Combatting Poor Customer Service Delivery in Kenyan Public Hospitals

Combatting poor customer service delivery in Public kenyan hospitals

Data gathered by mSurvey on the latest Customer Loyalty industry Benchmark report Q3 in 2018 reveals that customer service delivery in the Country has significantly improved from the previous quarter two. However, the health sector still lags behind, particularly in public hospitals which are still experiencing a worrisome decline in their overall Net Promoter score.

The mSurvey Q3 results released in November 2018 show that of all the 12 sectors surveyed in Kenya, The health sector ranked the lowest with -5 NPS in customer service delivery .The mSurvey platform enables various business ventures in Kenya to access feedback directly from their customers at scale and in real time, through mobile conversations through the Net Promoter score (NPS). The NPS is a metric which enables companies to measure their customer loyalty and boost customer relations.

With the rise of the internet and social media, various industries in the country have taken an initiative to understand the drivers of customer loyalty enabling their businesses to increase their operational efficiencies and enhance their competitive advantage.

This has raised the bar for the healthcare industry as well. Unfortunately, the disparity in services offered between public and private sector health care in Kenya are still high. mSurvey data shows that Private healthcare facilities like Gertrude’s hospital have been working towards improving their customer service delivery. The hospital had an NPS of 37 in the Customer Loyalty industry Benchmark report, dwarfing the average score of -5 in the healthcare industry in Kenya

A reception area at Getrudes hospital in Thika Branch

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The mSurvey data supports a popular opinion that many public hospital executives do not devote much thought-if any, to the customer service aspect of health care in the country. The speed and urgency of attending to patients, inadequate facilities and equipment as well as negligence continue to be major impediments in achieving impeccable customer service delivery in the health sector in Kenya.

If these trends continue, the healthcare industry in Kenya is bound to experience negative consequences in the forms of negative PR, Lowered reimbursements and a tarnished reputation among their patient base. Here are some tactics that healthcare executives can utilize to enhance customer service delivery in public hospitals.

Make information fast and easy to access

One of the biggest advantages of technology advancements in 2018 is the easy and fast accessibility to information and services. We are used to having information on our fingerprints and we don’t like waiting for too long to be briefed on test results or treatment plans especially when our normal schedules have been disrupted by making a date with the doctor. It is crucial for physicians to be transparent, quick and direct as possible when delivering patient care information.

First Impressions matter

As with many customer service interactions, the first and last impression that a patient gets at a public hospital makes a huge difference in their minds. It creates the snapshot experience which contributes to the overall opinion one has with an organization.

Health care executives should ensure that attention should be given to the details that shape these impressions in patients’ mind, right from the reception desk to the follow up phone calls to check on their recovery.

A cheery, polite and understanding hospital representative will create a good lasting impression of the hospitals dedication to service delivery while decreasing the patient’s chances of health deterioration and readmission. Such improvements in customer service delivery present a win –win situation for both sides.

Provide Hospital Staff a purpose

According to an article submitted by Micah Solomon to the Forbes Magazine, The most important aspect of creating a healthcare team that is customer service focused, is to differentiate between an employee’s ‘purpose’ and the persons ‘function’.

Public hospital employees’ purpose is deeper than their day to day functions required of their jobs and it ties into the hospitals goal to achieve the best outcomes for their patients. If offering impeccable customer service delivery to patients means that an employee’s function is temporarily postponed, then it should be done because it could go a long way in improving their experience and make your organization favorable in their eyes. These employees should also be rewarded for going the extra mile to help the patients instead of being reprimanded for not completing their day to day activities on time.

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