Healthcare | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 9

The Proven Value in What You Do - 4/9/24

Forbes wrote an article last year based on a compilation of the results of research on customer service and the customer experience; it was titled:  100 Customer Experience Stats For 2023. In reading the article, you’ll note that many of these key research findings are about you – the value Read more

A Tale of Two Texts - 4/2/24

Having to get allergy shots once a week is never fun, and for Janet, it became an even bigger frustration. She had the shots typically scheduled on Tuesday around 10:30 in the morning, figuring she would avoid the morning rush as well as the lunch rush by going mid-morning.  However, Read more

The Secret Sauce for Great Customer Service - 3/26/24

I was working with the League Office for a major American sport several years back, and one of the executives asked me to describe our Secret Sauce that helped our clients improve the fan experience and customer retention.  I gave him a sense of what makes us unique and Read more

The Miracle of an Apology - 3/19/24

Unfortunate but true story… The manager basically lost his mind.  He terminated his employee on the spot.  She had told the customer that there was going to be a delay in the shipment.  The employee called up the customer ahead of time to let the customer know what was about Read more

It’s Not About the 5-Minute Wait - 3/12/24

Robert went into his supervisor’s office to update her on a situation at the payment desk.  Robert said that a customer was about fourth or fifth in line, waiting to be served, and the customer was complaining loudly about the wait.  He was there to make a property tax Read more

Lessons from the Greats - 3/5/24

I was recently facilitating a workshop on the customer experience, and I made the point that it’s usually beneficial to look at your personal life for great experiences; identify what really resonates with you in a positive way in order to uncover ideas to improve your own customer service. So, Read more

The Empathy Roadmap - 2/27/24

For some people, empathy comes naturally.  There’s an innate desire to learn about the other person and to sincerely convey that sense of interest and caring.  But for many of us, sometimes it helps to have a communication plan.  It helps to know what to do in order to Read more

“You’re the Boss” - 2/20/24

Terrence is excellent at what he does.  From a technical standpoint, he knows how to keep the facility clean.  He’s the lead custodian, and he knows that keeping things straight does not necessarily mean keeping things sanitary.  He knows what chemicals to use and not to use, how to Read more

Customer Understanding Leads to Relationship Growth - 2/13/24

We’ve worked with educational organizations at all grade levels over the years.  One special and unique characteristic about the staff who work in these organizations is that there’s a clear intent to know about the students as individuals, to focus on them rather than purely focusing on what’s delivered Read more

Define Customer Service Success Differently - 2/6/24

When I’m watching television, listening to the radio, or listening to a podcast, it’s always interesting when the topic moves to the question:  How can you be a success?  The speakers often discuss the process of becoming a success with the assumption that people believe success is defined by Read more

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

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website!

HCAHPS – How Performance Measurement is Driving Fear and Opportunity

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare Please leave a comment

Transparency is an often-used term by business executives, sometimes noting it as one of the organization’s values – being open with information within the business. But when transparency means having your performance publicized for all the world to see, it can drive a wide range of emotions.

Hospitals are dealing with this new level of transparency, according to Janette Jones of The Jackson Group – a healthcare research provider and consultancy. The Federal Government’s mandated performance measurement process called HCAHPS not only has led hospitals to survey patients with specific/consistent questions about their experience, but it has also touched on two key components of a business, its customer’s opinion and the impact of those opinions on its financial success.

According to Ms. Jones, the customer satisfaction ratings (along with multiple quality indicators) are currently being posted online for consumers to see. These patients and family members will increasingly “Look at the overall ratings and the nursing/doctor information. They’ll see how hospitals have scored, and do a comparison – ‘What is this hospital’s overall rating v. that hospital’s rating?’, and for the informed consumer, all those domains will be important if they have a choice – particularly if they are going to have surgery,” said Ms. Jones.

So when these hospitals think about how their performance – as perceived by the customer – is being measured and posted for all to see, it can create anxiety and fear – but also opportunity.

Imagine that you outperform your competitors. Having those customer satisfaction metrics posted online is free marketing. It’s an objective, customer-based opportunity for you to differentiate yourself from competitors.

Whether you’re a hospital or not, you can learn from the HCAHPS measurement and reporting process. Remember, this is essentially word-of-mouth on a government website.

So think about your current experience through the customer’s eyes. Think about who you hire and how you train them to make the impression on the customers who are evaluating you and sharing their feelings with friends. Think about what drives their satisfaction and loyalty and what you need to do to capitalize on it. And think about your competitors – find out where are they better and worse so you can improve and differentiate.

Use this HCAHPS example as a challenge that spurs your organization to become better than you are today.

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website!

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at

Improve Outcomes by Involving the Customer

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare 1 Comment

Imagine that you’re a hospital patient about to be discharged, and two employees (a nurse and a tech) are standing in front of you but looking at each other (not you). The tech asks the nurse “What should we do in this case?” The nurse responds, “Well much of this is a patient issue; I’d suggest that he do a better job of caring for himself at home, modifying his diet.” The tech responds, “That’s a great point. Patients need to take more ownership over their own health.”

It makes the customer want to yell “HELLO!! I’M RIGHT HERE!!”

Whether it’s a hospital patient or a banking client, a fast-food customer or an event patron, customers want you to talk with them – not about them as if they’re not even there.

So when you do need customers to do something (such as take better care of their health, complete forms, send in some paperwork, get their own condiments, or find their own seat), you want them to do so right the first time. You want your and their outcomes to be positive. And the best way to get the customer to do what they need to do is to involve them in the process. We’re talking buy-in, and buy-in isn’t just for employees; it’s for customers, too.

When decisions need to be made or processes require customer action, include the customer in the discussion – encourage and allow their input.

An article titled Getting results in practice: The importance of patient involvement is written by a nutritionist who advocates getting patient compliance and ownership over their health by building their “knowledge of one’s health and the skills and confidence to self-manage chronic conditions.” She states that “A more balanced power distribution between patient and doctor fosters patient confidence and allows the patient to play a larger role in achieving his or her health outcomes.”

Involve your customer in their process of working with you and in your decisions. It will build their compliance, their participation, and your sales.

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website!

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?”