In healthcare, as with any other industry, customer service is crucial. Sure, the primary goal of a doctor’s office, hospital or other medical facility is to provide a patient with care, but if medical staff doesn’t do so with an attitude that says “we really do care about you,” then the facility has failed that individual—regardless of whether they were treated effectively or not.
In other words, as we in healthcare continuously push the boundaries to help better the industry, one of the best things we can do is remember to always go the extra mile. For us, that means more than just supplying healthcare bed supplies to our San Francisco, CA clients and stopping at that.
Our National Service Director and South East Region VP, Jay Juffre, recently published a commentary that eloquently articulates this idea.
In the article, Juffre told a personal tale about two situations where someone going the extra mile transformed his “that’s nice” into a “WOW!” The first instance occurred during a seminar he attended. Juffre arrived at his hotel room to find a gift basket provided by the organizers. “That’s nice,” he thought as he opened it up. But upon going through its contents—which included the usual items, like water bottles and granola bars—he was wowed to discover a drink tumbler branded with his alma mater’s logo.
Was it a nice gesture to give him a gift basket? Yes. Could the organizers have easily stopped at that? Yes. But they didn’t. They went the extra mile and everyone gained exponentially.
The other wow moment happened at his doctor’s office. When he arrived for an appointment, he was pleasantly surprised when the receptionist said:
“Would you like a cup of coffee? You like it with cream and a little bit of sugar, right?” Soon after, another patient walked in and the receptionist handed them a bottle of water, saying, “I know you don’t drink coffee.”
Let’s break these gestures down.
In order for the receptionist to know how Juffre takes his coffee, or that patient X would prefer a bottle of water, she has to:
- Offer the person a beverage during an initial visit
- Keep a mental note or a reminder with the patient’s record of his or her beverage preferences
- Refer back to that mental note or patient’s record during follow-up visits
A little bit of effort goes a long way. It doesn’t take much for the receptionist to go through those steps, but the outcome of doing so will surely make a patient feel like their doctor’s office really does care about them. While knowing how a person takes his coffee has little to do with the treatment he’s there to receive, by providing him with a wowing experience from the get-go, he’s likely to feel like he’s being taken better care of as a whole.
There isn’t a blueprint that tells us how to go the extra mile, which means we need to get creative as an industry and conjure up out-of-the-box ways in which we can make patients feel as important as they are.
At ImageFIRST San Francisco, our goal is not only to provide scrubs and uniforms to our San Francisco, CA area clients, but to help our customers free up their busy schedules so that they can devote more time and attention to devising creative ways that improve their patients’ experiences. (Plus, patient satisfaction is built in to all of our products via our ComfortFIRST promise.) And we practice what we preach, too: our Customer Advocates go the extra mile to ensure a respective facility’s total satisfaction. Learn more about how they do that here.
So let’s raise our mugs to the person who thought of remembering their patients’ coffee and tea orders, and work together to follow suit. Imagine how much better off healthcare will be if we all make a small effort to go the extra mile.