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Go Beyond the Basics to Create Promoters
Signature Health Care’s VP Customer Experience, Andrew Smith, and Strategy talked about the challenges of operating in the nursing home market. Signature Health care found they had “satisfied” customers but no promoters, largely because expectations were so low. Recognizing that people want quality care and compassion, Signature set out to transform their culture.
Similar to UMPQUA bank, they researched companies like Zappos, Chik-fil-A, Ritz Carlton, and Southwest Airlines, and got started documenting their service values – those non-negotiable service elements of their culture. What they found through their process is that wisdom was a missing yet critical ingredient, so they engaged their employees to help get answers to the critical questions that underlie healthcare, including
- Attitudes toward death
- Belief in miracles
- Most important relationships at work
- What customers value most
They found that while their employees felt cohesive bonds with one another and wanted to deliver excellent care, their mission (“Mission: To radically change the landscape of long term care, forever”) wasn’t exactly inspiring to their employees and “corporate hypocrisy” was the #1 threat to their culture.
The journey established “4 chambers” that use the very words that their employees provided and started working to implement core processes that make it stick. Starting with “test facilities” they implemented service standards, training, compensation incentives, and more. They are transforming the nursing home from just care for the sick, to instead be a center of wisdom and transformation. They co-locate with schools to promoter intergenerational learning, provide meaningful connections with society (including arts and social entrepreneurship), and even engage their workforce with gamification and whole-health (mind, body, and soul).
Nothing does more that to reduce the sense of hypocrisy than to have the executives walk in their employees shoes. Taking care of customers isn’t beneath them. In fact, everyone at the company is required to acquire a CNA to be a capable nurse when needed.
What is your company doing to reinvent your industry? How do you stand out? Can you differentiate through the experience?