My mother has always said, “Fill them with kindness.” So, it’s no big surprise that this has been my motto my entire life. In support of my mother’s philosophy, recent data now proves the importance of kindness in customer service in healthcare.
In his recent article “Recognizing the Value of Kindness in Health Care,” Gary Greensweig gives poignant reasons and statistics on the importance of kindness in the healthcare environment. (Gary Greenswerig, D.O., is the chief physician executive of Dignity Health in San Francisco.)
Here are a few statistics:
- 87% of Americans feel that kind treatment by a physician is more important than other key considerations in choosing a health care provider, including average wait time before appointments, distance from home and the cost of care.
- 64 % of Americans have experienced unkind behavior in a health care setting:
- 38% failure of a caregiver to connect on a personal level
- 36% staff rudeness
- 35% poor listening skills
- Nearly 75% of respondents would be willing to pay more to visit health care providers who emphasized kindness in their treatment approach.
- Nearly 88% are willing to travel farther to receive kinder care.
- 90% of those surveyed say they would feel like switching health care providers after receiving unkind treatment.
Strategies that Turn it Around:
- Make sure everyone—from the boardroom to the break-room, from the lead physician to the head nurse, from the reception desk to the maintenance crew—knows the importance of demonstrating kindness to every person at all times. (And yes, co-workers included!)
- Be present–don’t let the business of the day interfere with truly listening to each patient, each time.
- Be compassionate and show empathy–demonstrate caring.
- Train all employees on a regular basis on what kindness looks and sounds like.
- Reward employees who do it right.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Remember: In today’s busy work environment, most people wear many hats, leaving us short on time to get everything done. Being kind may not take much time, but it does take thought. And the results may surprise you, pleasantly.
When was the last time YOU were treated with kindness in a customer service situation? I would love to hear your story in the comments section below.