Hello, Dr Paul here for another instalment of View From A Surgeon. Today I am going to talk to you about customer experience.
So, why is this important?
Customer experience is important as that is essentially what business is centred around. If your customers aren’t satisfied they’re not going to come back and they’re definitely not going to recommend you; overall you are going to lose out on business from all angles.
Customer retention is just as important as getting new customers, if not more! Your customers are your best advertisers by far.
When I was younger on of my consultants said to me ‘Paul remember, if you operate on a person and they get a good result, they might not tell anybody; if you operate on someone and you get a bad result they’ll tell 10 people’ (this was before social media, now they will tell hundreds in one go) and that’s absolutely true. If you get it wrong you get worse publicity, there is such a thing as bad publicity, let me assure you! Getting a bad name for yourself is certainly not good.
So how do we enhance customer satisfaction?
Fist of all, be a nice person,be a good doctor, be good at what you do and only do what you are supposed to be doing. Make sure that your results are quantified, that when you do an audit you are only doing things that you are good at. All of this will help the overall quality of your practice and service.
Second thing is, you’re going to get a complaint. Of course you are, somebody is going to come back and moan about something isn’t right, and some may also be justified in that they’ve got a complication.
So then, how do you deal with that?
This is where you are important, and your front-line staff is important. I realise that there are a lot of apps out there right now for appointments, contact and messaging etc. they are all really impersonal. When a patient or customer wants to complain, they don’t want to talk to an answerphone, they don’t want to talk to an app, they don’t want to leave an email, they don’t want a text message- they don’t want any of that.
They want somebody on the end of the phone, or a face to face with them, they want the personal approach. This is what I would advocate when it comes to customer service, it is that face to face, eyeball to eyeball, empathic view. Somebody who understands why the patient is making the comment that they’re making is so important, who can see things from all sides and talk them through it. You can also say that you are sorry, there is nothing wrong with apologising; this brings you a long way into the understanding of your customer.
Being able to diffuse a situation is very important, you must never go at a patient, client or customer with anger, they are giving their view and you getting angry solves nothing. Diffuse the situation by staying calm yourself, anger doesn’t win anything.
So in terms of customer service, it’s a very short review here, but i think it is important to make it personal, get in there eyeball to eyeball, be empathic, be considerate, and apologise when it is appropriate to do so.
So that’s the end of this instalment, thank you for reading.