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Today I was at my physical therapy appointment when I overheard a disturbing conversation. My therapist was telling l a client that she read something about a hospital in California that was giving back rubs and providing aroma therapy to their patients. It appears that as of 2013, that hospital will receive V.B.I. (values-based based incentives) that is awarded based on how well the hospital performs.

I briefly heard about it this morning, so I did a little research. If you want to read more about the incentive program, click on this link.

Since customer service is ‘my thing’ I asked her what was the problem; her reply, “The hospital made them well, wasn’t that enough?” Maybe fifteen years ago it was enough, now it’s just standard procedure. If someone dies after their heart operation you an bet the hospital will get fewer heart patients for sure.

I explained to her what’s happened. In the 80’s there were few products that stood out. If you had a superior product you won the game. Consider how Toyota and Lexus became standards for cars. In the 1990’s, the playing field was leveled; good products were everywhere. You could go to the Dollar Stores and get good products including decent food to eat. In other words, it was hard to come up with something really good because good had become the product standard.

So, today if you’re a hospital or treatment center, Cancer Center of America is a good example; they boast about their ‘staff of physicians, nutritionist, radiologists and will give you all their loving attention.’ They know they have to provide what everyone else does and go the extra mile. The only way you an do that is kick up your customer service.

It’s been said that customer service is the new marketing. I believe it’s the new marketing and the sales. Products sell themselves on the internet so what can a business do? They an service the customer to death if she’s coming into their store.

I told my therapist I’d been to a bad physical treatment center. No one smiled, the music was awful and I felt like ‘the eight o’clock is here.’ Everyone smiles where I go now, they laugh, remember your name, play great music.

My therapist laughed and said, “I get it. Should we serve tea?” I smiled and said, “I think you got it; get the pot on.”

Lisbeth helps companies build loyal customers through sales and customer service training. She can be reached at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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