At the 2019 OPEN MINDS Technology & Informatics Institute in Philadelphia, Rick Crump, Founder & CEO of KineticXperience, gave a dynamic presentation about how to apply successful strategies to improve customer experience and employee satisfaction in your health care practice or company. This next article in the series captures the next step in the journey towards improved customer service and experience: How to convince management that this is where time, money, and resources should be spent.
The Customer Experience
The presentation in Philadelphia was all about defining the space of customer experience and helping people understand how to think it through. Mr. Crump said in an interview with OPEN MINDS, “a lot of times people will just throw out there, ‘Let’s do something for our customers.’ Everybody wants to be customer centric. So, what could go wrong? You have to think critically about customer experience. You have to have a well thought out, structured approach to it.”
Mr. Crump gave the attending audience advice for applying strategies discussed, facilitating conversations when returning to their companies, and advocating for their organizations to promote the concept of customer experience. Within that role includes the responsibility to drive the decisions for it.
The Internal Sell
An important aspect of growing customer service, Mr. Crump emphasized, was the need to convince and collaborate with management on where to spend time, money, and resources on the customer. He uses the term “internal sell.” You need to internally promote and drive decisions around customer/patient experience within your organization.
Mr. Crump suggests asking yourself the following questions before talking with management:
- What Brand indicators (retention, growth, and advocacy) do you need to improve most? (You need to answer this question before you focus on customer service)
- Which customer’s improved experience would most profitably help you improve that Brand indicator?
- What type of customer experience (effectiveness, ease, or enjoyment) should most you focus on to affect that Brand indicator?
- What will it take to convince management this is the right:
- Brand indicator to focus on?
- Customer segment to focus on?
- Efforts to commit resources to?
The Front End & The Back End
Two questions Mr. Crump believes are critical to answer: “How will you know on the front end where to focus?” and “How will you know on the back end if you actually achieved impact?” Furthermore, Mr. Crump advises being prepared to justify any effort, because it’s always competing with other priorities. “A lot of what’s brought to the table are good ideas that we can work on, but you have to have some structured approach to determine which ones are the better ones, and then, ultimately, which ones are the best.”
As people bring ideas to the table, says Mr. Crump, they are personally convinced and very passionate about it. However, often times they fail to connect with their management team on making the case; they fail to look at it through the lens of management. Management can be very bottom-line driven. They are growing a business, or managing a nonprofit organization with limited resources, and have to figure out where they can get the most bang for the buck.
You need to be persuasive when describing how important the customer experience is to the bottom line. “Once management becomes convinced that you are on board with their agenda about growing a profitable business or organization, it’s amazing how much more they listen to you,” says Mr. Crump.
Check, Align, Confirm
Mr. Crump believes strongly that whatever conclusions you draw upon from your analysis of the importance and role of customer service, you should include checking it against your strategic plan to ensure alignment. You should also use data or metrics to measure how well you are doing and to “know if you move the needle.” Talk with people in your organization (for example, sales managers and account managers) and with external agents like stakeholders and customers who can provide you with feedback.
Culture Of Excellence
“People should see this as a journey itself,” says Mr. Crump. Organizations that focus on customer experience should try to “cultivate a culture of excellence.” Customer experience is a continuous improvement mindset. He also urges organizations who incorporate these strategies to be the benchmark in their industry. Your organization should strive to be the organization that everyone compares themselves to. Organizations that have a mindset of excellence are going to be much better in the marketplace because of it.
The best philosophy to follow in Mr. Crump’s opinion is to try to do your best at all times. It is going to pay off. People want to feel like they are making a difference. Making money is one way to measure how well a company is doing, but creating a culture of excellence employees can be proud of can be very impactful. Mr. Crump sums it up by saying: “There is a reason my brand is associated with employee retention as much as customer retention.”
Welligent provides a fully integrated, cloud-based electronic health records platform and mobile apps to help you work smarter. We have complete solutions that can streamline your practice management, clinical documentation, revenue cycle, and more. We serve behavioral health, human services, public health, foster care, I/DD, and student health communities across the country. www.welligent.com. Norfolk, Virginia.
Relationship Between Welligent & KinecticXperience
The relationship is referred to as a “channel or strategic partnership.” KinecticXperience helps practices optimize business performance and customer experience, with Welligent providing the electronic health records platform that makes it all possible.
Welligent is the sponsor of this article.