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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Every Customer, Every Time

One of the best experiences I have had of being coached by another was when my organization hired Quint Studer's organization to infuse his principles into our company.  I was assigned Julie Kennedy, an experienced ED Nurse and Studer coach to teach me the "Must Haves".  As I applied the principles, our patient satisfaction scores soared to the top.  One of the main principles was "Every Customer, Every Time".  Our staff had to learn to provide a consistent customer service approach to every single customer.  If variability is the enemy of quality, then a quality experience for a customer means that every contact with an organization must be a positive one.  Just one bad experience can turn an "Excellent" rating to a "Good" rating.

So what if you are having a bad day when you are called upon to interact with a customer?  Doesn't matter, it's not about you...it's about the customer.  If you are really committed to customer service then you will be "on stage" for customer (as Disney would say it) no matter what is going on in your life.  At a basic level, you are  being paid to provide excellent customer service, and your boss has not given you permission to represent him/her or the company poorly.

In any case, the customer deserves the best from each component part of our company because they have sought services from the company and certainly did not seek for those services to be mediocre, rude, or poor.  We have all been victimized by poor customer service and we did not appreciate it.  In healthcare, an added dimension is that WE DON'T KNOW WHERE OUR CUSTOMERS ARE RIGHT NOW.  What I mean by that is that some of our customers have taken a moment to come down to the cafeteria and encounter you serving them while their parent lies languishing in the ICU.  Their mind is still in the ICU.  That customer deserves your very best.  Perhaps your role is to give directions to people on the hospital campus when you encounter a panicked couple running toward you.  They need directions to the ER where their son has been taken after a car wreck.  They deserve your compassion.  No matter what your role is, you will encounter customers at their very best and at their very worst.  These times will result in "moments of truth" when you can show what you are made of!  Treat others the way you would want to be treated, every customer, every time.

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