Crafting Patient Loyalty: The Art of Service

by Randall Dennis

In a consumerist age fueled by robotic automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and disruptive apps, the tipping point for consumer loyalty remains the same as it ever was — customer service.

Customer service has traditionally been a muted priority for healthcare providers, with patient care quite rightly taking precedence. But as quality of experience becomes the main driver of patient loyalty, healthcare providers must learn how to facilitate meaningful interactions that match expectations — and quickly. Research by Accenture suggests that consumers are as likely to switch healthcare providers as they are a hotel if service is poor.

Hospitals are by no means hotels. However, there are lessons to be learned from the hospitality industry’s dynamic service offering and pervasive thirst for excellence in every staff/consumer interaction. In all the noise within a healthcare environment, it’s easy to forget the heartbeat of service is real people creating what The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center calls “positive, memorable customer experiences.” Impark HEALTH’s employee training programs, incidentally, are based upon and infused with core elements of those used by The Ritz-Carlton.


Hooked on a Feeling


Maya Angelou’s wise words are worth remembering: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” For me, it’s inspiring to work for a company that not only produces superb first impressions for hospital patients and visitors, but also positively impacts how they feel. That’s true customer service.

It’s the very lifeblood of working in healthcare: people caring for people. The impact of our service was highlighted to me recently when one of our hospitals shared a stack of emails from people expressing sincere appreciation for our team’s acts of kindness. It wasn’t a few pages — it was hundreds of touching comments about our valet and wayfinding ambassadors.

We take great pride in ticking all the boxes an exceptional service provider should tick. We use data to deliver dynamic staffing and effectively monitor and track patient experiences. We also leverage best practices that optimize performance and drive our clients’ HCAHPS scores skyward. But the larger reward lies in making patients and visitors feel sincerely welcomed and well cared for.


The Human Element

At Impark HEALTH, being “your first point of patient care” is not a throwaway statement, but rather a key part of our culture. It’s a mantra that every one of our team members lives by and a cornerstone by which we facilitate more than fifteen million patient interactions annually.It’s the human element that makes it worth overcoming logistic complexities and obstacles, worth relentlessly striving to attain excellence, worth hopping out of bed on a Monday morning and running into the fray.

We don’t just make a difference — we are the difference. We thrive on bringing healthcare facilities the quantifiable results they want and the personalized care patients and visitors need. If you’re unsatisfied with the comments and satisfaction scores generated by your parking and transportation services, I urge you to reach out to me to discuss our patient-centered solutions.

Randall Dennis is the vice-president of Impark HEALTH. Contact him at rdennis@impark.com

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