Clint Maun, CSP
Our P.O.W.E.R., philosophy has evolved from numerous years of consulting and personal experiences by Maun-Lemke, Inc. consultants. The establishment of a 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee is a basic fundamental component of Maun-Lemke's philosophy.
P.O.W.E.R. is an innovative and proven method for developing a customer service and marketing philosophy in your health care facility. This process includes understanding and implementing new terminology, i.e. proprietary pride, customers, stakeholders, customer relations, provider of choice and the checkbook story. Any census development process requires a thorough understanding by staff and their committed support before if can be successfully implemented.
The development of an innovative census development (marketing) philosophy starts with the acceptance of one basic component. That is the Customer (resident) in a health care facility, or a customer in any organization for that matter, wants one thing, and that is satisfaction. In fact, the only thing a customer really wants is perceived satisfaction. If customer's perceive satisfaction, then they are in fact, satisfied, whether or not they should be. Likewise, customers who don't feel satisfied, regardless of whether you believe they should, are not satisfied.
Your ultimate goal, as mentioned above, should be your ability to establish a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee for your customers. Can you think of a better marketing tool? P.O.W.E.R., as a philosophy, begins with internal situations you and your staff can handle either correctly or incorrectly. Common occurrences may include:
- A Nursing Service employee is asked why mother or father hasn't eaten yet.
Response: It is not my job.
- When a Housekeeping employee is asked why mother or father has an odor.
Response: We're working short today.
- Activities personnel are asked why a resident isn't attending a special activity.
Response: I just can't get everyone and still lead the activity.
- A Nursing Service employee is asked for information about admitting a Resident after 5p.m., or on a weekend.
Response: You'll have to call back between 9-4p.m. on a weekday.
Are you getting the picture? The image perception signal being sent to your potential customers is a negative one. The correct perception is another key component to developing your health care facility's philosophy. You must begin with developing correct internal perceptions and then utilize these for developing appropriate customer relations.
We see many organizations spending time, money and effort developing external marketing and public relations programs when they have not yet appropriately developed the internal public relations and marketing that's vital to their organizations. Too many employees are allowed to roam the streets outside of "work time" without the required skills of knowing how to handle situations they come in contact with concerning their facility. Therefore, we need to start developing a sense of "proprietary pride".
This means everyone has a stake in the organization's success and are, therefore, stakeholders of the organization. It's one thing for your employees to be proud of their work, and another for them to say this is how they would do it if they were running their own business. They would be concerned about quality, quantity, cost and ways they can produce end results. Specifically, this means you must have the appropriate discussions with staff members about cash flow, reimbursement, Medicare/Medicaid, and how to correctly run your organization's checkbook.
Internal public relations and marketing training is another key component to your facility's/organization's marketing philosophy. Employees must be trained how to handle difficult people in the community, the resident's family, and how to deal with residents when they bring up a problem, issue, challenge, or concern. Every employee must be able to correctly demonstrate they can handle these "POWER MOMENTS" before they go on to advance training phases. From this point and time forward, you should hold employees accountable for using the training they have been given, just as you hold them accountable for skill training given during orientation and certification courses. Accept the fact that "Employees are your first line of public relations".
Components of philosophy must contain:
- Customer perceived Satisfaction
- Internal perceptions training
- "Proprietary Pride"
- Provider of Choice goal
- Commitment to "P.O.W.E.R."
- 100% Satisfaction Guarantee for customers
P.O.W.E.R. encourages each facility to respond and commit to the following in preparing their customer service and marketing philosophy:
- Answering a series of self assessment questions.
- Conducting surveys of employees, guests and public opinion.
- Dedicating training to employees on "Proprietary Pride".
- Assigning of an Admissions/Marketing Coordinator.
- Implementing a proven 12-week marketing process.
- End result - the ability to offer a 100% Satisfaction to guests admitted to your facility.
- Completion of a specific Provider of Choice market assessment.
- Continued profitability to do those "things" you've always wanted.
Benefits and results you can derive are numerous and include: employee marketing, a change in facility attitude and perception by your employees and the public, improving private pay census and increased profitability. The greatest benefit is the fact that your health care facility really can develop a "100% Satisfaction Guarantee" while being innovators and leaders for the future delivery of health care services in your community.
If you'd like more information on our P.O.W.E.R. program click here.