Love me!…. that’s what customers want to feel. And how often do business fail to achieve this – not with the big stuff, but in the small changes we implement in our business, without considering the impact on our customers.
Recently I experienced one of those moments that made me wonder about whether the medical profession actually understands how to run a business.
Having been going for annual mammograms at the same practice for the past few years, I received my annual SMS reminder to schedule a booking. To my surprise “my” radiologist was no longer there and the receptionist did not know where she has gone. She did have a number though…With a fair amount of effort I tracked her down only to realise it on the other side of town! Nevertheless, the loyal patient (customer) I am, I made an appointment and raised my concern about not being advised of the move. In the conversation I was told that it is my responsibility to obtain my files from the old practice (as it “belonged” to me). On arrival I was treated as a new patient and had to complete several forms again. So here’s what struck me…
Did they not what my business anymore? The story I told myself: They are probably now so successful and busy, they no longer needed my business (more than R2500 per visit)
Why did they not contact me to let me know about the move? The story I told myself: I have been “loyal” for the past 10 years, I don’t deserve this. I feel rejected and unimportant
Did the first practice deliberately deceive me? The story I told myself: they were probably deceitful in the hope to “steal” my business away from the radiologist that left. Maybe they had a big fight?
Why was the annual reminder not sent from my radiologist – surely I was “her” patient? The story I told myself: My health was never really important to my doctor. As long as I paid, I was worth seeing
Why was I not advised to collect my file upfront? The story I told myself: Now they are so stingy, they can’t even collect the files to make up for the inconvenience. They don’t care about any inconvenience, so long as it’s not theirs
Why is it my responsibility to collect it? The story I tell myself: I have to be for ever grateful to be counted as a patient and have to proof my loyalty. They don’t care about who pays the bills
….And then business often wonder why they loose customers!
No matter what the protocol or back-end agreements were – where was the paying patient (and the experience) considered? Was there not one single thing that could be done to ensure my continued share of wallet?
Customer experience should be at the forefront of any change in business. Consider process as well the potential effect on the customer’s experience when changes are implemented.
Customers are spoiled for choice. Are you prepared to loose customers because you did not consider the of impact of change for your customers?
KEY POINTS to consider when change, such as relocation, expansion or improved systems are necessary:
What impact will it have on your employees and customers?
Has this change been communicated effectively with internal and external stakeholders?
Have all process changes been assessed against the customers’ potential experience and what elements can be included to surprise and delight customers through the change?
What are the benefits of the change to the employees and customers?
Do you employees have a consistent message to communicate regarding the change?
A recent relocation of one of a client’s business units to a less desirable location created fear that customers will be disgruntled and impact on their loyalty. The Consumer Psychology Lab assisted to identify the key customer touch points where the relocation could have most impact, and designed with the team, new innovative approaches to delight customers within the constraints of the reality. Despite the necessity of the relocation, the business unit was able to surprise their customers which we constantly monitored through our CEM programme.
The Consumer Psychology Lab supports clients with customer experience design, enhancement and tracking. We assist business with the planning impact of change as well as activation plans to manage the key touch points maximise the benefits of change for optimal customer experience. We are particularly focused in our design to include the internal alignment. www.consumerlab.co.za