A hospital, of all places, offers lesson in great customer service

hospital seatsA hospital visit recently reminded me of the value of not good, but great customer service. Over the course of a few days tending to a relative, the small, regional hospital in Conway, South Carolina, struck all the right chords with its incredible commitment to people.

The commitment to patients, relatives and anyone else who walked through the three-story facility’s doors was evident in every employee. To a person, they said hello and asked if help was needed. They understood how confusing the maze-like Conway Medical Center could be.

My wife found a man cleaning floors late one night who stopped his work to ask if she needed help and to make sure she made it to her car and back safely. A female volunteer in a waiting room offered free hugs, saying she knew everyone needed a hug. A nurse volunteered the hours of the cafeteria and even her favorite dishes.

If a hospital, faced with growing needs and shrinking revenue, can find a way to commit to customer service, then any business can offer great customer service. What was the key to their success? The organization made it a priority, not just words. Workers seemed to know that great customer service was as important, if not more important, than their daily tasks. I am assuming that the man who stopped his floor cleaning would not be penalized for failing to complete the task. Others took less than a minute to bring smiles to each of us on days that were long and frustrating.

These days, good customer service is expected; great customer service is the exception. While the hospital didn’t have the latest, greatest technology, it made a huge impression on us with its customer service. It got us talking about it in ways I rarely hear anyone talk about a hospital. What could that kind of talk do for a business? Try it and find out.

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