A few years ago, I scheduled Five Star Management's annual Galaxy meeting at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Cancun, Mexico. Galaxy is the name of our mastermind group for high achievers. We choose interesting locations around the world and meet to share, challenge, and encourage each other in beautiful settings. Somehow I knew that everyone would be looking for a little tropical sunshine in mid-February.
We had booked the event solid and had worked out all the usual adjustments with the hotel to make sure the event was just right for our clients and for Five Star. The hotel was gracious and accommodating at every turn.
When I arrived a day before our guests, I was greeted by Sarah Peña from the Ritz-Carlton, and that's when the magic really began. I'll fast forward this for you and just say that everything the hotel touched was perfection. Each aspect of our stay was an example of what a first-class hotel can do to make their guests happy. I was thrilled, and so were my clients.
However, it was what happened just before I left the hotel that was not only so impressive, but instructive, as well. It truly was a “Wow” moment.
Let's go back to the first day I arrived. Sarah mentioned that before I left she would like to have a post-event interview to see how the hotel and staff performed. I didn't think very much of it at the time, but the day before we concluded our meeting Sarah mentioned it again, and the morning of my departure, I received a reminder call about the meeting. I was starting to believe this was a very important conversation for this company. It was, and I learned a ton, too. Sarah's coworker, Antonio, met me in the lobby, where we sat in comfortable chairs as he asked me question after question about the hotel facilities, the staff, and my clients' comments about their stay. He asked for me to rate everything on a one-to-five scale, with five being the best. The reason everything was perfect is because the Ritz-Carlton takes detailed notes like this on everything their experienced consumers say, and then uses their findings to reward their star performers and improve everyone's performance.
So, how can you take that to your own business? On Day One for new patients in your office, ask them to fill out a short comment card with the following questions:
1. Were you treated well on the phone when you called for your appointment?
2. Was it easy to get an appointment that worked for your schedule?
3. Were you greeted warmly and by name when you entered the office?
4. Did you see the doctor in a timely manner?
5. Were your health concerns addressed?
Now, collect these cards and review them with your staff, adjusting your checklists and training to produce the same five-star, exceptional service that the Ritz-Carlton trains for and delivers. Make up a checklist of what you want your practice to deliver as exceptional customer service. When a patient comes for a re-evaluation or re-examination, you have another opportunity to ask them about their experience. Before their re-exam, you or a CA can ask the following questions:
1. Is our staff courteous, and do they treat you well?
2. Do you have a good relationship with your doctor?
3. Are we educating and informing you about your health and chiropractic?
4. How do you feel about your care schedule?
5. Is your account being handled the way you like?
6. Are the clinic hours convenient?
7. Are you satisfied with your results?
8. Do you have any suggestions that you feel will help us take better care of you?
I've used this list of question in my offices and my clients’ offices for years. However, some clinic owners have told me that they weren't so sure they wanted to know the answers. Here's an interesting statistic: sixty-seven percent of customers or patients leave a service not because the service didn't work for them, but because of how it was delivered. In short, poor customer service is the major reason you lose good patients. That, if nothing else, should motivate you to ask the hard questions.
Patients are thinking about their experiences whether you ask or not. So why not find out if you’re hitting the mark or falling short? You can use the responses to train staff, as well. And your patients will be impressed that you care enough to find out.
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