Customer service improvements within hospitals

Hi. My name is Jo.
I’m manager of Customer Liaison here at Royal Perth Hospital. People tell me about their experiences at
the hospital every single day and one thing I’m sure is we need to provide good customer
service first time every time. Royal Perth Hospital provides services to
people from all over Western Australia and that can be a real challenge in making sure
people feel like individuals when we see so many patients. What can we do to make a difference? Instead of me telling you, let’s listen to
what our staff have to say. To me excellence in Customer Service is saying
Good Morning to people. You see someone in the corridor that looks lost, ask them if
you can help them. When you’re looking after patients, think was this how I would want
my mum to be looked after. To me that’s Customer Service. In what defines customer service is probably,
what we deliver on top of that basic level of competence. Treating people with respect and the same
way you would like to be treated. I think the most important thing to me that
I found is how the staff take the time to listen to what I am saying and just listening
and communicating to my parents made a big difference to our visit to Royal Perth Hospital. Keeping the patient informed as much as you
possibly can and also being honest, so if you don’t know the answer, say “I don’t know
but I will get back to you; as soon as I can” I think it means ever patient, every relative,
every staff member that walks through the doors treated with dignity and respect. We need to remember familiar to us is often
quite unfamiliar to them and I think that’s something we forget sometimes; we probably,
without meaning to, talk above patients a little bit and I think that can be quite upsetting
to the patients, so it’s something we really need to keep in forefront of our minds. AS long as your pleasant to people and show
a little bit of respect, they’re not well, so you have to be careful of that, but the
ones that are cheerful: Keep them happy. The last time I was in hospital, quite a few
years ago, there was a young lady who always use to come in and I don’t know where she
got it from but use to call everyone “Darling” Good Morning Darling, how are you? Every time
– and it just sort of relaxed me and she would say that to everyone, Hello Darling, how are
you? In a nice compassionate voice. I found it put me in a great frame of mind
and responsive to what she wanted me to do. I guess it comes down to who the customer
is. Is the customer the patient? The staff? The relative? The courier person or the ambulance
officer that is delivering them? Because a customer is a different person in every situation. Even helping and listening to our own work
colleagues is important – because just listening to them just makes the workplace environment
a better place to work in. Despite all time pressures, the clinical pressures,
the pressures from other people, the most important thing they can do is the very best
for the patient in front of them, and then go on to the next one and the next one and
almost ignore all the rest of the extraneous noise that often serves the take away from
that … and if they can do that, they will continue to do the best service they can for
the individual. I honestly think that you can only show good
customer service if you love what you do! I honestly can’t think of anything else I
would say – because if you don’t love what you do it is going to reflect on how you act
in any situation. The most important thing you can learn is
to be able to read people. If you are talking or communicating with someone or you are walking
past someone and they are looking at a noticeboard and looking at a bit of paper and you know
the place is a rabbit warren, you don’t just leave them floundering; you say ‘Can I help
you? Are you right?” It takes you no time out of your day; but
that feedback – it’s just being able to read people enough to be able to say something’s
not right. It might be a normal interaction with someone and you think: That person is
normally quite a bouncy person and they are a bit flat. “Are you okay” – just asking that
extra question. Be kind, Be Genuine, Be Warm, I think it’s
like I said — I think sometimes we, we try … we make things more complicated than it
need to be. I think knowing is quite simple: be kind. Remember to talk to the patient not above
the patient. Fine, include the carer, it’s important to include the carer because the
patient might not always remember everything – but talk to the patient, they’re the ones
getting the operation, they’re the ones who are sick, they’re the ones who need the reassurance:
Yes I’m in the right place — Royal Perth Hospital is going to give me the best treatment
I can get anywhere in Perth. If you pay attention to what people are demonstrating
and what their normal is, then it’s easy to care because you actually know what the cues
are to pick up on … and to me that is a demonstration of caring. Treating people with kindness applies to everybody,
wherever they come from… yes that’s right. Be nice to people; be kind. We get a lot of peoples families who come
back to thank us for looking after their mother or father… or whoever has been down here..
.you know, we care about them. That smile – they like that. I think if you smile and when you see someone
introduce yourself, it’s good – actually just starting on the right foot, thinking – I want
to be here and I want to look after people…. I’m proud of where I work. I think that’s
important as well. A Smile on your face and you’ve got to enjoy
yourself while you are here, cause it can be quite a sad place … but as long as you
are enjoying yourself, so make your customers happy and they will enjoy themselves. We love working here.
It’s so much part of my life — Royal Perth Hospital.
It is … I love it.

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