Service, please

Service, please

Industries that traditionally offer lousy service levels are taking lessons –literally– from the hotel industry. They are learning to treat customers nicely and do the other things we take for granted when we stay at a quality hotel. The Wall St. Journal article (Selling the Special Touch) raised my hopes by mentioning health care as an industry learning lessons from hotels.

A growing number of companies in industries not known for great customer service — banks, hospitals, law firms and car dealerships, to name a few — are increasingly seeking help from luxury hotels that pride themselves on service, like the Four Seasons Hotels Inc. and Marriott International Inc.’s Ritz-Carlton hotels.

I eagerly read on, waiting to read about the great transformation of service levels by hospitals or physician groups. Alas, any such mentions were edited out of the article in favor of more compelling examples from car dealers.

There are some examples of good customer service in health care, but most of the improvements are fairly superficial like adding valet parking to a hospital. We’ll have to wait awhile before we read about anything truly wonderful.

July 19, 2006

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