As Australia's population ages, more and more of our loved ones will need personal support & assistance from care organisations. As part of this, establishing your care organisation as a leader in customer service will play a vital role in your success in delivering outstanding care and retaining quality staff. To make your aged care organisation the preferred choice it may be worthwhile to consider if you need to create a customer care culture in your organisation.
Customer service is not only about the smile and the “welcome to the institution” salutation. It goes ahead to encompass the staff's ability to listen to the client’s needs, being consistent in service provision and even the address the customers’ request beyond their expectation. Moreover, it involves keenness to observe the communication cues the tone, the speed and pace of articulation, body language, facial expressions and sensitivity to the choice of words while addressing the clients.
In the past, most people believed that only those who sat in the front offices had the duty to preserve customer service culture in an institution. While this is still true to some extent, that belief system did put into consideration only those clients coming to the organisation seeking to acquire a good or a service. It left out the internal customers.
In lieu to this, customer service culture should consider even those that interact with each other to actualise service provision. Each staff should embrace the culture. The culture aims to pursue employee working relations and even a good rapport with the clients. This will ensure customer satisfaction, reduction of complaints and even growth of the institution as more and more customers will find their way to the institution. Excellent customer service culture is a marketing tool by itself.
How to Create a Customer Service Culture in Your Organisation
Assess where your organisation stands
You surely may not make a stride ahead if you cannot be able to locate where you stand. Make a deliberate effort to find out whether customer service exists in your organisation. If it does, who is involved in this client care and how do they go about it?
Relying on hypothesis may not apply here since the organisations are different. You may need to use questionnaires, short interviews with the staff or even involve the customers through customer feedback surveys. The information you get will form a foundation for the success journey.
Decide what should and what should not be part of the culture.
Here, you must be able to identify with the goals and vision of your aged care facility. Where do you see the institution in say, five years’ time? What are the core values of the organisation? Formulate a philosophy that sums up the values. Remember, the values of your institution must be in support of the culture you hope to create.
You also have to identify the specific areas of application of this customer service. This will help you to come up with a service provision charter that will be speaking to the customers’ needs.
Communicate to the employees
Make sure you communicate to all your staff. Remember you may have excellent nursing care only to stride behind because of a cleaner who does not share in the vision. Let the communication be precise and in terms understandable to your employees.
In some cases, it is important to hold a workshop to train and sensitise the members of staff on the expected change in operating procedures. Even after the workshop, keep reminding them of the importance of customer service and maintaining the values of the organisation.
Come up with a way of managing complaints
Be vigilant to identify any complaints or misunderstandings from the client. In case they occur, control them as soon as possible and in the most favourable way.
For purposes of reinforcement of the culture, you can put up a reward system to motivate employees to adopt the new culture.
For more information on how to create a customer care culture in your organisation, please contact us.