Acara visits medical spas and aesthetic medical practices on a regular basis. We see a wide variety of business practices and, almost 100% of the time the quality of clinical services is outstanding. The ambiance is beautiful, however a majority of the time the quality of the customer service is mediocre to poor.
I know that sounds shocking, but it is true. (For the purposes of this post I am using the term customer: a person whom exchanges money for goods or services versus patient or client). How can a business be so successful in so many ways, but falter in their customer service?
Typically it is a reflection of deep rooted business customs and practices that the business executes day to day. This is not a situation where a set of new customer service protocols will solve the problem. You need to take a look at a few areas, starting at the top then move through your business with a 360 degree approach.
Here are a few steps to begin the process:
- Do not even attempt to spend time improving customer service unless you, as the physician or manager, are willing to completely embrace the process and lead by example. You must become a Customer Centric Leader. Practice makes perfect.
- You need to show not just tell your team what excellent customer service looks like. As an exercise, script each interaction that your team has with your customers (phone and in person). Write these scripts down and hold a team meeting where everyone is involved in the role playing. As you move through this process you will uncover areas of weakness, and then have the opportunity to improve . Add these scripts to your Operating Procedure Manual.
- Make every operating decision based upon the customer: hours of operation, quality of care, accounting practices and principals, phone system, staffing levels, equipment purchases, facility management, etc.
- Each time you make a business decision ask yourself and your team: “Will customer service improve with this change, will it remain the same or will it be negatively impacted?” Based upon the answer to the question you should have your decision.
Being customer centric takes practice and then most importantly, execution. If you are thinking about how your business can be improved, a company to look at is Disney. They are at the top of customer centric companies. Your every desire, interest and wish is fulfilled. It has been anticipated before your arrival. You don’t need to be Disney, but you can sure get close.