Friday, August 15, 2008

Learning New Ways to Satisfy Customers

One of the most pressing issues healthcare organizations face today is improving customer satisfaction. Exceptional customer service used to be a “nice to have,” but has rapidly become a “must have” for providers striving to remain competitive. To achieve success, organizations must link together the many facets of customer satisfaction. For healthcare providers like Martin Memorial, our “customers” are our patients, their families, visitors, volunteers, physicians, Associates and other departments within our hospital.

Remembering our STAR values (Service, Trust, Accountability and Respect) as part of what we do each and every day will ensure that we are striving for a “patient’s first” philosophy. Our Customer STAR Training Initiative at Martin Memorial is working to do just that. This program is providing our Associates with the tools, knowledge and motivation to exceed the needs of our customers to continuously improve our patient satisfaction. This takes sustained effort, hard work and extraordinary organizational energy. But for those organizations that achieve improved customer satisfaction scores, improved Associate satisfaction and a better reputation in the community, the journey is well worth the effort.

This training consists of a half-day session and five follow-up sessions that Associates attend. One of the components of this training is a service model called GVALHI, which stands for Greet, Value, Ask, Listen, Help and Invite. Associates will have the opportunity to learn more about each of these important steps to service. Exceptional service comes from the head and the heart and we will continue to provide this service with compassion, pride and a caring spirit.

To date, 1,064 of our associates have been through this training with 100 more currently in attendance. As we have grown through these sessions, we’ve learned that it’s not just about customer service, but about human relationships and how each of us truly makes a difference with each choice we make. What makes each session so unique, is the shared experiences brought by each participant. No matter the level of customer service experience, everyone can contribute and take away something positive with them.

--Barbara Hilton
Office Coordinator, Learning and Organizational Development

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