Urgent Message: Chief Experience Officer is not a title for another CEO. It’s a job that handles the most important responsibility in today’s experience economy, the responsibility to: manage your daily patients’ service problems, contribute to build strong corporate culture, and to full-fill your brand’s promise.
It was a clear beautiful morning that you can smell the breeze, with a few cars in the street, It was the Labor Day. I reached the office by 8:05am and I saw a patient standing outside the office, both receptionists were late however I never expected someone to show-up that early. When I opened the door and we both entered, she signed-in and said: “Your website said your office open at 8:00am!”
In today’s real time and transparent media, you can say whatever you want on any communication medium you like. If you don’t like a product or a restaurant, you can review it online in seconds. One day; I got a tweet from a patient complaining about the long waiting time in our office. In a minute, I spoke with the doctor to keep an eye on the flow, I called the nurse practitioner to help and I apologized to the patient at the checkout.
Whether the waiting room is hot or cold; the TV channel is fun or boring; the carpet is clear or dirty. If you just started the day or night preparing to close, Chief Patient Experience Officer (CXO) or as I call it Real-Time Officer should be there to help resolve these problems to keep the patient’s expectations of your brand. Someone has to take the lead and manage your patient experience’s problems and everyone in your team has to be part of that solution.
Your Offline Customer Experience
Your patient experience started from the day the patient call your office or walk-in after seeing a signage. Let’s look at some of the details that can form an experience that is mostly not on the Internet.
- Answering Phone Calls: A receptionist who picks the phone after one or two rings along with mentioning the company name and her/his has a name is good customer service. I asked one of my receptionist to say “How can I make you happy today?” instead of “How can I help you?”. She said “I felt all of the patients were smiling when I said that and they told me: this is so sweet.” Try to use healthy tips during the hold time, our center use Muzak.com with a different healthy tips every season. You want to add value to your customer whenever possible and at every interaction. Phone calls are not going soon so use smart strategies for first impression and as always smile when you greet!
- Personalized Healthcare is the new marketing for your clinic. A medical center with small area for high tech patients supported by free Wi-Fi along with a desktop is good to have. Another play area for kids on the side, one area with comfortable chairs and easy to access toilet for seniors will be a waiting room patients could forget how much time they spent waiting. You need to market as person to person (P2P), you can’t treat all people the same anymore and so you have to create a unique experience for each patient.
Doctors in a hospital for children with cancer. Tries to ease the pain.
Thank You for Your Business: Thanking your patients for their business is good. Handing your new patients appreciation gift is great; sending a written note to the patients for referring their friends and family members is awesome. There are many gift ideas at 4imprint.com, choose a gift the patient would love to keep and a reminder for the great experience at your center.
Whether your patient on hold, in the waiting room or in the exam room. As the patient enters your doorstep, it’s good to watch and reevaluate anything that doesn’t work.
Your Online Customer Experience
- Website: Your website isn’t just a link that listed on your business card or advertising tools. Your website contents should reflect the season we are in and let the prospects take action. Try to update the contents on the social media networks every day. Monitor your pages analytics and blog on a daily basis. Giving prospects what they need about your clinic online will make them visit your website again or at least follow your social media networks.
- Social Media: This is where prospects and your patients follow you. This is where you add value to your followers, this where you encourage discussions about health topics and here is your listening station. Social media networks are extension to your online brand presence and a place where you connect your fans emotionally to your brand. The patient could visit you one time but if patient follows you, the connection will mostly stay forever but remember to treat every social channel audience within its context.
- Organic Search: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not dead. SEO is one of the ways to optimize your website and to rank in the first page of Google. Your medical clinic should rank first in the zip code and city you are in. Doctor offices are getting busier so people will click on what appears first and read about the services and office hours. Paid advertising such as Google Adwords Express, Yellow Pages or Facebook are effective tools for directing prospects to your website to increase the traffic and so the ranking. Google is working to make its algorithm an opportunity for good user experience design to rank first, all you have to do is to feed it with healthy contents.
The smart patient experience designer have to figure out a way to make patients enjoying offline experience go online and do something.
Customer Experience in Real Time
The question is: How do you leverage the power of real-time in your customer experience strategy?
Real-time means reacting in real, or near-real time. It’s about relevant action to solve problem that could hurt your brand offline or online and it’s better to manage it offline before it escalated online. Remember, the longer and higher a client complaint lives in an organization, the more it grows.
Real-time is a mindset and in today’s media revolution, you need to have a team who can be part of real-time solutions.
Zappos.com views culture and brand as two sides of the same coin. Social media is an opportunity to build relationships with customers, the brand naturally is helped by the culture. To have a culture, you need a team, make sure they have real-time mindset.
You could say it’s just a tweet or another Yelp review. You could say it’s just another patient complaint or a routine problem in your clinic. I tell you, your brand is a collection of your customer’s experiences. If you don’t take immediate action even to 140 character message then your brand will die soon.
You should never hope a problem will magically go away, or that someone else will deal with it. Deal with every issue head-on, no matter how small. It’s a tiny detail that separates your clinic from the rest so give your prospects a reason to try your service. The retail and urgent care competition are on the rise, you have to convoy the revolution and manage your business in real-time else someone else will.