I had a very early morning, first-time doctor appointment recently inside the KU Med hospital that sits in the middle of a massive campus of medical office buildings in mid-town Kansas City, MO. When I entered the building closest to where I parked, I asked at the information desk if I was headed in the right direction to get to my appointment. The nice attendant told me I was actually a few buildings away from where I needed to be. But, instead of drawing me a map or pointing me in the direction I needed to go, she immediately picked up the phone and ordered an escort vehicle to pick me up right outside the doors (just a few steps away) to take me where I needed to be.
As I finally entered the correct building, a young lady greeted me at the door with a smile to direct me to my doctor’s office. I was more than impressed with the care I was receiving—and I hadn’t even seen a doctor yet.
I think we can all agree, when a patient is sick or injured, the last thing he or she wants, or needs is unnecessary frustration.
It wasn’t that long ago that this level of “WOW!” patient experience was almost unheard of in the medical industry. Today, however, that industry is becoming more competitive, and the experience the patient enjoys in many cases is the deciding factor for where patients will go to get care. That’s why every hospital (it seems) has at least one billboard along the highway displaying their ER wait time. They know patients want convenience and don’t like to be kept waiting.
Patients want friendly, compassionate care and don’t want to be treated as a transaction. Those patients want to feel valued, special and important—as though the experience they’re enjoying was created solely with them in mind.
The biggest obstacle to improving the customer experience in any industry is comparing your business to other businesses in the same industry. That sets the bar too low. Measure the customer experience you deliver against the best experience in service or retail-intensive industries, because that’s what your customers do.
Every customer interaction with you is judged based on expectations set by those businesses who have a reputation for consistently wowing their customers—regardless of their industry.
In every business from retail to service to medical, the key to standing out and creating a strong customer experience is to find ways to connect with the end users—your consumers. Instead of relying on differences in quality of service or expertise, the best experiences come from touching on the customer’s emotions. That kind of connection makes them feel valued, special, important and good about having chosen to do business with you.
To speak fluent “WOW!,” look at your business from your customer’s point of view and focus like a laser beam on the little details that often get overlooked to remain top of mind in a very crowded marketplace…like providing an escort instead of simply pointing patients (customers) in the direction they need to go. Businesses that take risks and make unique choices will set themselves apart from the pack—especially when they consider what actions are in the best interest of their customers.
Delivering “WOW!” Customer Experiences makes a huge difference in every industry that caters to the buying public. By treating people as people and not a transaction, you‘ll find it easier to produce experiences that will create a base of high-spending, loyal, raving customers.
As always, I welcome your questions and feedback in the comments. Feel free to reach out to me through the email address that follows.
Ron is the author of “How To Speak Fluent “WOW!”—The Language of High-Spending, Loyal, Raving Customers.”
Contact Ron to speak at your upcoming event or to provide a special, Customer Experience training session for you and your team – email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (816) 224-4487.
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