Want to emulate raving fans customer service in your healthcare business? Emulate the best…
In 1982, my dad, a marine biologist by training, was working in a food and beverage role at the Four Season’s Hotel in Vancouver, Canada. I remember when he brought home a framed portrait photo of himself accompanied by a small but shiny trophy. It was the hotel’s award for “Employee of the Year”. I must admit, even at the “know-it-all” age of 11, I was impressed. I remember asking him if it was hard to get that award. To which he replied: “Oh yes, very hard.”
Headquarted in Toronto, Canada, The Four Seasons Hotels is one of the world’s most recognisable brands with 74 hotels in 31 countries. In 2005, the company employed over 28,000 people, made over $2.5 Billion in revenue and listed as No.53 in Fortune’s Best Companies to Work for 2007 list. It has such a great reputation that more than 40,000 people applied for 974 new jobs last year. They offer 98 hours/year of professional training for each member of staff, every year. I found this statement on Careers page of the Four Seasons’s Hotel Chain website:
The Golden Rule
The Golden Rule – treating others as we would wish to be treated – has long been our guiding principle. Within Four Seasons, the Golden Rule has never been a paper strategy. It is a deeply felt ethical belief, shared by everyone in the corporation, from senior management through to the front line and around the world, regardless of nationality. It allows us to treat each other, as well as our guests, with an extra measure of caring and thoughtfulness.
At Four Seasons, we recognise that sustaining service excellence – our key competitive difference (my emphasis)– depends on our ability to carefully select employees with the Golden Rule attitudes of courtesy and helpfulness and then to build their competence and confidence.
That is why we make an ongoing investment in – and commitment to – effective training at all levels. Training not only ensures that our employees attain the desired standards of skill and service, it also helps them identify strongly with the company’s values and goals.
The healthcare marketing takeaway
Many healthcare marketers want to excel at customer service. But too many people working in healthcare, unfortunately, may have forgotten what it is. With such rare examples these days, it pays to identify and emulate the very best. Don’t just look at the best example of customer service in the healthcare business. Why let a false ceiling stop your ambitions? Look for the best in any business, that’s where you’ll find your role models.