Market as Hospitals Do

Edhospital Professional firms should deliver client service and market as good hospitals do.  I just gt out out the wonderful Edward Hospital in Naperville, IL, and it was a superb experience.  Check this out:

  • They had room service! Before my shoulder surgery, all I had to eat was a plain bagel at 8 am.  I went into the operating room at 4 pm, woke up at 7:30 pm and was ravenous.  The nurse handed me a real menu, and I ordered a cheeseburger, diet Pepsi and brownie with ice cream.  The tray of food was before me in 5 minutes.  Talk about a great client experience!  Professional firms should have a tray of snacks, fruit and drinks in the reception area and all conference rooms.
  • I felt as if they really cared. Everywhere there were signs saying, "are you having a good experience? Please let us know!" I was checked on by at least 10 different nurses and technicians, all asking the same question:  was I comfortable?  They wrote their names on a whiteboard so I wouldn't need to memorize them.  They wanted to make sure I was in no pain, and I never was.  When I had trouble sleeping the single night I stayed in the hospital, the nurse asked, "would you like a morphine shot?"  Sure, why not, I said.  I got a great night's sleep.  Professional firms should demonstrate that they care personally about their clients too.  This is what clients really want.
  • They put leg massagers on my calves.  The medical purpose is to prevent blood clots.  But the psychic experience was to put me in a very relaxed state.  I highly recommend this for all law offices especially and accounting offices during tax season.
  • The TV had 100 channels and I had the remote. I watched a fascinating show on the History Channel about how the introduction of Russian MiG jets changed the course on the Korean War. Every professional office reception area should have a cable TV set.
  • The bathroom was easy to find (it was in the room.)  This is the first thing a professional should tell a visiting client is where this necessary room is.
  • The docs, nurses and staff explained verbally what they were doing as they did it.  This put me at ease as they prepped me for the operation, put in an IV in my hand afterward and connected a variety of humming, glowing machines to me.  Professions should communicate this well, explain the purpose for what they're doing and de-mystify the process.

The weak link in the whole marketing process was the surgeon, who spent a grand total of three minutes with me while I was conscious.  He was universally recommended to me, so I can only presume he did great work reattaching me broken collarbone to my shoulder with a metal plate and artificial bone grafts. I have a 5-inch "zipper" on my left shoulder held together with 16 office-style staples, and a brace that immobilizes me left arm.

I found the surgeon the same way clients find professionals: I drafted a short list from my insurance company, asked around for word-of-mouth references, and Googled the lead candidate.  I was disappointed to see that he has nothing about himself on the Web.  So when I first met him, I had to grill him on his experience with my exact situation, how many times he had done the operation, whether he was board certified and if he had ever been sued for malpractice (surprise answer: he had been sued once but the case was dismissed before trial.)

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