Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Southern fried physician, stop cooking your customer base

One interesting phenomenon I have noticed about my new state is that there is a significant lack of urgency from people, who quite frankly, need to get their collective acts together. I am talking about the rarified medical profession. As someone who visits doctors on a fairly regular basis I am acutely tuned in to the office experience and how badly it seems to suck here in the heartland. I categorize this as a wholly southern problem because I rarely experienced this sort of crap in the great state of New Jersey, whereas the simplest appointment here in GA can take two hours or more.

Recently I arrived at my doctor's office for a 9:30 AM appointment that should have taken about 15-30 minutes to complete. I fully expected to be out of his office by 10 and in mine by 10:30. I reached my office just in time for lunch.

After having suffered through this same scenario at a number of different doctor's offices here in Dixie I have decided to open my own medical practice. True, I never went to medical school, but I figure I can hire doctors to work for me. All I would need to do is make sure there was adequate staffing and that things ran on time. This seems so simple it is almost laughable, but the inefficiencies I routinely witness here absolutely kill the customer experience.

What happens if you have a bad experience with your doctor? Invariably you will change doctors and a practice that could grow and flourish with great customer service stagnates and dwindles because people don't like to be kept waiting and/or treated like they don't matter.

My current GP is a super nice guy. I really like him as a person, but his staff and the inefficiency of his office are causing me and No Wife to really evaluate if we want to be his patients any more. When expressing this to some of our neighbors, we were informed that many of them had similarly poor customer experiences and had since moved on from this particular physician despite his personally likable nature.

Understanding the customer experience and making it something special is the only way to grow a business, any business. Not paying attention to it and making it hard for people to do business with you is the dumbest thing any business can do.

Any docs in the area of Atlanta that would like me to consult on their customer experience and show you ways to improve it and grow your practices should contact me at no1ofconsequence@gmail.com

No 1 of Consequence

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