Your Medicine is Not What Makes Your Hospital Special

by Rebecca on July 13, 2014

customer serviceI hear this all the time, “We practice better medicine”.  Really?  Is practicing great medicine even really that hard?  Yes, when you first get out of school, learning all the real world medicine can be a challenging task.  After a few years though do you really think your hospital is THAT much better than the one down the street at the practice of medicine?

I probably have a few people pretty mad at me about what I just wrote and yes, I agree you do practice better medicine than the guy down the street who has not upgraded his treatment protocols since the early 80’s.

What really makes your hospital special is the way your team makes your clients and their pets feel.  Your hospital’s customer service is what can truly separate you from the animal hospital down the road.

My team and I have had a few great and not so great customer service experiences lately.  In one week, Nicole visited a hospital and stood in the lobby for 4 minutes before someone at the front desk acknowledged her.  At another hospital she was placed on hold for 9.5 minutes (no, that is not a typo) while calling to check in on a patient of ours.  These may have been isolated incidents- the hospitals may have been very busy but this is NOT GREAT customer service as a matter of fact it is not even good customer service.

Not to be all negative, we have many GREAT customer experiences and one this week was a practice manager agreeing to come in on a Sunday to discharge a surgical case of ours because the owners live 2 hours away and were going to be driving back by the hospital on Sunday.  It made me feel great that she was willing to come in let alone how appreciative the owners were that they did not have to make an additional trip.

Please don’t think I am saying you need to be open on Sundays but most people don’t bother going the first mile let alone the second mile! What she did was a great example of doing more than what is expected which is how GREAT customer service should be defined.

Great medicine should be a given, but if you really want to make your hospital stand out from the one right down to road, you better figure out a way to deliver the BEST consistently GREAT customer service you possible can!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dr. Andy Mathis July 31, 2014 at 10:43 pm

SOooooo True! It’s about how we make our clients feel. I’ve had employees before that think they just have to answer the phone and take messages. They like their own pets but they really don’t like patients. . . (which boogles my mind as to why they applied for the job in the first place). . . but they are never anything above average, and are usually below, when it comes to customer service.

I like how the author Nilofer Merchant sums up the thiing that makes one different than the person down the street. She termed it Onlyness.

C/P from her website-
Onlyness is that thing that only that one individual can bring to a situation. It includes the journey and passions of each human. Onlyness is fundamentally about honoring each person: first as we view ourselves and second as we are valued. Each of us is standing in a spot that no one else occupies. That unique point of view is born of our accumulated experience, perspective, and vision. Some of those experiences are not as “perfect” as we might want, but even those experiences are a source for what you create.


rebecca August 1, 2014 at 8:19 am

Dr. Mathis- thanks for commenting! That is a great quote and so very true!


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