Indmedica - India's Premier Medical Portal - Cyber Lectures

 

Customer Delight is the Key!

Vivek Shukla

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People choose one hospital or doctor over another based on how they are treated as human beings than any other parameter

Let me give you a secret for marketing of services. It is more about the experience and emotion than it is about the product and its features. Contrary to what I just said, many hospitals and doctors in India believe the reverse to be true. I constantly run into hospital promoters and doctors who brag about the latest equipment they have acquired and its features. They want to ‘differentiate’ their offering based on the tangible assets that they have. Seldom does anyone talk about the excellence in customer experience management.

Why does an airline seldom flaunt its aircraft? Kingfisher raves about finest experience in Indian skies. MacDonald highlights the fun and family and not about the ingredients of the Big Mac burger. A premium resort in Goa will focus on the great time you will have there!

The irony is reflected in a recent survey conducted in the US. The survey suggests that people choose one hospital or doctor over another based on how they are treated as human beings than any other parameter. In other words, the most important consideration for a patient to visit a hospital is the experience that he will get as a ‘person’.

Some initiatives have already been taken to stop treating the patient as an outer wrapping of a disease. He is now turning into a customer who has expectations from the service provider. He is evaluating the hospital in his head all the time. He now has options. If his expectations are not met, he may go elsewhere and never come back again.

When we talk of delight, we talk of going a step ahead of customer’s expectations. For example, the customer may expect the receptionist to be soft-spoken, efficient and well-informed. Meeting all these expectations will result inasatisfied customer. However, to create customer delight, you will not only have to meet all the expectations, but also will have to provide at least one additional pleasant surprise.

Complexities

Providing delight is a complex issue. Here are some of the intricacies you can master:

  • The delight has to be created and experienced at the same time. In other words, it has to be spontaneously created and delivered.
  • The management cannot be present with the staff at all times. The staff has to be inspired enough to do it on their own as no single person or department is exclusively accountable for providing a great overall experience to the customer.
  • Customer delight is hard to measure. Delight for one person may be just satisfaction for another.
  • Customer satisfaction and delight are always progressive. Whatever is considered to be delightful by customers today, will be considered a simple norm a few years later. When most of the players start providing a service at a particular level of excellence, it becomes a norm and is expected by the consumer. For instance, a credit card is expected to work when it is presented for being swiped at a retail store. It is something that is usual and expected.

If it does not deliver this basic requirement, the customer goes home with a bitter memory and may not recommend the credit card company to his friends.

  • Customer experience is culmination of a series of experiences. In the series, the first few and the last few experiences are more important. A series of good experiences can be undone by a long discharge procedure on the last day of the hospital stay.


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