This past December a member of my family unexpectedly required a hospital stay.
While visiting our relative, my sister mistakenly left her purse, along with her wallet, inside the ladies public restroom. Soon realizing her error she returned to find her purse still there. Her relief was soon gone when she realized her bankcards and twenty dollars were missing from her wallet.
After getting over the initial shock of someone taking advantage of her during such a vulnerable moment, she called her bank to report the cards as stolen and then continued with the visit. When it was time to leave she realized she would have no way of paying the parking lot attendant, as her cash and ATM card were gone. She once again became angry. Nurses heard her dilemma and recommended that she stop by the security office. On their advice she walked inside the office and explained the situation. Without any hesitation the guard opened his drawer and gave her $20 cash. He even went as far as filing formal complaint with the local police department on her behalf. Wow.
As she told me this story I started thinking back to a statement Satrix Solutions has made before, “every member of the team has an opportunity to contribute to creating a compelling customer experience, or one that fails to deliver on your brand promise.”
It’s clear this hospital has empowered their employees by providing resources to ensure customers have better experiences. She sure did. True, a hospital environment breeds natural compassion, but they’ve also managed to create a company-wide culture of empathy, where employees honestly care about the customer and go beyond expectations to provide compelling customer experiences – from patient care to visitors. What’s more, her experience wasn’t unique. This particular hospital is known in the region for their customer-centric culture. In fact, it is their competitive differentiator.
So what can we take away from my sister’s experience? Creating a culture of service excellence requires that all employees are trained and empowered to act in a manner that’s consistent with the experience you want to deliver. These behaviors should be reinforced regularly through communication, recognition, rewards and storytelling. Every interaction your customers have with company employees is an opportunity to showcase your organization’s commitment to the customer experience at every touch point. And, as an added benefit, empowering your employees with the ability to deliver memorable experiences will result in higher employee satisfaction and retention as well.