The quality and impact of customer experience is central to the success or failure of any business in any type of service industry and the residents and families who choose to access the support and services offered within Schlegel Villages are the customers that matter most.
In March 2018, Schlegel Village launched a customer service training program for team members from every facet of Village Life meant to inspire them to consider what they can do to enhance the customer experience. The people they serve aren’t patients in a medical setting; they are the valued customers who make their home within the Village community. The CONNECT The Dots program and the five philosophical pillars it’s built upon urges team members to consider the impact of their every action upon the people they support and those who love them.
The five pillars are:
KNOW ME- as a unique human being;
BE PRESENT- in all communications;
WALK IN MY SHOES- try to understand how I feel;
EARN TRUST- be clear, genuine & transparent;
FOLLOW THROUGH- all the way.
Julia Rhinelander, a neighbourhood coordinator at Fairview Nursing Home in Toronto, offered examples during a meeting with fellow team members to illustrate how a seemingly small act can have great impact on customer experience.
One of these involved open and honest communication with a son about her time with his father. She sent a photo via email with a short message attached.
“This is dad on one of his visits to my office,” she wrote in explanation of the photo. “He is an awesome man. He likes to come and sit with me and keep me company. He tells me all these incredible stories about family, life in Canada (when and how he got here), how he met mom, his business, the part of Portugal he comes from, etc. etc. At the end of his visit, he usually ends with "thank you for listening to me" and I will thank him for visiting and sharing his stories with me.”
Not only does Julia take the time to have a meaningful interaction with this gentleman, she also shares its impact with his loved one, and the message was met with great appreciation.
“Thank you so much for this e-mail and good news,” came the son’s reply. “It warms my heart knowing that he is in good hands and has such good company. I’m so appreciative of the time that you are able to offer him.”
To be present in the moment in all interactions can be a hard feat to accomplish in the busy world of long-term care but when it happens, the results speak for themself. A person feels valued when another takes time to share conversation, and a loved one feels comforted when they hear of such interactions. In the realm of positive customer experience, these moments have a lasting impact and within Schlegel Villages, they happen all the time.