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Dale Jarvis

Dale Jarvis and Associates

World Class Customer Service Built on a Culture of Staff and Client Engagement and Wellness

January 21, 2014 | Community Impact | Comments
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World Class Customer Service Built on a Culture of Staff and Client Engagement and Wellness
Getting off on the right foot

In my last blog post, I suggested that we have a healthcare system that has forgotten about the customer. Today, I am going to begin exploring the first of five behavioral health center of excellence elements – world class customer service.

Last year, Carl Clark, the CEO of the Mental Health Center of Denver, asked and began to answer a question during a conversation about BHCOEs:

“What the heck is an extraordinary customer experience? Well, I know when I DON’T have one – all of us can identify this. I walk away feeling like they really missed the boat.”

A small group of us were planning a workshop for the 2013 National Council Conference, How to Become the Mayo Clinic of Behavioral Health, and our minds were racing.

An excellent organization is known by the community, clients, and staff for going the extra mile… think Nordstrom, Amazon, Starbucks, Apple, or UPS. All create extraordinary experiences for customers by achieving a seamless service experience provided by employees who are caring, provide a personal touch, and are empowered to resolve any problems that arise.

You can’t achieve this without first creating an organization that is a great place to work and is made up of individuals who believe deeply in resiliency and recovery. Direct service staff need to be focused on their own physical and emotional wellness in order to support a journey to wellness for their clients. Supervisors need to create a “holding place” for their staff so  they, in turn, can create a holding place for their clients.

People want to feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves. They need to feel what they are doing is meaningful and it really helps for them to have a way of measuring their own success. Their opinions count, their co-workers are committed to doing quality work, and there is someone at work who encourages their growth and development.

These discussions led to the first element of a BHCOE: World Class Customer Service Built on a Culture of Staff and Client Engagement and Wellness. What a long title. But can we separate staff engagement and wellness from client engagement and wellness?

Put your thinking cap on.

Consider what we’ve written about Element 1 in our BHCOE draft concept paper. Think about what’s important for world class customer service, what you’re doing to get there, and how we can measure it.

Then tell us what you think.

  • Would you do anything different with how we’ve smooshed together customer service, staff engagement and wellness, and client engagement and wellness? If so, tell us more.
  • How would you change the description in the concept paper?
  • What are you doing to achieve world class customer service? What are you reading and who are you listening to?
  • There are a number of approaches to measuring staff engagement including work from the Gallup Organization (StrengthsFinder 2.0) and Patrick Lencioni’s work on Organizational Health (The Advantage; The Three Signs of a Miserable Job). What are you using?

If you haven’t seen the BHCOE Study Group Guide, you can download it here.