patient care | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 8

Talk About Yourself to Build Customer Confidence - 4/16/24


When you’re dealing with somebody who is anxious or nervous about a situation, a customer who feels like they don’t have much control, an individual who is unsure and uncertain, it’s important to put the customer at ease.  It’s important to build their comfort level.  It’s important to help Read more

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

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/


Why the President Wanted to Mystery Shop

Posted on in Business Advice, Government, Healthcare Please leave a comment

You may have read the articles that came out recently that addressed the Federal Government’s plans to call different physician practices as a prospective patient. These callers would not have asked questions for the true purpose of learning the answer or becoming a patient. These are mystery shoppers. These are individuals who call to see how certain questions are answered and how certain policies are applied.

Essentially what the Federal Government wanted to do was to determine if some physician practices are turning away patients or delaying their access to care/appointments if they do not have a preferred form of health insurance. It wanted to use these mystery shoppers to identify people who are not doing essentially what they’re supposed to be doing.

It’s interesting that many companies use mystery shopping in this “gotcha” manner. This is why so many employees are negative toward mystery shopping. They feel like it is something being done to catch employees doing wrong. Staff feel like the only reason why they’re being shopped is so they can be caught and dealt with in some kind of a punitive manner.

But mystery shopping done effectively tries to gauge consistency of service, responses, and processes across the organization, from person-to-person and facility-to-facility. Mystery shopping done right tries to identify what internal best practices exist so that they can be leveraged across the organization. Mystery shopping done right identifies organizations do great, and what organizations need to improve upon. And mystery shopping done right also includes sometimes contacting your company’s competitors to see where you have a competitive edge and where you’re falling short through the customer’s eyes.

So while we understand the Federal Government trying to identify who is doing things in the most appropriate way, we encourage you to have a broader perspective in the use of mystery shopping. Use mystery shopping to reward, recognize, find internal best practices, find areas which are opportunities for improvement, and find ways to beat your competitors.

Mystery shop to improve performance.

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

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


Structured for Service?

Posted on in Business Advice, Government, Healthcare, Sports Please leave a comment

Yet another company is caring about customer service, and this one is an Australian telco – Telstra. The organization is trying to get rid of its reputation for horrible customer service by – in part – creating a combined structure for its sales and service areas. According to a Wall Street Journal article, Telstra wants to “improve service, win customers, simplify processes and build new growth businesses.”

In short, it’s restructuring for the money. Who knows today if it will work for tomorrow, but the attempt has some key points that need to be addressed.

First, your organizational structure has a HUGE impact on customer service. We see this all the time with hospitals and pro sports teams alike. Two different departments talk to the same customer (i.e., patient or season ticket holder) at two different times. Does one department know what the customer just communicated to another department? Think “shift change” on a hospital unit or a handoff of a new sale to a season ticket account representative on a sports team. Is the organization structured for responsiveness and seamless communication?

The article also talks about how structures impact processes. If you’ve ever tried to get a permit to renovate a building or to add a deck to your home, you know about which I’m referring. How many different places do you have to go, people do you have to interact with, information sources you have to research to get the “okay” to do the work? The structure of most local governments emphasizes the efficiency of the siloed department above the efficiency of the overall process from the customer’s perspective.

To improve customer service, look at your structures and processes. Where do they hinder Service Excellence?

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

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