Skip to main content

I'm From the Mob and I'm Here To Help You...

...improve customer service.  Attending a town hall forum in leafy Downers Grove, IL, Commonwealth Edison officials heard “You’re treating us like Cubs fans!”

That’s a pretty good insult, intuitively understood by even the most diehard Cubs fans. In reality though, NOBODY, not even electricity-starved suburbanites, are treated as shabbily as Cubs fans. But I digress.

Interesting, isn’t it, to think what your customers, organized into a public mob, er, audience, would say about your hospital?

You: “Yes sir, you over there standing at the microphone. Do you have a comment?”

Audience member: “Yes I do, thanks for asking. I’m feeling pretty (blank.) You treat us like (blank.)”

What’s in the blanks?

“I’m feeling pretty good. You treat us like royalty!”

Maybe.  Maybe not.  Of course all of YOUR customers LOVE you. Your golfing buddies tell you so, and when have THEY ever been wrong?  (Maybe they’re White Sox fans.)

I wouldn't blame you if you avoided organized mobs, oxymoronic as they are.  Still, you could do what these leading Michigan hospitals are doing:
  • Ask patients one at a time, like Dr. John Popovich Jr., president and CEO of Henry Ford Hospital.
  • Ask patients to keep tabs on their experience with a real-time journal, like St. John Providence Health System.
  • Eat in the cafeteria once in a while, like Gene Michalski, CEO of Beaumont Health System in Royal Oak. Not a bad idea and I’ll bet the food improves.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Being Disrupted Ain't Fun. Deal With It.

Articles about disrupting healthcare, particularly those analogizing, say, Tesla's example with healthcare's current state, are frequently met with a chorus of (paraphrasing here) "Irrelevant! Cars are easy, healthcare is hard." You know, patients and doctors as examples of "information asymmetry" and all that. Well, let me ask you this: assuming you drive a car with a traditional internal combustion engine, how much do you know about the metallurgy in your car's engine block? I'll bet the answer is: virtually nothing. In fact it's probably less than you know about your own body's GI tract. Yet somehow, every day, us (allegedly) ignorant people buy and drive cars without help from a cadre of experts. Most of us do so and live happily ever after (at least until the warranty expires. Warranties...another thing healthcare could learn from Tesla.) Now, us free range dummies - impatient with information asymmetry - are storming healthcar…

Becoming Consumer Friendly In Five Easy Steps...Or Not

An article at hhnmag.com offers hospitals 5 steps to becoming more consumer friendly.

If you still think there's a secret sauce to your hospital becoming more "consumer friendly," these 5 steps are as good a place to start as any.  Unfortunately, it's a little like that old Steve Martin comedy bit where he says he'll teach you how to be rich. The first step is to go find a million dollars.

Step 1 from the article is realizing that "...a Medicare beneficiary with chronic conditions is different from a young mom who brings her kids in for an annual check-up." This is market segmentation for beginners, and, yes, one size decidedly does not fit all. I'm sure your marketing team's been saying this for a while.

Steps 2-5: have a strategy, metrics, a champion and resources. OK. Hard to argue with any of those.

But those things, alone or together, won't overcome culture. They're important components to be sure, but insufficient without a …

Behind Every Resume Is A Potential Customer...and Karma.

I recently heard from an executive colleague who, thanks to a merger, found herself looking for her next opportunity. Her story, probably depressingly familiar to many of you, was all about the big black hole of rudeness and non-responsiveness that so often sums up employers' attitudes toward candidates.

This colleague, thinking she'd see the healthcare world from a new vantage point, pursued opportunities with consultants, IT vendors, architects and other suppliers who, far from appreciating her solid resume, were like the 3 Stooges of clueless.

So back to a senior health system role she went, WHERE SHE NOW INITIATES AND MANAGES RFPs FOR SOME OF THE VERY SAME COMPANIES who wouldn't talk to her as a candidate, but profess their LOVE for her now that she's got money to spend on their services.

Not gonna happen. Any guesses who's off the RFP list?

I smiled when I heard her story, imagining the BusDev people working hard to grow the revenue pipeline, all the while b…