Monday, March 29, 2010

Make It Personal

It is time to get personal. Customers are over a purely generic, impersonal experience with your organization. Your goal is to remember a customer’s preferences and show them you remember.
Team members need to connect with the customer – like the barista who knows your preferred drink much like Amazon who recommends a book and the financial advisor who reminds you of tax reporting information in a timely manner. For companies of all sizes, a great client tracking system can supply this information. Hold employees accountable for creating this positive personalized experience.

A great experience is not always so easy to identify, however a poor service experience is! 
Poor service is putting customers on long wait times, asking them to repeat information and not following up as promised. Customers are less forgiving than ever. The good news is customers can be more loyal than ever when you give them to reason to be so.

Your challenge is to personalize, anticipate and engage them. When the customer finishes dealing with your organization, consider what they might tweet or post on Facebook. Make the experience so good that their influence is only positive. Now go get personal today.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It really is - All About the Customer

It is refreshing to hear about a healthcare organization that is getting it right. The art and practice of medicine may seem as difficult as rocket science but this idea is not.

Cleveland Clinic is not your standard hospital. Their reputation draws the sickest patients from around the world – a third of the hospital is intensive care units. They have become a model for healthcare as well for other industries looking to improve their processes.

The idea that caught my attention was discussed in an interview in Fortune Magazine,, with the CEO, Delos Cosgrove M.D.

His revolutionary idea is – Let the patient look at their own chart. As he said, “It’s really about the patient….It’s the patient’s information. It’s about them. Why shouldn’t they have the data”. Not so surprising Cleveland Clinic had some hurdles to overcome like fears of how the patient would handle the information about a diagnosis. These concerns drove doctors to improve communication to their patients. This is not a rocket science idea yet it has not been a common practice for healthcare organizations.

When reading the interview with Cosgrove, I thought so when isn’t it about the customer. Too often the focus is not on the customer but on internal practices that have been in place for many years. Ask yourself -

What information should you make available to your customer?

How might that information and transparency improve customer loyalty?

What information needs to be available to employees so they can better serve customers – think across departments and functions?

Your customer may not be as thin skinned as you think. It is amazing what empowering your customer with the right information can do.