"Do you think customer service is important?" - Best way to respond

  1. I have been invited to a new grad fair, where different managers will be at the fair and potential candidates interview managers for a set time. Like speed dating. Having already had an interview, I'm now going over the questions that I was asked at that interview, and I'm retooling my responses. One question I was not completely prepared for was if I thought customer service was important. I said I believe customer service is important and I believe the patient should feel comfortable. I also said I understand that patient satisfaction scores affect reimbursement, just to show I understood why I was asked this question. I did, but not completely. Later, another person on the panel asked "what if this is a patient who is here 5 times a week, and not satisfied with what you are doing?". Unfortunately there are many people like that, and they adversely affect Press Gainey scores. But of course, I couldn't say that out loud. I just answered "I would do the best I can". Not a very satisfactory answer. In hind site, I would mention referring the patient to a case manager or psych evaluator. Okay, maybe not the psych evaluator, because I don't want the interviewers to think I think dissatisfied patients are crazy. I could also mention what my current facility does with regard to dissatisfied patients. It's called service recovery. Basically, if a patient is dissatisfied with something and we cannot fix it (like a delay getting an MRI for instance), we provide them a gift card for them to use at our cafeteria, coffee shop or gift shop.

    But I want to know what an interviewer wants to hear in response to such a question. What is an answer that will impress someone, knock their socks off?

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    Joined: Sep '09; Posts: 1,557; Likes: 2,537
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience


  3. by   Eric Cartman
    I can't answer your questions from a hiring managers point of view, but I can answer it from my own experience, based on the practice where I work. Customer satisfaction is very important. Patients coming in for treatment where I work, allows me to have a job; that pays quite well. If patients are not satisfied with physician care, overall health outcome, scheduling satisfaction, nursing interaction, and so on, what is to stop the patient from seeking healthcare elsewhere? The other important factor is that health care is not cheap! It costs about $350 for a 1 hour patient appointment with the doctor. If you had to pay that much money out of pocket (let's forget health insurance for a second), I'm pretty sure you are going to want quality care, organized staff interaction, punctuality of the physician and nurse, and a friendly environment. If you don't receive what you are looking for during your appointment, I would assume that you would go elsewhere for care.

    Without satisfied patients, I wouldn't have a job. Healthcare is a business. Even though I work for a nonprofit organization, there are still many expenses that need to be covered, so we can offer top notch care to the patients we serve.

    That's my opinion. Hope it helps.
  4. by   llg
    I would recommend you start with assessment. That's usually a good place to start. Why is the patient dissatisfied? What is really going on with this patient? What is their real need? etc. Then based on what your assessment shows, you diagnose... plan ... intervewn ... and evaluate. Your follow-up evaluation will help the patient feel cared for as well as assure that the patient's real needs are being met.

    I know the old, standard nursing process is not very "new" or "glamorous," but it can provide a good framework for a question such as this.
  5. by   NewGoalRN
    Great response! I would add that I would try to arrange some time with the patient for them to expressly state what they feel is wrong or why they are not happy.

    I would ACTIVELY listen and then restate to them what I hear them saying to make sure that I have got everything.

    Then I would implement ADPIE with the intervention including some of the service recovery that the OP spoke of, have a supervisor speak to them, aplogize and mean it etc and then follow up to see if their needs were met and if what we have done has helped.
  6. by   whichone'spink
    Thank you for your responses. Had I prepared for this question, I would have answered along the same lines mentioned above. I would assess the problem, help to come up with a solution or refer this problem up the hierarchy (charge nurse, manager, house supervisor etc), and evaluate the outcome. And if the outcome is still unchanged, service recovery would come in handy. On my current unit, we've had to use this several times because other departments dropped the ball with regards to tests and whatnot. And this is what I would also do for the frequent flier who's not satisfied with anything at all. AIDET is helpful too. Now my challenge is keeping this response short and sweet, because the interviews will not be that long.

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