“Did you find everything alright?” asked the checker at my favorite grocery store. I had in fact NOT found everything I wanted. I had been unable to find an eggplant for my eggplant Parmesan recipe. I didn’t think it was a big deal; maybe they had more in the back, so I responded, “no, actually I didn’t.”
“Hmmm,” mumbled the checker as he continued to check me out and send me on my way eggplant-less (I went to Sprouts, they saved the day and my recipe).
This irked me but I soon forgot about it until about a month later, different grocery store, same question, and same response “Hmm.”
So why do they ask? Of course because management wants us to have a good customer experience, show us that they care.
So why doesn’t the checker at least follow up with some interest in what I did not find, like my eggplant. It seems as if the checker doesn’t value the customer experience as much as the management.
Now I run a small business and the customer experience is vital! Note that we no longer call it customer service. Maybe that is part of the problem. Service implies the checker/clerk/front desk person/nurse/doctor provides a service. This gives that person ownership of the customer/client/patient ‘s needs and empowers them to take action, serve the customer!
Customer/client/patient experience seems so much bigger than service. It is everyone’s responsibility and therefore no one’s responsibility.
We all want the patient (you) to have a spectacular experience at Van Dyke Aesthetics. My son, a marketing guru with Type 1 diabetes (therefore very familiar with patient experiences) says that medicine is the only field where they can deliver horrible customer experiences and the patient still has to go back. Sad commentary. Of course with cosmetic treatments you do have choices; you are not tethered to insurance companies so you can switch to “Medispas for Less” down the street anytime you want, especially if we fall short in the patient experience department.
Believe me, I think about this all of the time but particularly when someone denies me a spectacular customer experience. I’ve made some notes (jotted down at 3 in the morning when I can’t sleep).
How to deliver a spectacular patient experience from a consumer point of view:
- The phone
- Tell me your name when you pick up the phone
- Ask me how you can help me and then listen and then help me
- Do not put me on hold! Or at least not for more than a minute after I give you permission
- The lobby (we don’t call them waiting rooms anymore: gives a bad vibe)
- Welcome me with my name, preferably my surname if I am mature, and I am, unless we are on a first name basis
- Offer me something: a cup of coffee, a bottle of water, a granola bar, so that I know that you are the host and that you are happy to be such.
- Tell me how long I will be hanging out (not waiting) in the Lobby
- The consultation
- Somebody shows up to talk to me. Who the heck are you? Assistant? Nurse? Doctor? Or the all encompassing “medical provider”? Please wear a nametag, with your credentials. I don’t want to spill my guts to the janitor who just popped in to change the light bulb.
- Make sure that I know the real cost of what I am asking for: $$, downtime, side effects. Keeping me well informed makes me less anxious.
- The treatment
- See above: I like information. What is going to happen and when, don’t pull any surprises on me.
- Go over aftercare and recommended follow up. Am I good to go for a month, a year, a decade????
- The follow up
- Call me and ask how I am, I don’t care if you leave a message on my cell, just don’t leave too much info, you never know who is picking up my phone.
The bottom line is, show me that you care, not only in words but in actions. Now that makes a spectacular patient experience.
Does Van Dyke Aesthetics always come through? I hope so but I am realistic. We have bad days, busy days and just plain off days. We can do better, we can always do better.
My New Years Resolution: I will give everyone who comes our way the best customer/client/ experience that I possibly can. I will follow my own rules and coach all of my team to do the same so that we are all contributing positively to the patient experience. We will ask for and accept suggestions and critiques in order to improve.
I hope to see you all in 2017 and please let me know how we are doing!!
Happy New Year!