How many times have you hung up the phone or read an email from a company and thought to yourself, “Wow that was awesome customer service!”? Unfortunately, in today’s environment, we often times find ourselves experiencing the complete opposite. It is a sad reality but I can name on one hand how many companies I have received such extraordinary customer service that it has left a lasting impression. There is no doubt that many companies offer “okay” or “good” customer service but how many companies have you dealt with that fall into the category of providing “extraordinary” customer service?
“Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase.” – Wikipedia
About seven years ago, we had an issue with the power bill at one of the outpatient physical therapy clinics that I worked at here in Florida. I called the power company and from my very first interaction, their customer service was top notch. They not only corrected the power bill but they took the extra step by sending a service representative out to the clinic to do a full walk through and make sure that our lights, doors, and windows were as efficient as possible. The gentleman who came out was respectful, patient, educated, and thorough. He also followed up several days later with a phone call to see if I had any additional questions. It probably sounds like he was trying to sell me something but the reality was that he was just providing what I consider to be extraordinary customer service. To this day, seven years later, I still remember the impact that customer service experience had on me.
When I started StrataPT, one of my top priorities was to exceed client expectations by ensuring that we consistently deliver high quality products that are paired with extraordinary customer service. In my experience, there are plenty of great products and services that fail to reach their full potential simply because they are missing the valuable link of being supported by extraordinary customer service.
Simply put, communication is critical to the success of any product or service. In the technology advanced world that we live in, we are very fortunate to have so many different ways to be able to communicate with each other. Whether it is by means of phone, email, text, internet, video conferencing or faxing just to name a few, when you combine the valuable technology that we have at our finger tips with the right team of professionals, there is no excuse why one should not be able to provide extraordinary customer service.
”Choose to deliver amazing service to your customers. You'll stand out because they don't get it anywhere else”. -Kevin Stirtz
If you run an outpatient physical therapy clinic, you clearly understand that word of mouth referrals play a key part in achieving your company’s revenue goals. With that in mind, why not make every encounter with a patient an experience that they walk away and say, “Wow…that was extraordinary customer service!”? This doesn’t just entail their clinical care with you as the therapist, but the experience stems back to their initial phone call, their interaction with your front desk, and their experience during check out and scheduling. At the end of the day, patients go home and tell their neighbors, tell the lady at the hair salon and tell their friends on the golf course about their PT visit if it was an extraordinary experience. What better referral than one that is the result of the service you and your staff provided?
“Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated”. -Lou Holtz
Below is a list of customer service tips that you may find helpful for your business.
- Communicate timely and effectively.
- Always seek feedback, listen to your patients and implement their feedback when appropriate.
- Be helpful - even if there is no immediate profit in it.
- Never over promise and under deliver.
- Train your staff to always be helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable.
- Always take the extra step.
In closing, my best advice is to make every patient a “raving fan.”