What Does One Bad Apple Mean for Your Organization?

Customer service is an important aspect for any organization, regardless of their size.  A secretary at a local law firm controls her company’s reputation just as a cashier does at your local pharmacy.  Even though an organizations’ size may vary, the effect of providing bad customer service does not.

I’ll admit, even though I make my grocery list and go each Sunday for my “weekly shopping”, I am bound to forget a handful of items and be reminded of their need sporadically throughout the week.  All the grocery stores in town are off my chosen path to work, but I happen to pass through an intersection with a CVS on one corner and a Walgreens across the street on the opposite corner.  I have been into each of these establishments numerous times on various occasions (usually choosing which to go to based on which coupon corresponds to my current needs) and began with no real loyalty to either chain.

Each location has the same clerk working in the morning, each woman has told me they like the morning shift and no one else does, so they always end up with it.  Each woman is roughly the same in age, dress and appearance. However; one consistently says, “good morning!” when I walk into the store and smiles as she tells me how much she loves my (insert accessory here) and the other doesn’t speak to me when I walk in, nor does she smile as she rings up my items.

A few weeks ago I was in Chicago, Illinois, several hundred miles from home.  As I was walking through the city, I decided I would like a soda to drink.  As I looked up, I found myself confronted with a familiar situation; a Walgreens on one corner and a CVS on another.  I once again had to make a decision as to where to take my business.  Immediately the smile of the Kansas City employee of my favorite convenient morning stop appeared to me and I headed in the direction of her employer.  Even though I was far away from the source of my consistent bad customer service, her impression will make me choose the competitor each time I am given the opportunity.

The customer service you provide within your healthcare organization has the same affect on the choices potential and current customers make.  Keep in mind when you are speaking with customers, or observing your patient facing staff; are they providing service experiences that would make someone choose your office…. Or head across the street to a more friendly provider?

Oct 2012
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