Exceptional Clinic Brands Focus on Creating Loyal Fans.
To become known as one of the exceptional clinic brands, no matter what specialty we are in requires commitment, dedication & patience. By simply having a fancy tagline, impressive decoration, or announcing to the world that we are a first-class clinic, we do not become a 5-star clinic.
This is not an overnight process but a cult-like commitment to a core patient-centered philosophy. It takes tremendous amounts of work, and that is why many healthcare clinics don’t do it. Others don’t know what it takes to become an exceptional service company and create raving loyal fans.
This article will explore some of the critical requirements standards among exceptional brands, who live intending to be the best they can be in the eyes of their patients. By examining some of the leading organizations such as the Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Capella, Four Seasons Hotels, Amazon, Apple, and more: we can learn specific characteristics which we can begin to apply to our clinics immediately.
No matter how skilled we are at our craft or how much we invest in the latest technologies, products, or services we offer, if we do not have loyal patients and employees that we can retain, we are destined to fail.
It is a simple process, but most companies fail to do it. To create loyal fans, we must make people fall in love with us. It is that simple. See, when someone is in love, they ignore others. We want them to fall in love with us so much that they will forgive us even if we mess up or have a service failure.
Most companies know loyalty is essential, but the majority lack the know-how to achieve the consistency required to create a loyal base. Having a loyal base in love with us does not become distracted by competitors’ savvy marketing techniques.
When a company has a loyal base, it can weather unexpected business storms. An example of a company with a large loyal base is Ritz-Carlton Hotels. The company has both loyal customers and loyal employees.
In 2008, the global economic crash and the global pandemic affected every industry, especially the hotel sector. However, the company survived the storm because it had a loyal customer base that even though they reduced their travel frequency, they stayed loyal to the brand.
The employees also stayed loyal, and many agreed to move away to other locations, sometimes across the world, where the company was less affected.
Exceptional Clinic Brands Anticipate Needs
For people to love us, we must be able to anticipate their needs. This begins by truly understanding them and keep a log of their desires and preferences. For us to anticipate the needs of our patients, we must create a culture where our team members understand the difference between a job purpose and job function.
The job function is described within a job description but the purpose is typically found in a company’s mission statement, it is the higher purpose for every company. When employees understand the purpose, they begin shifting from being reactive to becoming proactive and anticipating patients’ needs. To create a 5-star organization, this must become the rule than exception we practice everyday.
Exceptional Clinic Brands Understand The Pillars of Satisfaction
For an organization to become exceptional in customer service, the management needs first to understand what it takes to have a satisfied patient. These are called the pillars of satisfaction, and all of them are required, if we want to achieve high level of satisfaction among our patients. Here is are the pillars:
- Predictable Outcome/Product/Service
Without having a predictable and quality product or service, we cannot attain the levels of satisfaction needed to leap toward a five-star organization. Even in industries such as healthcare, where the treatment outcomes may vary from patient to patient, there is an expectation for delivering predictable treatment. Companies such as the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok, James Street Dentists in Sydney, Bond Street Dental Clinic in Melbourne, are a few examples that could not have reached the level of success and won people’s hearts if there was inconsistency in their products or service.
- Genuine and Caring People
If we have the best product or service in the world, but our people are indifferent in serving patients, we can lose our satisfied fan base.
Uncaring and indifference are the main reasons patients easily switch brands as caring is a natural human desire. We always gravitate toward those who care more for us.
- On-Time Promises
A satisfied customer looks up to us in keeping our promises promptly. In today’s world of fast robotic applications with supercomputers taking over many human functions, our customers, including us as consumers, look for companies that can satisfy our needs and solve our problems right away. This is where organizations must really focus on workflow and handling capacities. In a typical 5-star organization, I can easily spot more employees per customer than it may seem necessary. This is not poor HR management but a great service design to address overcapacity issues so patients are never underserved and everything is delivered to them on time.
- Fast & Effective Resolution
Service or product failure is always possible, but how we handle this breakdown is more important. Research has shown that companies with a well-documented fast and effective resolution process where they can return the customer’s experience to a previous state where failure did not happen generally win the customers over as loyal fans. One reason for this is that this is an opportunity for the company to shine and show they are truly professional in handling problems.
Organizations such as the Ritz-Carlton, The Four Seasons Hotel, Apple, and Amazon empower employees to resolve problems quickly on their own without the need for approval from a manager. This fast and effective resolution process must be embedded in a company’s culture from the top management and trickled down to all levels.
In summary, to become an award-winning brand is not just about a great doctor at the helm, product, or service but a combination of many things that must be understood, mapped out and planned for each company. It is a lot of hard work up-front, but once the foundations are laid correctly, the systems can easily be duplicated and supported by our teams.