For the first time in my life, I spent twenty-two hours in a hospital. Some of the touch points were fantastic, some mediocre and some average. But what irritated me the most was the lack of communication. When you’re in an ER or actually admitted into a hospital, there’s a lot of uncertainty – especially when it’s an undiagnosed illness or infection.
Communication is paramount. A week later I’m talking to my friend, Sandi, who spent some considerable time with their child at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Few situations are worse than when your child is sick and in hospital … parental symptoms include anxiety, worry and nervousness. The uncertainty and lack of knowledge can only be relieved with healthy doses of communication.
My friend’s experience was the opposite of mine. They raved about how effective and efficient the interactions were. They could monitor their child’s progress on an electronic data board as to the exact location, aspect, and point their daughter was at … whether a specific diagnostic or the phase within an operation. In addition, a personal “concierge” was assigned to them to provide additional levels of communication, clarification and confidence. That’s Positively Outrageous Service!!!
In chatting with my friend, Sarah Beth, she’s the Director of Client Care at NTA Life. She stresses the importance of not only effective communications, but a cadence of communication. For example, if there’s a client problem that was brought to their attention –they ensure there’s daily communication. Even if the problem is as yet unresolved – potential tension is alleviated through regular communication points.
What’s the cadence of your communication? In a hospital it may require a higher frequency – but a minor problem with an online retail customer may require only a daily touch point. A waiter in a restaurant must be attentive without being intrusive.
Consider your customer experience and circumstances … evaluate the appropriate cadence of communication. By the way, it’s hard to over communicate – our experience reveals most organizations under-communicate and don’t meet customer expectations.
Create your cadence of communications to convey Positively Outrageous Service!
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