Customer Service Conundrum: Why Good Outcomes Can Be Bad for Business

On the surface, it seems so simple: If a patient has a good experience with your practice, it should be a no-brainer that she’d come back when considering subsequent treatments and/or recommend your practice to others.

But as the old Gershwin tune puts it, it ain’t necessarily so. According to a new study from Optus, good customer experiences aren’t the powerful drivers of repeat business that many businesses think they are. Fact is, it takes an outstanding experience to achieve that enviable result. The numbers tell the tale:

  • 95% of those who rated their customer experience as “outstanding” said they would likely remain a customer vs. 39% who rated their experience as “good” and 18% who rated it as “average.”
  • 94% of those who rated their customer experience as “outstanding” said they would likely recommend a business to others vs. 17% who rated their experience as “good” and just 3% who rated it as “average.”
  • On average and across industries, 37% of respondents said they would likely recommend a company to others, although the results varied by industry. The industry most likely to generate recommendations? Health, which topped the results with nearly half (48%) of respondents saying they’d make such recommendations.

Put the above together and it’s clear that businesses that provide outstanding customer experiences can gain a great advantage over their competitors. According to the research, customers are five times more likely to remain loyal to businesses that provide such experiences than businesses that provide average experiences and 30 times more likely to become brand advocates. That means reduced churn rates and customer acquisition costs and the likelihood of more business for less effort.

Now, that is an outstanding outcome.

Doctor Takeaway

Outstanding results require more than great surgical skills Based on the above, delivering an outstanding customer experience is even more important for health providers than for most other industries. And while delivering excellent medical outcomes is Job No. 1, it’s also important to remember that, for patients, it’s the whole package — responses to initial inquiries, staff interactions, issue resolution — that separates good experiences from truly outstanding ones. Doctors who understand that and provide what matters most to patients will be the ones those patients rely on and recommend to others.

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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