During the last year I have spent a lot of time visiting healthcare facilities checking for solutions to the arthritis I had in my left knee. I needed to have something done and was looking for the best doctors and facilities to take care of me. After all, we all know that Healthcare in the U.S. Is BIG business. A lot of money is spent on healthcare as Americans are aging.
Here's what I discovered
When you call almost ALL healthcare facilities the first question they ask when you call or walk in is, “What is your birth date?” Not good morning or Hi, how can we be of help.
I am very critical of the lack of warmth in Russia where I am several times a year yet, healthcare in the U.S .is worse. The doctors are very warm, good social skills. Very caring. But, to get to the doctor expect to interface with robots (Humans who have been trained to ask robotic questions).
In 2018 I probably visited TRIA in Bloomington, Minnesota, a leading orthopedic center, at least 10 -15 times. Last week I visited them again. The first thing they asked was for my driver’s license and insurance cards. Not good afternoon or welcome to TRIA. They never looked at the records to see that I visited TRIA many times in 2018. They assume you move each day with a new address and new health care coverage. They could say instead, Mr. Tschohl welcome back. (Most firms use software to track customers. The problem is employees NEVER use it.)
They could say have you moved since you were last here in 2018 or are you still living at 4656 Nine Oaks Circle. When I call Health Partners/Park Nicollet which is my primary health care facility I use in the Twin Cities they do the same thing. It might take 15 minutes for them to answer the phone. They always say if this is a life threatening emergency hang up and dial 911 (for an ambulance.) The ambulance will charge from $1,000 -$2000 which includes a $300 surcharge for gas for a 10 minute ride. they should say, If this is a life threatening emergency call 911 for a $1,500 ambulance ride we do not have enough employees to answer the phone in a timely manner.
All firms in the US believe they are awesome at customer service. They are full of themselves. Most US firms have a customer satisfaction survey with each transaction. Most surveys do not cover the real issues or defects on customer service. A huge waste of money and a turn off to customers. By the way, after my surgery the Mayo Clinic also sent me an in depth survey but NOT every time I visited them.
The opposite is the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota. They have been consistently rated as the best hospital in the U.S. With my knee I checked out several different places. I wanted the best. My insurance covers wherever I go so it all comes down to trust, brand, quality and the customer experience.
On February 15 I had a partial knee replacement at the Mayo Clinic. The surgery was done by Dr. Matthew Abdel and it took 58 minutes. One week later I received this nice thank you card from my doctor and staff that handled my surgery and one night stay at the Mayo Clinic. I prefer the Mayo clinic for all major health issues my wife and I have. It is like the Ritz Carlton vs Motel 6 (the rest of health care) If you want to check them out call 1-507-284-2511. They answer 24/7 in one ring with a live person. Everyone is warm and friendly. They have the best customer experience and the best quality in the US.
By the middle of May I can start playing tennis again. I will miss the balance of the ski season but I am ready for the next ski season. I limited my snow skiing this season to Almaty, Kazakhstan and two trips to Vail Colorado.
In January 1980 I created the first customer service program called Feelings. Millions of people in every corner of the world have gone through Feelings. It has been updated many times and I have a version just for healthcare called Healthcare with Feelings.
There are 6 principles I teach. Practice Habits of Courtesy is the 2nd skill we teach. Healthcare in the U.S. tends to really miss this core skill. When you go through hell to finally get to the doctor you get in a bad mood. One of the options I looked at for my knee replacement was Twin Cities Orthopedics Edina. The robot staff had me totally turned off before I saw the doctor. Nobody asks your name or why you are here. Instead what is your birth date. Can you imagine checking in a hotel or restaurant and the first question they ask is, What is your birth date. Crazy.
I have been speaking and writing on customer service longer than anyone else in the world. I still have no idea why so few firms understand the power of the service strategy. Not very many healthcare facilities want to be a Mayo Clinic. This is a nonprofit organization. Seamless outpatient care. Unhurried consultations. Multidisciplinary teams. It is committed to patient-centered care. They have $12 billion in annual revenues and 63,000 employees. They care for more than 1 million people a year from all 50 states and 140 countries. Rated #1 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Each year the Mayo Clinic receives hundreds of millions of dollars in philanthropy. “Great customer care and quality pays off”.
GE Cut 30,000 Employees in 2018 - No Longer a Service Leader
In 2018 GE, General Electric cut 30,000 employees as it restructured itself. The company ended 2018 with 283,000 employees, including 97,000 in the U.S.
The problem for the last 15 years is GE is focused on substantial executive and board compensation. When board members receive $1 million a year it is difficult to hold the CEO accountable. They just split off a company Wabtec and the top executive officer. Raymond T. Betler received $21,161,394 compensation. KPMG is their auditor which does a great job of making sure the top people get paid really well for poor performance.
Sales were down for the 9 months ending September 30 by about $200 million. Operating expenses were a $358,891 million. Revenue in 2017 was down $676,283 million from 2016 with an operating loss of $490,835. In the US the more incompetent the CEO the more he gets paid.
In May 2003 I invested $1000 each in nine service leaders. At GE, Jack Welch in 2003 was the CEO. The stock as of March 6 is only worth $550.The stock of Amazon is worth $53,747. Very few executives understand the financial power of being a Service Leader. Most CEO's are not relentless.
May 6-9 Customer Service Certification Seminar in Minneapolis
If you want to build your credentials and resume we suggest you attend our May 6-9 Customer Service Certification Seminar in Minneapolis. This 4 day Certification Seminar will give you the credentials, facilitator material and certification so you can facilitate our two flagship programs, Feelings and Leading Empowered Teams in your organization.
This 4 days will help everyone understand how our flagship customer service program Feelings and Leading Empowered Teams work - you will also learn how to facilitate both programs.
1. Changing stupid rules and policies. These cost money, time and upset customers. Most employees love rules and policies. Many are a waste of time and money.
2. Learn how to coach employees for greater performance. Employees are driven by recognition. We tend to not use much recognition and use fear to try and motivate people.
3. Empowerment is the back bone of great service. Every manager needs to celebrate empowerment and learn how to drive it.
4. Teamwork is critical for any successful firm.
The 4th day, May 9, is the Train-the-Trainer which teaches each person how to facilitate both Feelings and Leading Empowered Teams. Facilitator material worth $1,700 for both programs is given to each participant. Register here.
This Customer Service Certification Seminar will give you the credentials to better understand the Service Strategy and certify you to facilitate both programs in your organization. In the marketplace these credentials will add value throughout your career. If you are in a leadership position, I encourage you to use this opportunity to advance your career and learn the programs that have been successfully used worldwide.
Seeking Channel Partners Passionate About Customer Service
SQI is a global company with channel partners in most parts of the world. We need partners passionate about customer service in the US, Canada, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa and Russia & CIS.
Achieving Excellence Through Customer Service English
The English 16th edition was just delivered. If you would like to order an autographed and inscribed copy order a copy on our web site or call 1-800-548-0538 or 1-952-884-3311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The book is $19.95 from 1-10, $16.75 111-49, $15 for 50-99 and $14 for 100-249 plus shipping. In the US we ship media mail for $2. Ethiopian Airlines ordered 2000 books over the last few months and we ran out of inventory so the book has been updated.