Measuring Customer Experience is important, right? We need to know how customers feel about their interactions with us. We can’t improve what we don’t measure. But what are we doing with the data we gather? And is gathering, analyzing and reporting on that data truly improving the customer experience?
I regularly receive surveys from our regional healthcare provider, owner of all local hospitals and many medical offices. They assure me they are hanging on my every word. But I never see improvement in our wait time, which is the concern I score as “very poor” nearly every time. I seldom take the time to fill these surveys out anymore. But at every appointment, I learn something new about potential changes that would truly improve the customer/patient experience, as well as the staff experience. If only those sending out surveys would have conversations with their front-line people
This week we had a 10:30 am appointment for lab work—just a blood draw, a two-minute interaction. We waited nearly an hour to get in for that two minutes. And this wasn’t first come/first served; it was a longstanding appointment. When we finally got in, I mentioned that having an appointment didn’t seem to mean much in terms of time spent, and the technician responded with an explanation we hear often: “I tell them all the time we need more people!”
But her next comment was Customer Experience gold:
she explained exactly how this issue could be avoided.
Appointments like ours, which are simply routine and are “labs only” must wait behind labs for cancer patients getting chemo that day, because blood work must be done before the chemo can be started. If only, the tech told us, the routine appointments were scheduled in the afternoon, there would be no conflict between the chemo blood draws and the routine ones, and nobody would be kept waiting. That solves our problem; we’ll make future lab appointments in the afternoon. But others will continue to be frustrated, because the tech says her advice on this subject has fallen on deaf ears.
HOW CAN YOU MAKE YOUR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MEASUREMENT ACTIONABLE?
Make it easy for customers/patients to respond.
Give them room for open-ended comments. Then read those comments, make changes as appropriate, and let customers know what you’ve changed. Rewrite the next survey email request to include three or four things that are different today because of feedback received from prior surveys. Customers will be more interested in providing feedback if they feel it will lead to action.
Limit the number of questions.
The easier a survey is to complete, the more likely someone will take the time. Don’t ask four different questions on the same subject—ask the most important. Calculate these scores daily and post them regularly for staff to see.