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About Philippa Kennealy

Philippa Kennealy MD MPH CPCC PCC is The Entrepreneurial MD Business Coach who wants to help you build your business!
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« A non-clinical career - steps to achieve the success you are seeking | Main | Back-to-business model and plan basics for entrepreneurial physicians »
Monday
Sep102012

Customer service that truly sparkles

I am irate. Infuriated. Enraged.

Having set aside a full work day (for the second time) to have new office cabinetry and a desk installed (I had to set aside an entire day because this company is unable tell me in advance what time to expect the installers), I have just learned that "someone dropped the ball and they can't come today"! I had also arranged for my computer guy and an ergonomics consultant to be here - so THREE schedules have been impacted by this rotten service. 

I was about to spend several thousand dollars. So why do they apparently not care about making me happy?

The bigger question is: Why is it apparently so difficult to deliver good customer service?

I suspect it begins with not even having a definition of good customer service in the first place. Since this is an intangible, let's define it together - I'll go first and I am going to aim high -- for excellence!!

Excellent customer service is: 

  • Customer-centric. The company or business runs its business by accommodating customers' preferences and is NOT driven merely by its internal scheduling convenience
  • Reliable.  It does what it promised it will do. 
  • Friendly. It has a good attitude, even when there are hiccups.
  • Helpful. It goes beyond simply reacting and offers useful guidance and suggestions.
  • Responsive. You can get hold of the company when necessary.
  • Anticipatory. It has the imagination to anticipate problems and forestall them OR to anticipate customer anger and address it appropriately, and humbly!
  • Responsible. It owns its mistakes and doesn't try to land blame on "someone else in the system".
  • Ready to make right. An apology isn't enough. I need to hear not only the "I'm so sorry" but also the "let me see how I can remedy this situation as a way of apologizing for this inconvenience".
  • Process-improvement oriented. It immediately sets about determining why the ball was dropped and what aspects of the operation can be improved to prevent it from happening again.

Now, think about your medical practice or business? How would you stack up?

Here is a Customer Service That Sparkles Checklist for your next brainstorming session, so that you can address each of the "touchpoints" in your medical practice or physician business -- and deliver sterling customer service that sets you apart from your competition. 

Needless to say, I shall be writing a strongly-worded angry review on the web, cautioning potential customers to stay away from doing business with this company. I'm THAT angry! I hope, with attention in the right places, you'll avoid this outcome for your medical practice or physician business!

What is your idea of great customer or patient service? 

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Reader Comments (1)

Excellent article. Hopefully those of us in medicine medicine will begin to follow these principles as well. The obvious lack of customer service in some instances is a sad reminder of how the patient/client does not always come first.
September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Barbara Nitsch

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