Re-Envisioning the Customer

Lucy, Customer Service Facilitator, engages the team

Lucy, Customer Service Facilitator, engages the team

We have long talked about customer service as an important element of operations at Jacaranda. Our clients are the reason we are here, and their feedback drives us to improve. We’ve written about building “soft skills” among our clinical staff to ensure we’re upholding the highest standards with clients, but rarely have we talked about customer service as an internal – not just external – priority. How do we treat each other on a daily basis, and how do we interact with our suppliers, emergency transporters, and community mobilizers? How can we live by one of our core values, “strength in diversity,” as fully as possible? Most importantly, how do we build a culture of support, respect, and accountability at every one of our interpersonal touch points?

This past week, the entire Jacaranda team participated an interactive customer service seminar. We talked about ABCs (attitude, behavior, and competence) of customer service, and discussed the benefits of good service delivery not only to the customer but also to the organization and the employee. We identified personal and collective goals, and explored ways to build customer loyalty. We used real-life examples to explore customer service principles; for example, our clients often carry anxiety and fear from past maternity experiences, thus it’s particularly important for us to develop the tools to interact with empathy and support, under any circumstance.

A small group discusses interaction touch points

A small group discusses interaction touch points

Finally, we mapped all of our (internal and external!) customer touch points, from the greeting at the clinic door to the way in which we welcome birth companions. In small groups, we identified the attitudes and behavior that we aim to uphold at each interaction point, as well as the emotions we would wish to invoke in our customer. Mapping the customer experience helped us understand the  expectations of our customers and colleagues, and  determine the actionable items to drive a culture of service excellence. It will be a journey, but we hope that this first customer service training is the first step of many in the right direction.

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