Quality Customer service is cheaper than a radio ad– In an earlier post we spoke on the importance of building report at the door and cultivating a purposeful New Patient experience. Today, I’ll give you the ONE exercise you need to do at your next staff meeting (You ARE having regular staff meetings, right?) that will help your staff create new ways to improve your customer service. It’s important that they have a say in how they create better customer service. With creation comes ownership. And owners of a thing feel empowered and execute better than those who do not. So let them self-lead on this one. You are just the facilitator.
Activity 1: Brainstorm Small Gestures
Give everyone something to write with and on. Set a timer for 3, 5, then 8 minute intervals. Add some upbeat music for dramatic effect (video game music is designed to enhance focus- try this, one of my favs). In the first 3 minutes, have everyone write down “ways to improve customer service.” This one usually will allow folks to rehash their old ideas and gripes. It’s only three minutes and will let them get stuff off their chest. JUST ROLL WITH IT. Again, they need to to own this experience and feel listened to. When time is up, let each person go through her suggestions with you or your OM writing down the suggestions on a giant easel.
Next 5 minute session- tell them to specifically look around the office for inspiration then ask, “what are small gestures YOU can do to improve customer service.” Make sure they think of individual gestures. Turn the page on the the easel and write down the new items. Make a note of the difference in answers and tone. When they think of what they can do as supposed to the office (and others) in general, we tend to get a different response.
For the last eight minutes have the entire team gather the Top 10 ideas from those written on the giant easel. Then figure out how they can implement the top three starting today. It must be today that you start. No exceptions to this. Of all the changes to this exercise, this one is a non-negotiable. Your staff will need to know and see that they have an effect. They need to be able to compliment each other when they see their other team member using a idea they created together. This is the secret sauce to to making this work.