"We've created methods for recognizing service excellence among staff, including online thank you's and a monthly service update highlighting service stories that reflect our commitment to our standards," Werkheiser says. "We also generate fun in the process with spontaneity, like the day when we thanked employees by delivering cold lattes."
Beyond boosting employee satisfaction, high service excellence can promote physician loyalty as well.
"Physicians want to know that their patients are in good hands," Baird says. "Physicians will direct their admissions to hospitals where the service is good and patient satisfaction is high."
Build a path to excellent service
When embarking on the journey to service excellence, it's critical that leadership maps out specific goals and understand how they are going to get there.
The Monroe Clinic leadership team decided at the outset that they wanted to reach the 90th percentile in patient satisfaction scores.
"The senior leadership recognized the need for consistency and the expectation that we can do better to improve the experience for our patients and guests," Werkheiser says. "We worked to train and evaluate directors and coaches in leadership competencies around service expectations before training all staff."
Monroe hasn't hit the 90th percentile yet, but Werkheiser is confident that they have all the pieces in place to hit that benchmark soon.
"We are in the early stage of service culture transformation," she says. "We are very proud of our service standards and our new coaching model that will lead us to future success in delivering exceptional experiences. We've created an awareness of service standards that didn't exist before."