What's the best investment an innovative healthcare organization can make? The CEO of a mid-sized hospital gave me a great answer to that question in an interview this week: "Plane tickets." Preparing for a big change at his organization, he flew as far as Rome to gather information from organizations that had undertaken a similar venture.
At the HealthLeaders Media Marketing Experience event this past fall, we asked participants to share with us their thoughts on what they've learned from companies outside of healthcare. From hotels to spas to retailers to motorcycle manufacturers to theme parks, lessons on experience abound, according to attendees of the event. Their words of wisdom are short and sweet (we gave them medium-sized Post-It notes to write their answers).
The Airline Industry
Speaking of plane tickets . . . Healthcare and the airline industries are often compared in terms of safety. There's also a link in that airline travel is not always pleasant. But participants said they've learned a few lessons in service excellence from the airlines nonetheless. For example:
The Hospitality Industry
Hotels and destinations make travel special and memorable. Can hospitals follow suit? It's true that a day in the hospital is not the same as a day at the beach. But here are a few ways healthcare organizations can put the "hospital" in "hospitality:"
Another popular theme: comparing hospitals and Disney. Some of the souvenirs participants suggest you consider tucking in your suitcase:
Apparently we had a few shoppers in the audience. And apparently they're shopping at Nordstrom's and Talbots—the two most frequently cited examples of stores that offer excellent customer service. For example:
And a few surprises
Personally, I wouldn't necessarily buy a plane ticket to a fast food restaurant or a car dealership in search of service excellence examples. And don't get me started on the financial industry. But our optimistic sticky-note posters shared some ideas they've gleaned from these and other unlikely sources. For example: