I’m frequently appalled at the lack of customer service in the healthcare industry, even as someone who draws a paycheck from it. Unfortunately, it goes without saying that excellent customer service is hard to find in any industry these days, with exception of hotels. For some reason, they have it down to an art.
I recently witnessed this when checking into a moderately-priced hotel. Upon entering, I was immediately greeted by hotel staff. On the counter was a bowl of fresh apples, a welcome refreshment after a long drive. The desk clerk was smiling, friendly and courteous. Although I had not asked, she offered directions to the event which I was attending and even gave me a list of taxi services.
After handing me the room key and giving clear directions on how to get there, she said, “Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make your stay more pleasant.” I thanked her for the great service and walked away, a big smile on my face. After about seven steps, I turned around, walked back over to her and said, “Tell me something: Why are you so good at this?” Her reply: “We have to be; we have a lot of competition.” I told her I worked in healthcare, and we have a lot of competition, too, but it was rare to see this kind of service in our industry.
I left the next morning thinking: “We need to incorporate hotel-quality customer service into our practice!” I told the story at our next staff meeting. Since that time, we have made several changes at our front desk to make it more patient-friendly and to show patients we go the extra customer service mile!