Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Customer Service: How to go the Extra Inch

I was listening to a podcast of my favorite maketing guy, Terry O'Reilly, and his CBC show called "Under the Influenece".  This week's episode was all about how companies succeed in keeping us loyal by doing the little things.

He used examples like vitamin companies leaving magnifying glasses hanging near their bottles so people could more easily read the info on labels.
He described a great story about a fellow landing at the airport tweeting a wish for a certain restaurant's steak. When the man landed, a well dressed man was standing at the gate, holding a sign up with his name on it, and a 32 oz Porterhouse steak and all the fixin's!! That's going the extra mile.

A few larger companies also manage to do "just a little bit more". Starbucks employees, (although less so than they used to, it seems) remember my name, and remember what I like to drink.
I still love going to Disney World with the kids, mainly because the service is still over and above anywhere else I can think of. I remember, fondly, telling one of the beignet makers how much my kids loved the doughnuts he was making. Minutes later, he wandered over with a fresh batch, with more powdered sugar on them than I ever thought possible!

In my "business" of medicine, this level of service sometimes isn't possible. Or is it?
What, as a doctor, can I do to make a patient's visit more palatable? What can my receptionist, nurse, manager do to help?

I need your advise!!


  1. You really want to know? Okay ...

    1) Be On Time. How often has some Dr. made me wait in his waiting room for an eternity? And I actually heard of some Medical Bozo sending a bill for time wasted, to someone who was late. Wowzers, I'd send an immediate invoice back. Be On Time. As in - within 5 minutes. If you consistently run late, book larger blocks of time for your appointments. If you don't respect my time, why should I respect yours?

    2) Have workspace in your waiting room. Some of us have things we need to get done! A table and chairs would be great, better yet, available power. Best? A wi-fi connection also. Consider a 'quiet room'.

    3) Turn off the TV. Nobody really likes it, and most of us would prefer silence. If we don't want the quiet, we have our own headphones.

    4) Have a question/answer line, either via telephone or (gasp) email. So often people have simple questions that can be dealt with, without a face to face. Make that possible, make that easy, make it a normal part of your day.

    I'll think about this some more. Good luck, and thanks for trying.

    1. 1. I do my best to respect other people's time. I try never to make people wait, and like the same in return. (however, emergencies sometimes happen)

      2. Like the idea of charging stations. Don't think we can let people on our secure servers though. . .

      3. Message received.
      4. I've considered a website for the medical practise, but it's difficult responding to emails without physically seeing the person. An FAQ would be worthwhile though!

      I really appreciate the feedback.

  2. Re 2): on my home router, I can create a Guest network that has a different password and is restricted, that is, cannot access any of the disk drives that are attached to the server. If I can do this at home, why can't you at your office?

    But thanks for listening.

    1. Will look into it. Thanks for the suggestion!

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