Service Excellence Guide
Service Excellence is a philosophy of performing every aspect of interacting with people in the work environment in the most outstanding manner possible. It is a commitment by each employee to provide excellent customer service to every person they come in contact with during the course of their workday. It is a recognition by the employee that their reason for employment depends on the satisfaction of their customers, and that their customers include patients, faculty, peers, vendors, and others.
The missions of UTMB include patient care, education, research and service, and these are all classified as belonging to the service industry. In other words, the product of our work and the reason for our organization to exist is to provide service to others. Unlike other industries, such as manufacturing, we cannot judge the quality of our product by the number of units sold or the number of defects per product produced. That is why it is difficult to utilize a manufacturing methodology or management philosophy in the delivery of health care, education and research. Our product is to provide a service to others and the value of our product is defined by the satisfaction of our customers.
Service organizations that are successful in the marketplace today are those that provide outstanding customer service to the public by earning and retaining the loyalty of their customers. If UTMB is going to be successful, we must view ourselves as owners of this enterprise and we must take an active role in insuring that is successful. If our business is going to thrive, we must define who our customers are and insure that we are meeting their needs. If we can provide outstanding customer service, our organization will prosper and we will be successful owners.
All of you were selected to work here because you had outstanding qualifications and are an expert in your particular area. We now ask you to expand your horizon beyond your own office and explore what you can do to improve teamwork, provide assistance to others, and, above all, to devise new ways to provide better customer service to our customers. If you can solve a patient’s problem or assist a faculty member, even though “it is not my job”, we urge you to do so. If we all work together, the end result will be improved customer service.
We do not have all the answers for improving customer service. This guide is an initial effort to list some activities that we think will improve customer service. These are not rules, but recommendations on how we can provide better service. From past experience, we have found that those closest to the work environment usually have the best ideas for improving business processes. So we encourage all of you to look for better, more efficient and more effective ways to do things. Are there processes we can change that will make life easier for our patients and other customers, or our faculty more productive? We look to you for those answers and promise we are willing to listen to suggestions.
· Answering the telephone:
-We should answer the phone by identifying ourselves and providing the department name – “Department of OB/GYN, this is John Doe”
-We should attempt to answer the phone before the third ring
-If we receive a call from a patient seeking a department or specific person, we should look up the number, provide it to the patient, and then transfer them to the number
-We should always offer to take a message and promise a return call to someone calling for a person not available
-If we put someone on hold for more than two minutes, we should get back on the line and explain why they are still holding. We should offer them a call back if it looks like they will spend a long time on hold
-We should always use a pleasant voice on the telephone. Customers can tell if you are bored, angry, or not interested
-Calls from the media should be directed to the Office of University Advancement at ext 22618
· Telephone Courtesy:
-Do not use your voicemail to screen calls
-Return telephone calls within 24 hours
-Insure that the instructions on your appointment messages are clear
-Do not release faculty cell phone numbers without permission
-Do not have a voicemail that does not give the caller an option to talk
to a human being
-Do not page someone and leave your office
-When transferring if you take a call/message for someone, get their full name of the person, where they are from and their number so that the customer will not have to repeat themselves again to the person you are transferring them to
-Again when transferring a call, give the customer the phone number to which you are transferring them to just in case you get disconnected
· Email Courtesy:
-If you have multiple addresses in your salutation and you are asking for a response, specify who is supposed to answer, unless you want six people answering the same question
-Be careful when you respond to a group email that you do not respond to all, or everyone on the list will receive your answer
-Do not use email as a methodology to avoid directly meeting with people to discuss sensitive issues
-Do not use email to insult people or raise embarrassing issues
-If you receive an email requesting an answer and it will be an extended time before you can respond, send an interim reply
-Do not use group address emails to send out personal information or ask for non-business assistance
-Do not release patient information in an email
· Patient Complaints:
-When taking a call from an unhappy patient, get as much information for the physician as possible. Be sensitive with your questions; the patient is already in pain or angry by the time they get to us.
-If possible, try to develop a good relationship with the patient. We want them to come back
-If applicable and only if the patient has given you their call back number, call the patient later in the day or the next day to make sure their situation has been addressed. The show of administration’s concern is a reflection of the physician, the department and the institution.
· Office Administration
-You should do your best to keep your work area clean, neat and welcoming
-Sensitive and confidential issues should never be left open and unattended on your desk
-If you receive a fax by mistake, take the time to find out where the fax should have been sent to. Some faxes are patient related and they need to get to appropriate place.
-If you are unsure of something, always ask
· Elevator and Hallway Courtesy
-If you see someone in the hall that looks lost, offer them assistance. It is sometimes difficult to find your way around. If you offer help then the patient will be more inclined to come back.
-When entering into a hallway, open the door slightly to make sure you do not hit someone walking toward you.
-When walking down a hall, stay on the right hand side of the hallway and do not try and rush by slower patients.
-Give patient transporters the right of way and assist them if they are entering or exiting an elevator.
-Do not enter an elevator until the passengers on it have had the opportunity to exit.
-If you are the first passenger on the elevator, hold the door for those entering and ask what floor you can punch for them.
· Patient Courtesy
-Treat patients as you would like a family member treated
-Remember that patients may not be feeling well and they may have trouble understanding your instructions. Speak slowly and ask if they have any questions. Be polite at all times.
-Try and answer patient questions without having to refer them to several other people. If you can make a call and answer their question, do it.
-We want our patients to return to us for all their health care. Do everything you can to insure they do.
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Last modified: 07/21/2008