patient

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

Get Your Guru On – 8/25/20

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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 you don’t roll your eyes at the thought of you being a guru, it’s always helpful to understand the origin of the word.  Upanishads in 10th century to 6th century BC said “The syllable ‘gu’ means darkness, the syllable ‘ru’ means dispeller; he is therefore called a ‘guru’ because he dispels darkness.”

I really like this definition – it goes away from the modern interpretation that gurus are far more brilliant than any of us could ever imagine being, that they are somehow superior intellectually to others.

The Situations with Darkness

With Upanishads’ definition in mind, how can we become gurus in our respective jobs?  The definition talks about gurus being people who can dispel darkness.  So to be a guru, you don’t have to have knowledge far exceeding others.  You just have to have a given situation where you can dispel darkness.

Maybe it’s dealing with the sports fan who is unsure whether to invest in tickets for games this year.  You could be dealing with the local contractor who is struggling with tasks he’s done 100 times because he’s so overwhelmed by economic concerns.  You could be dealing with a patient or a family member whose anxiety and fear of the unknown is understandably high.

How to Bring Light

Einstein once said that darkness is an absence of light, so how can you bring light in these situations?

You bring it in by listening to the other person.  You bring it in by truly trying to understand what they’re going through, even if you’re not going through it yourself.  You try to identify what is causing that darkness and see if there are some solutions that can be brought to light.  You try to bring some lightness in tone to the situation – often people are so concerned and burdened that just the positive/pleasant/upbeat tone and some levity, appropriately delivered, can bring light in the situation.

Being a guru can mean dispelling darkness.  It can be you enlightening them on new information.  It can be you bringing to light something that’s unknown to them, that may work for them.  It can be you being light at times in the tone you take.

To truly be a guru, understand what could be causing their darkness and dispel it by enlightening them, bringing solutions to light, and bringing a lighter tone whenever possible.

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Improve the Health of Your Client Interaction – 6/27/17

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According to a recent article on patient satisfaction and high quality customer service in healthcare settings, there are three consistent keys to a great patient experience – particularly in outpatient surgery facilities. These core takeaways apply to virtually any business.

First – “Make a connection: Smile and introduce yourself to patients and family members.” This gets at the need for a great first impression, initiating communications with customers, and personalizing the interaction.

Second – “Set the expectation of service: Share with the patient what will happen, when it will happen and about how long it will take.” We often note that typically 40% of customer dissatisfaction occurs because the customer expected one thing, and the company delivered another. Take ownership over setting realistic expectations of what will happen and when it will happen.

Third – “Say thank you: Within days of providing care, send the patient a thank you note with handwritten messages from staff members.” It’s tough to overstate the importance of conveying appreciation to the customer. The other part of appreciation noted in this third best practice is to not just do it on the spot, but also share appreciation after the encounter. Typically, those post-encounter messages of thanks are a surprise – and carry extra weight in the customer’s evaluation of their last impression of you and your organization.

It’s about being pleasant, proactive, and personalizing. It’s about setting and managing customer expectations of tasks and timing. And it’s about appreciating the other – at the end of the encounter as well as in that unexpected follow-up.

Improve the health of your client interaction with these healthcare best practices.

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What You Do Shows What You Value – 6/30/15 TOW

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In the middle of the call with the customer service representative, the rep said “I need to let you know that I’m scheduled for my lunch break in 1 minute, so someone else will be handling your call.” One minute later, the caller heard “Hold, Click” and background music. What did that interaction say about what was important to that rep?

After the discharge nurse finished giving discharge instructions to the patient, the discharge nurse left the room. It was shift change, and the first shift nurse who had cared for the patient for the past 3 days was officially off-shift. But that nurse waited until the discharge nurse was done, walked into the room, wished the patient well, and gave the patient a hand-written thank you card. What did that say about what the first shift nurse values?

The customer went to return some shoes in the guest services department of a major retailer. There were three staff behind the counter – ten feet behind the counter to be exact. They were sitting down with their backs to the customer, looking at computers. The customer had to loudly say “Hello!” to get their attention. What did that interaction say about what was most important to the company and the staff?

These three true stories illustrate a very important point. What you do in customer service situations is a reflection of who you are with others, what’s important to you, and what you value.

Make your actions reflect the best of you.

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