I concluded the recent 'Its alright its only a customer' post by highlighting the key lesson from this case study:
Around the same time Melbourne small business marketing maestro, Winston Marsh included this example from the health sector. There are definite lessons in this, not just for health professionals, but for every service business. Over to Winston:
As old age slowly creeps up on me I’m finding more and more reasons to go and see medical people.
Now, I’ve always had a beef with most of them because they're about the worst people at keeping appointments. They use the hoary old excuse that, since they never know when they going to have emergencies, they will unfortunately run late.
Of course, when an emergency does arrive, the team members could ring people who are scheduled for appointments and let them know. But, because it's not customary to do so, it's rare when any medical receptionist provides that courtesy.
And, in the case of most medical practices, I believe that it's not the person who owns the business that runs the business. I think the actual medical people are so involved in doing what they do that they leave the running of the office to others. So, it’s those “others” who set the rules and they are generally designed to suit them rather than patients.
A case in point.
The other day, along with five or so other people, I had a procedure performed and was asked to attend for a check up the next day at 8:30 AM.
Well, since none of us wanted to be last in the queue we all arrived 15 or so minutes early hoping to be first. Like me, everyone believed that we could walk into the reception area, take a seat and wait our turn.
But the staff of the establishment had different ideas!
Even though they were there working away in the office we were not allowed into reception but had to stand and wait outside on a rather chilly winter’s day. When one staff member came to the door we thought she had taken pity on us but it was merely to tell us they had work to do and we couldn't come in till 8.30!
So, there we stood, shivering and gazing through the window at the vacant chairs in the nice, warm reception area wondering what problem we would have caused by us being there. Obviously, the staff thought we would disturb their work and probably be plain nuisances.
I'm sure the owner of the practice, a very good medical man, would have been hugely disappointed to know that such a practice was in place. But, of course, his expertise is medicine, so he leaves it to the people he believes have the expertise in customer service.
It very simply boils down to this question… in your business who makes the rules and who are they designed to serve?
If it's not your customers, clients, patients or prospects then you should make some changes immediately.
What's that old saying? People never care how much you know until they know how much you care.