hospital

Customer Service Experts have a Presence - 7/20/21


Standouts in the sports, entertainment, business, and political fields are sometimes said to have “an air about them.”  Unfortunately, that definition of air sometimes is perceived as an air of superiority or an air of condescension or something that doesn’t always have the most positive connotations. Well, the greats in Read more

It’s Not You, It’s Them - 7/13/21


George Costanza - from the Seinfeld television sitcom - broke up with someone he was dating and told her “It’s not you, it’s me.”  It’s a famous line, and I’ve heard it used many times in humor, but I have a customer service twist on that comedic line. It’s not Read more

Use Your Customer Service Freedoms - 7/6/21


We’re only a couple days past Independence Day here in the United States.  So it may be a good time for us in the customer service world to think about our freedoms, to think about what we have the liberties to do, to reinforce how this all plays out Read more

Who are Your Best Customers? - 6/29/21


A major medical supply company called Medline is in the process of being acquired.  It is an organization that has grown by leaps and bounds, particularly over the last decade.  It is currently a family-owned business, and the member of that family that serves as President of the organization Read more

Why Did They Walk Away? - 6/22/21


Granted, the drive-thru line was long, but Cynthia thought it would move pretty quickly.  After almost 10 minutes of only moving up one spot, she drove away. Benny was on hold, but the system didn’t tell him for how long.  Then he looked at his watch; 5 minutes later he Read more

And YOU get a Thanks, and YOU get a Thanks… - 6/15/21


Yes, Oprah Winfrey gets her first shout-out in a CSS Customer Service Tip of the Week!  She’s famous for many things – one of which was giving out presents to everybody in her audiences.  She would happily proclaim:  And YOU get a gift, and YOU get a gift, and Read more

It’s Right to Note “That’s Not Right” - 6/8/21


TJ was doing some construction work for the homeowner, and he noticed something unusual about the paint texture on the storm door that he was about to install.  The homeowner had purchased the door, and when TJ was getting ready to install it, he noticed that the door had Read more

Respond to Negativity in Kind, or Respond Kindly - 6/1/21


An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.  It seems like that’s what makes the world go ‘round nowadays.  You yell at me, and I yell at you.  Then you yell louder, and I yell louder.  And all that cacophony just pushes us further and further apart. In Read more

Tailor to the Type - 5/25/21


Every customer is different.  We need to look at each customer as unique, because they feel that they and their situation are unique. But even when you have that individual focus, there are a few basic philosophies of great customer service that apply to certain customer types: If they’re upset, listen. If Read more

The Problem with “No Problem” - 5/18/21


The man asked for his girlfriend’s hand in marriage, and she said: That’s not a problem! The customer walks into the bike shop wearing a cast and notes that the new bike he just bought had brakes that failed and that need to get fixed. The employee responds:  No problem. The Read more

Create Your Own Moments of Truth – 3/3/15 TOW

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment


Bonnie can run 100 miles an hour – not literally, of course. She’s a nursing assistant on a floor of a hospital, so she rarely goes into a full sprint, but she is constantly in motion. If you could watch her, you would see she’s hyper-productive. Whether it’s making the bed, dressing the patient, or taking vital signs, she’s efficient and quick.

Despite this high productivity, the patients and the co-workers never feel like she’s rushing them through or making them feel like a cog on the assembly line.

Bonnie has that innate ability to pause at just the right time and in the right way. When a patient has a need or question or comment, she looks the patient in the eye, and slows down the task. When the nurse manager has a question while Bonnie is “running” down the hall, Bonnie stops, faces the manager, smiles, and takes a calming breath. When a new co-worker is confused about the schedule or their assignment, Bonnie puts down her pen, softens her voice, and affixes her eyes on the co-worker’s papers.

As good as Bonnie is with her body language and tone of voice, she’s even better at something else. She’s better at seeing the situation.

When it comes to serving others, her eyes are always open for opportunities to engage others; the other person’s question, need, confused look, or eye contact are what Bonnie is always looking to see. She is always seeking cues for a chance to serve.

Work on the habit of looking for cues in others that there’s an opportunity to serve. When you see those opportunities, don’t let them go by.

Slow down, and start creating your own Moments of Truth.

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Give Your Customers a Crystal Ball – 12/2/14 TOW

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When conducting focus groups for a local government client recently, I found myself in many discussions with the customers of this municipality about their experience. The customers are business people, looking to perform renovations, develop property, and build facilities throughout the community.

And while many times we can define the customer experience by using words like attitude, responsiveness, respect, speed, and quality, these customers often used a different word – predictability.

To them, knowing what’s going to happen and when, knowing what’s their role v. that of the local government was vital to their success. By having a predictable process, a predictable set of roles and rules, a somewhat predictable timeframe, and a predictable manner in getting issues addressed, they could have more realistic expectations, but there were also two other benefits.

First, predictability for the customer enables them to plan next steps and timeframes. Second, predictability enables the customer to communicate with their stakeholders about what those stakeholders need to do and by when.

Going outside government, think of the hospital with outpatient surgery patients who need to know how to prep for procedures and how long they’ll take, so that they can have the friend pickup them up at the right time and help them get started on the care process at home.

Consider the sports fan going to the game and needing to know where to pick up the tickets and how long that process will take, so they can meet up with friends at a certain location and time.

Think about the elementary school parent considering moving into town but wanting to rent the apartment in the location where the best schools are zoned. They need to know what those schools are, where to move to get zoned there, how to register their child, and when they’ll get confirmation that the child gets into the desired school.

When you think about delivering the great customer experience, first think about how to make the experience predictable for the customer.

Help your customers predict next steps – give them the customer service Crystal Ball.

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Consistent Patient Satisfaction Requires a Strategy, Not a List

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare Please leave a comment

New Picture (1)The recent Healthcare Finance News article 10 ways to boost patient satisfaction, offers a list of Customer Service Standards that – when adhered to – “should do the trick” to grow patient satisfaction at your organization. The author notes that there are actually at least 30 ways to grow patient satisfaction. While the Standards noted in the article are generally good tactics for an individual employee to use in interacting with an individual patient, one could get the feeling that having satisfied patients is all about implementing a checklist.

It’s not.

Instead of 30, there are hundreds of ways to improve patient satisfaction. Keep in mind that patients form their opinion of their experience based on 3 key factors: The Attitudes/skills/knowledge of the employees, the Processes that they experience as a patient, and the Service itself. With Attitude/Process/Service as the backdrop, there are many ways where employees can convey a positive and caring attitude, exhibit a technical, customer service, or communications skill, and covey knowledge (of the patient, of processes/procedures/policies, and of services). There are hundreds of processes that a patient may experience – from registration to pre-op testing, from having x-rays to paying for services, from calling in to the facility to placing your meal order. And the services – the x-ray itself, the food, the surgery, the anesthesia care, the medicines provided – one inpatient stay alone has many services provided. And I haven’t even addressed the look, feel, and cleanliness of the facility itself.

To improve patient satisfaction for the long-term, you have to think strategically. What is the patient’s definition of a great experience? How can the organization provide that experience? What culture would foster a sense of responsiveness, caring, efficiency – where healthy internal relationships enable a great patient experience? How can processes become more simple and self-evident, efficient and yet customer-friendly? How can services be made more consistent, higher quality, and more seamlessly delivered?

To create and sustain high patient satisfaction, create strategies to transform your culture, to design and deliver a great patient experience, and to continually involve the Voice of the Patient in the design process and your continuous improvement initiatives.

Go beyond list-making to deliver a great patient experience.

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