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  • Chuck Hulse

Service Is My Passion

According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, only 11% of customers believe that the companies they use truly have customer service as a hallmark. Indeed.

It was time for new kitchen appliances, so we took advantage of the “package deal” and chose to replace all four pieces in our kitchen. Asking for the charge for installation, we were surprised to learn the company does not install them, so we set out to find and coordinate a plumber and an electrician, only to find out later the salesperson was uninformed, installation was in fact available, so we changed course. Fast forward to installation day when we learned that installation means plumbing but not electric. Off we go again to find an electrician, while the installers dragged the dolly and stove through the snowbank and over our polished wood floors. When the ordeal ended, the installer let us know that we’d be receiving a survey and if for any reason we could not give them the highest rank of a five then we should not complete the survey. I am certain that was not what management had in mind. Think about it, what are the unintended consequences of your customer service efforts?

Reflecting on patient satisfaction at our medical practices, I had to ask myself if I believe that medical practices are outside of the 11% HBR stat? Sadly, I don’t think so. That is why I shared the HBR article recently with a few of the MedMan thought leaders. The article makes the case for creating a culture that engages the entire workforce in the discipline of service. Tone at the top, training, with transparent and real time feedback fueling the culture. Oh, one other thing… compensation. Studies have correlated the percent improvement in patient satisfaction with increased profitability. So, instead of bonusing our people if the net income supports it (a culture of “follow the money”) let’s bonus our people, not just the doctors, but include the maintenance staff, nurses, billing and receptionist staff on improvements in patient satisfaction (a culture of “follow the service”), with the confidence that net income will support it. Imagine if everyone in your organization could authentically wear a little round pin on their lapel that said, “Service is My Passion”.

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