Why is service important?

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1 Spring Conference April 30, 2009 through May 1, 2009 CUSTOMER SERVICE Marta De La Torre, RHIA, CHP, CHE Service Line Leader, Revenue Cycle Local Integrity & Privacy Officer Saint Agnes Medical Center Why is service important? If the other guy s getting better, Then you d better be getting better faster than that other guy s getting better or you re getting worse. Tom Peters, The Circle of Innovation

2 Pressure for Change Driven internally and externally Patient-centered care Leadership / cultural transformation Market competition Consumer service expectations Transparency Patients Expect and Deserve Quality Value Patient Satisfaction Service Personal encounter Comfort Efficiency Privacy Convenience An Ahhhh experience

3 A Satisfied Customer is Loyal Zone of Affection Apostles Zone of Indifference Zone of Defection Bad Guys Very Very Poor Poor Fair Good Good Adapted from: Jones, T. and Sasser, E. Why Satisfied Customers Defect. Harvard Business Review. November-December pp What Do Patients Perceive as Service Excellence? RESPECT I was treated with care, compassion and respect RESPONSIVENESS My needs were addressed in a timely fashion UNDERSTANDING I understood what was happening and why- -and I was involved in the discussion!

4 Service Excellence Must Haves Key Words for Key Times A.I.D.E.T. Managing Up Key Words at Key Times Aligning words to actions. Things said and done to connect the dots and help patients, families, co-workers and visitors better understand what we are doing. Benefits Provide a consistent experience to our customers. Help the customer understand his/her experience better. Align staff to what the customer values and what is important to their experience. Create and harvest wins for the staff

5 Key Words Respect Concern / Caring Quality Excellent Service Responsiveness Privacy Clear Communication AIDET A = Acknowledge I = Introduce D = Duration E = Explanation T = Thank you Benefit Framework for Key Words Powerful way to communicate with people who are upset, anxious and feeling overwhelmed. Allows professionals to share their experience, knowledge and training.

6 AIDET A = Acknowledge Greet using name, eye contact, smile in your voice and a friendly hello. I = Introduce Share name and what you do. D = Duration Explain timeframe of process, duration of wait, etc. E = Explanation Explain process to customers so they understand and engage in questions / answers. T = Thank you Let customers know you have enjoyed helping them. Thank them for choosing your facility and entrusting you with the care of them/their loved one. Managing Up Taking the I to the next level Positioning yourself and others in a positive light. Aligns your skills and those of your co-workers or others to goals. Benefits Customers feel better about their next contact Customers feel more at ease about the coordination of their financial situation Co-workers have a head start in gaining customer s confidence.

7 A Service Excellence culture Begins with a commitment to excellence. Understands the current environment. Changes what we do and how we do it. We are what we repeatedly do: excellence is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle SERVICE EXCELLENCE STANDARDS GUIDE THE PATH TO EXCELLENCE

8 What are Service Standards? Service Standards are the behaviors we practice daily to deliver excellent service to all patients, physicians, guests and coworkers at all times. Service Standards Apply to all employees. Reflect our commitment to live our core values everyday and to exceed the expectations of our patients and guests. Why is the first impression so important? Within the first 3 seconds of meeting/greeting, people form a lasting impression. The first impression process occurs in every new situation. Once the impression is made it is virtually irreversible. When you make the best possible first impression, you have opened the door for communication and interaction. If you make a poor first impression, you lose the person s attention, no matter how hard you try to get it.

9 How can I Make a Great First Impression? Smile and extend a warm, genuine greeting to everyone. Show interest and offer assistance. Welcome to my Medical Center. How may I assist you? OR Thank you for calling my Medical Center. How may I provide you with excellent service? Introduce yourself, give your job title and state how you will assist them. Address people by their name whenever possible. Use Mr. or Mrs. rather than informal or first names. Hello, Mr. Smith. My name is Steve and I ll be assisting you with your account today. I have the time to help you. Offer help and assistance. Be alert, attentive and anticipate when people need help. Hi, I m Barbara, a registrar at the hospital. Helping our visitors is important to us. I can see you are confused about these admission papers. It is important to us that you clearly understand the forms. Let me assist you, I have the time. Make it a practice to take people where they need to go as rather than just giving them directions. Good morning, I am Debra with Patient Financial Services. May I help you find the department you are looking for? Helping our guests is very important to us. Let me take you to the imaging department, I have the time. OR Let me call a volunteer to escort you to the Imaging Department-your time is very important to us. How can I Make a Great First Impression? Be professional and contribute to the image of your medical center. You are the first and last impression. What you do, what you say and how you behave is the face of your medical center. Wear your ID badge on your upper torso where it is easy to read. Help others be sure their badge is visible at all times. Be neat, clean and appropriately dressed. Follow the dress code at all times. Chewing gum, playing music loud, talking on the cell phone or eating at work stations in public areas is not professional.

10 Does Guest Relations affect ALL employees or only those directly caring for patients? Guest Relations applies to ALL employees. It refers to the way that we treat not only our patients, but also the way we treat physicians, guests, co-workers, external organizations and people from the community-at-large. All employees interact with others, therefore practicing excellent guest relations is an important part of everyone s job. Patient s satisfaction with their hospital care experience involves how they were treated by everyone, including the employees in registration, medical records, the business office and security. Guest Relations is everyone s responsibility. Our goal is not to meet expectations - - but to exceed them. Remember your most positive phone experience as a caller - - and give that level of service to every caller, everyday, every time.

11 Why is phone etiquette important? Good phone manners are important both at work and at home. The way the telephone is answered creates an impression - - many times the first impression - - about the care and service they can expect to receive at your Medical Center It shows that you care about people and your purpose is to serve. How can I practice phone excellence? 1. Answer the phone within three rings. Always try to answer the phone in as few rings as possible. 2. Speak slowly and clearly and in a pleasant manner. Put a smile in your voice. It makes a difference. 3. Answer all calls courteously (internal and external) with warm greeting, identification and offer of assistance. Hello or / Good morning, Patient Financial Services Department. This is Paris Hilton. How may I provide excellent service for you? Thank you for calling the Laboratory at My Medical Center. Ben Affleck speaking. It s my job to make your day fantastic, how may I help you?

12 How can I practice phone excellence? 4. If the appropriate person is not available to answer the telephone any employee in the area is expected to pitch in and answer the telephone. If your phone is expected to be answered at all times, check to be sure a co-worker is available to cover the phone in your absence. 5. Taking Messages. Always offer to take a message. If you answer someone else's phone or answer for someone who is not around, you should always offer to take a message. "I'm sorry, George Clooney has stepped out. May I take a message?" "I'm sorry, Mr. Trump is busy at the moment. May I take your name and number and have him return your call?" How can I practice phone excellence? 6. Putting people on hold. Before placing a call on hold, ask for permission and wait for an answer. If caller does not want to hold, offer to return their call when you have the information they are requesting. May I put you on hold while I (give reason why placing on hold) If you d prefer not to hold, I can return your call within (give approximate time) if that is convenient for you? 7. If the caller is placed on hold, when the call is retrieved, thank the caller for holding. Thank you for holding. I appreciate your patience.

13 How can I practice phone excellence? 8. If you need to transfer the person to someone else, give the person you are transferring to all the information you know so that the caller does not have to repeat it. 9. Give the caller the extension of the department you are transferring them to in case they get disconnected or have to call back. One moment please while I transfer you to the (name of department). For your reference that number is 450- XXXX, in case I lose you. I ll stay on the line with you while the transfer is completed. I have the time to assist you. How can I practice phone excellence? 10. In the event of an angry caller, remain calm. Acknowledge to the caller that you care by using key phrases. I m sorry to hear that. I can hear how upset you are about this. Let me see if I can help you. I m sorry that you have been inconvenienced. Providing excellent service is very important to us. Let me help you with this matter. 11. Get all the information necessary to be able to solve the person s problem or determine who can assist the caller. 12. This is your clue to MANAGE UP!

14 How can I practice phone excellence? 13. End calls courteously and extend offer to provide further assistance. Remember this is your opportunity to Make a Great Last Impression! Thank you for calling. Is there anything else I can do for you? I have the time to help you. I appreciate you calling. Do you have any other questions that I may help you with? Have a good day. Thank you for calling our Medical Center. If I can be of further assistance please let me know. It was so nice to speak with you. How can I practice phone excellence? 13. When you dial a wrong number, apologize before you hang up. I m sorry I ve dialed the wrong number. Thank you and have a nice day. My apologies for inconveniencing you. It appears I have reached the wrong department. 14. Avoid eating, chewing gum or food or drinking while talking on the phone. 15. Give the caller your full attention. Conversations with other people should be stopped before picking up a call. Side conversations while talking on the phone should be avoided as should working on the PC.

15 What can you do to make a difference? Look at how you and your fellow co-workers answer the phone. Do you sound rushed? When the phone rings do you feel interrupted and annoyed? Look at the first impression that you and your department provide. Ask, How can I/we improve? Model excellent service and practice good phone etiquette. Make a Great First Impression Actions speak louder than words. Be a role model that others can follow. People do what people see. Practice Guest Relations in the presence of your co-worker so they know it is important and can model what you do. Give everyone the same level of service that you give patients, customers and guests. Recognize and reward success! Watch for Service Excellence in action. Give positive feedback and praise. Recognize people that serve as role models! Thank them for their contribution in your strive for excellence. Work as a team - - help others learn how they can improve the impression they give to others. Give helpful tips and offer suggestions. Their success is your success. We are striving together for excellence. It is not a one-man effort, rather a commitment for everyone. Extend the same level of phone courtesy to everyone - - patients, physicians, co-workers, vendors and the community-at-large. You are You are what people see when they arrive here You are the eyes they look into when they are frightened and stressed Yours is the voice they hear when they call on the phone, when they pay their bill, and when they try to forget their problems. Yours is the voice they hear on their way to appointments that could affect their destinies and yours is the voice they hear when they leave those appointments. Yours are the comments people hear when you think they can t Yours is the intelligence and caring that people hope they ll find when they come here. If you re loud, so is the Medical Center If you re rude, so is the Medical Center If you are wonderful, SO IS THE MEDICAL CENTER No visitor, no patient can ever know the real you, the you that you know is there Unless you let them see it All they can ever know about you is what they see, hear and experience. And so we have an investment in your attitude and the collective attitudes of everyone who works at this Medical Center We are judged by your performance. We are judged by the care you give, the attention you pay and the courtesies you extend. YOU are this Medical Center THANK YOU FOR ALL THAT YOU DO Adapted from the Albert Einstein Healthcare Foundation

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