Customer service is often given lip service in health care settings. However, customer service has a very powerful impact on a number of operational areas. Families are six (6) times more likely to contact a lawyer because of rude or indifferent behavior than an underlying care problem. Unsatisfied customers are eight (8) times more likely to tell others about their experiences than satisfied customers. Referral sources are hesitant to refer patients to facilities when they receive poor service or receive complaints about service from families. Employees want to be a part of a winning team and a lack of skills in dealing with difficult families and residents will cause employee turnover.
How do you get accurate, unbiased measurements of customer satisfaction? Does the response differ if you use letters/surveys, response cards, or customer hotlines? How do you sort out the relevant information from pages of numbers and comments? Sometimes customers are hesitant to complain. This can result in customers going to other places to complain - neighbors, media, ombudsman, state, and lawyers. What are the ways in which a facility indicates it does not want complaints? Is there any truth to the statement: "A complaint is a gift." How can customer complaints be used to improve operations?
First impressions often set the tone for customer interactions. What are programs that can be easily implemented to get customers off to a good start? What is a "mystery shop" and how can this be used to evaluate the customer service component of a long-term care facility?
How can you measure whether your program is geared for excellence in customer service? What are the eight (8) sign posts that can be used to indicate whether you are on the right path?
If you don't have the answers, we do! Contact Ron Retzke at Retzke & Associates, Inc.