergen.  He’s one of the most famous ventriloquists of all time, but I guess he wasn’t necessarily one of the hardest workers of all time.  By sharing this quote, I am not supporting the idea that we shouldn’t work hard…or am I? We only Read more

Reach Out More for COVID-19 Customer Retention


Ever since the Coronavirus pandemic became a reality for individuals, their communities, and their countries, it became clear that people were going to be hurting…that lives were going to be changing…that the realities of the past were going to be very different from the current and near-term future realities. When Read more

Using I, We, or You in Customer Service - 9/1/20


It’s amazing how many conversations can go horribly wrong or incredibly right, not because of the use of a 4-letter word, but simply because of the use of a 1, 2, or 3-letter word – I, We, You. The incorrect use of I, We, You in conversations causes problems more Read more

Get Your Guru On - 8/25/20


You may have heard of management gurus - these people who seemed to know all and be all, to have the wisdom of 1000 leaders.  Maybe you’ve heard it in your industry as a guru in sports psychology or the master of economics or sociology or human behavior. And so Read more

Whether You Believe You Can Do a Thing or Not, You Are Right - 8/18/20


This is a famous Henry Ford quote, and the quote is all about self-belief, all about confidence. We’ve often spoken about the need to be confident and how to gain confidence, because that confidence - or the lack thereof - is imparted on the customer. But how does a customer tell Read more

Grind it out Today for a Better Tomorrow - 8/11/20


It’s been said that You Learn Perseverance by Persevering.  You are becoming mentally tougher right now.  The pain and the difficulties and the change today are making you stronger for dealing with the uncertainties of tomorrow. We’re all having to be more flexible.  We are all facing less consistency, less Read more

Increase Research for Improved Customer Relations During COVID-19


What makes a relationship? Many actions can make or break a relationship, but all solid relationships require at least two things: Communication and Caring. And customer relationships are no different in this respect. No Communication = No Connection If we don’t have some frequency of dialogue with the customer, then we Read more

Never Before… - 8/4/20


The importance of customer service is at the forefront again in our economy.  We noticed this clearly in the early 2000s when the country’s economy struggled, and we noticed it again during the Great Recession several years later.  Today, with yet another set of unexpected and extreme economic challenges, Read more

Customer Service Lessons from a Kidney Stone – An E.R. Story

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare 1 Comment

I was an Emergency Room patient recently thanks to a kidney stone. I learned some painful lessons about how I need to modify my diet. I learned some financial lessons about how to avoid the E.R. next time, now that I know how to read kidney stones symptoms. And I learned some customer service lessons from the experience.

Let’s focus on customer service. Here are a few lessons learned:

· Accessibility to service is a wonderful thing. To get my question answered about my symptoms, I was able to reach an on-call nurse at my physician’s office at 5:00 a.m. on a Monday. I was aware of that service, having used it before for less painful reasons, and that accessibility, that free advice is one of the things I love about my physician’s office.

· Employee knowledge is a component of the service delivered. That same nurse told me to go to the E.R. because she thought it was gallbladder-related. It turns out that she misinterpreted my symptoms, and the E.R. triage nurse knew immediately I had symptoms of a kidney stone, not a gallbladder issue. If the first nurse would have better “read” my symptoms, she may have saved me an E.R. trip (not complaining, mind you – just an observation).

· An hour wait is not an hour wait is not an hour wait. Wait times can be made to seem shorter or longer than they are in actuality. My wait time to see the triage nurse was only 20 minutes, but it seemed interminable. There was no dialogue during the wait, and I was told they’d see me “quickly” – a nebulous term at best, and one that led me to believe it would be immediate. However my 3.5 hour wait between when my x-rays were done and when the physician saw me wasn’t nearly as bad as you’d think. Although I wasn’t thrilled with the wait, I was given some pain medication early on, was checked on several times by the nurse, was taught how to use their funky television remote control, and was given a warm blanket and offers of other support by a volunteer.

· Much of customer service is about managing expectations. Whether it was my understanding of a next step in a process, understanding who would be my care giver, knowing what the diagnosis could be, understanding whether I’d be released that morning or whether I needed to be held – anything that the organization did to give me a clearer expectation of what would happen next and when it would happen helped to make the experience that much easier to bear.

Learn the lessons of my encounter with customer service during the attack of the kidney stone (sounds like a bad 1970’s movie title, huh?). Be knowledgeable and accessible. Communicate with customers, and “distract” them during waits. Set and manage customer expectations.

Relieve your customer’s pain.

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/

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


Hospitals Must Care About More Than Clinical Outcomes

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare Please leave a comment

You go to a hospital with a broken bone, and you expect them to heal it. You go to the E.R. with pain, and you expect the pain to be relieved. You get admitted with an infection, and you expect them to provide a cure.

These are all clinical outcomes. They are all the reasons why patients go to hospitals. They are the ultimate product of the hospital.

But they are not all that matter to the customer. In a way, they are the most basic expectation of the patient. Why would a patient go to a hospital with a broken bone, pain, or an infection if they DIDN’T expect to get this issue remedied?

In the article “Quality hospital care doesn’t ensure patient satisfaction” (on www.fierehealthcare.com), the point it made that what drives patient satisfaction often has little to do with the quality of the care itself. Florida ranks 8th nationally in quality of care, but it ranks 49th in patient satisfaction according to the study quoted in the article. "This conclusion underscores the need for hospitals to engage in regular patient satisfaction surveys rather than assume patients are satisfied with their medical care simply because the hospital meets a particular standard of clinical quality," the study’s authors wrote.

Think about your hospital, your organization, your business – even if you don’t work in healthcare. Just because the patient got the medication at your clinic doesn’t mean they’d like to return to your location. Just because the fan liked the team’s performance on the basketball court doesn’t mean they’re a raving fan of your organization. Just because the student liked the course he took doesn’t mean he loves your community college.

Think beyond the product when you’re thinking about how to drive higher levels of customer satisfaction, loyalty, and repeat business. Survey and engage in improvement efforts which address service processes and staff as well.

Go beyond the product.

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

Check out our new customer service book at http://www.amigreatat.com/


Decrease Paperwork. Increase Patient Satisfaction.

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare Please leave a comment

Paperwork – it’s one of the biggest roadblocks to patient satisfaction. You’re having pre-admission testing at the hospital. You’re getting registered for outpatient surgery. You’re there for treatment or a diagnostic procedure. And all the while – in this age of technology – you’re filling out the same information on paperwork over and over and over again.

Processes and the paperwork involved are huge drivers of dissatisfaction in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. The Valley Health System in Nevada is attempting to shorten the timeframe and paperwork involved in checking in for appointments. They’re adopting self-service entry as an option at its five hospitals.

Patients can enter information into a kiosk, sign consent forms, make payments, confirm insurance information, etc. Keep in mind that this essentially automates a manual process, but it does so in such a way as to eliminate some employee instructional involvement with the customers, engage the customer during waits, automatically update information in the hospital’s computer system without the employee having to key the data, and increase quality of data input.

You can draw several conclusions from the www.marketwatch.com article (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-valley-health-system-improves-the-patient-experience-with-self-service-check-in-from-ncr-2010-06-22?reflink=MW_news_stmp).

But the main conclusion I want to highlight is this – paperwork is a dissatisfier. Question EVERY piece of paper you create, every manual form you use, every data entry procedure that starts with someone writing information on a piece of paper.

Question EVERY piece of paper. It’s about more than “going green.” It’s about productivity, patient (customer) satisfaction, process quality, and reducing perception of wait time.

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