Refining Service Excellence
This nonprofit community hospital and medical center sought to expand its current market share and enhance opportunities for future growth, but recognized a driving force behind any expansion plans would revolve around an improved focus across the organization on customer service excellence. To make this a reality, the 193-bed, general acute care center engaged SSA to develop a customer service delivery plan to position the center as the “go-to” hospital in the area.
SSA implemented a three-phase approach to develop the center's new customer service delivery program. In the first phase, SSA formed a core service team comprised of key executives and stakeholders to champion the development and implementation of a formal customer service strategy. The core team assisted in the design and recommendations for the following items that would form the foundation to this new program: development of a revised interviewing and selection process, development of service standards, identification of service recovery opportunities, scripting for frontline staff, and development of a reward and recognition program. For the second phase of this effort, SSA worked with the center's staff to develop a skills development program, which was guided and refined through weekly conference calls with executive staff to review progress on this and other elements of the overall program. Using a train-the-trainer model, scripts, role-playing, training aids, and service recovery elements, the core team, with guidance from the SSA project team, began to roll out the center's new customer service delivery plan. Finally, in the third phase, SSA conducted additional training, problem-solving sessions, and core team and senior executive meetings to ensure the program’s success would be long-lasting and sustained.
Upon full implementation of the new service excellence program, the center asked SSA to monitor and measure the program’s results over the course of one year. The SSA project team observed a work culture and environment that fostered an understanding among all employees about the need to “own” the hospital’s new customer service delivery efforts. In addition to an increased understanding of the concept of customer service and the resulting benefits of such efforts, staff members also reported new skills and techniques they had developed to deal more effectively with the challenges and obstacles associated with delivering excellent customer service.
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