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Home Care Organizations of all sizes must start realizing that the customer experience is much, much more than customer service. Customer service is certainly a key part of the customer experience, however the customer experience is the culmination of everything the customer comes into contact with at your organization. This includes how one is greeted on the phone, the appearance of your building and facility, and the appearance of your team members, just to name a few.

Think about it, you could receive great service from your server at a local restaurant, but if the hostess was rude and the kitchen staff could be heard banging dishes and yelling out obscenities, your customer experience is still going to be poor, no matter how good the service from the wait staff was.

The customer experience is all about working together as one organization to do everything possible to make the customer’s day. A great customer experience is genuine, heartfelt, sincere, and above all it is consistent.

Last month, I had the pleasure of staying at the Ritz Carlton at Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia. The Ritz knows a thing or two about delivering an exceptional customer experience, and they’ve done a great job of communicating this philosophy to their staff. In the five nights I stayed at this hotel, I cannot think of one experience that wasn’t pleasant, that didn’t make me feel welcome, and that every touch point ensured I was going to return; it was really incredible.

During the course of my stay, I think I came into contact with just about every staff position in the building. Everyone, the concierge, shuttle driver, gift shop attendant, housekeepers, bar and restaurant staff, front desk staff, all seemed to do everything in their power to ensure my stay was a pleasant one.

I can’t think of one time that I passed a housekeeper, when I wasn’t greeted with a pleasant smile and a friendly “hello”, even when they were hard at work just inside another guest’s room. From the breakfast server who rushed to meet me as I left my sunglasses just before I entered my car heading to a meeting, to the valet that was more than accommodating ensuring my rental car was always available, to the bartender who gladly served the strangest drink requests; I didn’t have one sub-par experience at the Ritz.

This hotel was one of those organizations that “get it”. They understand their customers and they know what it takes to create an exceptional customer experience. For the Ritz it was all about consistency. There were no lapses in the level of service I received from team members, no bad apples, and no letdowns.

In a hotel it is clear to see that consistency in the level of customer service provided to patrons is crucial. Consistency in service isn’t only critical in the hotel industry, but is of the utmost of importance for all organizations. Even if your customers only come into your store or call your office every other month, it is still imperative that they receive the same high level of service each and every time. If the customer cannot come to expect an exceptional experience, similar to the one he or she experienced last time; they may be likely to question why they do business with your organization, and healthcare is no exception.

The last thing you want a customer to think when it comes to the level of service your organization provides is that it is “hit or miss.” When a customer or client begins to think this way their loyalty to your organization is in serious jeopardy.

The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to creating an exceptional customer experience is to ensure that all team members are aware of what it means to provide exceptional service.

Remember: what one team member considers excellent service can be drastically different from another team member’s view of service. This is where the Ritz excels – all team members were on the same page when it came to creating an exceptional customer experience.

Home Care Organizations need to look at every aspect and touch-point of their service delivery and strive to create the kind of customer experience your patients will rave about and ensure a positive lasting change in your organization that will drive revenue growth and create WOW, Patient Experiences.

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