Is Your Practice Consistently Consistent? Part II:
Last newsletter, we discussed the importance of establishing a routine that works for your practice, and sticking to it. The goal of which is a repeatable process that consistently outputs both Medical Care and Customer Service at the highest level.
We likened it to the processes you find in fine dining – the reason 5 star restaurants are successful, and you refer them or keep coming back, isn’t necessarily because the food was excellent, the service was spectacular, or the ambiance timeless. It’s because you trusted the restaurant to deliver the same Consistently Superior Experience every time. Restaurants live and die by their consistency, and the same can be said about your practice.
Diving deeper, there exists correlations we believe not only can be adapted by elective medical practices, but are almost a necessity. For those of you unfamiliar with the service industry, there are two terms used to define restaurant management – ‘heart of house’ and ‘front of house.’ The heart of house references the kitchen – it’s the chef, the kitchen staff, the menu, the food prep, the star.
But the ‘front of house’ is the memory -the service, the ambiance, the experience. Which do you think is more important to the future success of your practice?
Now here’s where it gets tricky. Restaurants usually have separate managers – the heart of house (chef) and front of house (GM) – with each responsible for ensuring the quality of their respective environments remains consistently superior.
Looking at a medical practice, the same rings true, or should – the surgeon, doctor, medical director need to act as the chef, the ‘heart of house’ manager who ensures the star – the medical care provided and results achieved – is consistently repeatable and of the highest quality.
But how many of the practices out there employ a ‘front of house’ manager? A person who is in charge of the sales, the service, and the experience? Someone who oversees the quality and consistency of every touch point?
They say consistency is the building block of trust. From the first phone call to the first impression when a prospect walks through the door, controlling the consistency of communication, the consistency of their experience, is the secret sauce. It’s what makes your practice both comfortable, and memorable.
Remember a couple of months back when we said surveys showed up to 40% of LASIK patients couldn’t name the surgeon or center who performed their procedure? How many referrals do you think they’ve given that center? My guess is that even though they have sight without glasses, they still left underwhelmed.
So are you going to settle for being underwhelming?
Just like the 5 star restaurant, the best practices have someone with a customer service mindset in charge of their ‘front of house.’ They’re the 1%. The rest of us are the reason why a visit to the doctor gets a bad rap in the U.S. Because the harsh truth is that no matter how exceptional the actual medical care you provide may be, it’s everything else that makes you memorable to your patients.
Manage your service, manage your communication, and manage your experience. Then watch as it changes your patients’ perception, their memory, your word of mouth and your bank account.