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The Moments of Truth

Vivek Shukla

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The Moments of Truth. This was coined by the President of SAS [Scandinivian] airlines about two decades ago. The airlines was on verge closing down when he took over. He stressed that there are many moments in the the interaction of the customer with the airline, where the customer made an impression about SAS. These moments would be either ‘bright’ or ‘dull.’ For example if the boarding pass is given after an avoidable delay, it is a dull moment of truth. If the ground staff person goes out if its way to help a passenger load his bags on the trolly, it is a bright moment. SAS estimated that there would be around 50000 moments of truth in a journey for a single passenger. How bright the SAS staff makes these moments for the customers will directly affect the satisfaction of the customers.

A hospital is no different. If we look closely there can be thousands such moments where a customer will make a good or a bad impression about the hospital. How well the hospital manages those moments will directly impact the overall satisfaction levels of the customers. One thing that instantly comes to mind is that the entire staff of the hospital has to be committed to providing bright moments of truth. The management can not be present at the service delivery point all the time to ensure that the staff is doing a great job. The challenge here is to inspire the entire staff to willingly and happily create these moments for the customers.

Some example of dull moment are:

  • Two staff members arguing in front of the customers.
  • Nurses entering a patient room without knocking.
  • A staff member promising something and not doing it on time.
  • A doctor not prescribing without listening fully to the patient’s history.

Some bright moments may include:

  • A parking person offering to park the car for the customer in a crowded parking area.
  • A hospital staff wishing a warm and unexpected ‘Good Morning’ while passing by a patient in the corridor.
  • A doctor picking up a piece of paper lying on the floor while walking through even though it is not his job.
  • A canteen boy helping in wheeling in a stretcher when he sees that there is a helping hand required.

Creating these moments is a matter of organisational culture. To develop such culture takes passion and time on part of the top management. But if it is done once it can be provide an unsurpassable advantage to the hospital.

I think it will be a worthwhile exercise to list down various bright moments that your hospital can create for its customers in each department. I suggest you take this exercise on for this month and see what the results are.

Vivek Shukla
Healthcare Marketing Consultant
Sai Mahima Hospital, Ram Nagar,
Dharamshala H.P. 176215
India
Phone +91-9816086868


Vivek Shukla
Healthcare Marketing Consultant
Sai Mahima Hospital, Ram Nagar,
Dharamshala H.P. 176215
India
Phone +91-9816086868
[email protected] Phone +91-9816086868

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