16 Oct 2011

Shift Your Focus to Customer Experiences

Griffin Hospital earns customer loyalty, and accolades, by creating customer experiences. Griffin Hospital’s efforts to understand the lives of patients and their families has earned them extreme customer loyalty. Their goal was to imagine what it would be like to be the patient so they could improve the experience for both patients and their families. But Griffin Hospital hadn’t always received this type of accolade.
Back in 1982, Griffin Hospital was very far from enjoying extreme loyalty. At that time, one-third of the local community named Griffin as the hospital they would avoid if they could. That rude awakening pushed them to rethink their purpose and literally everything they did. The hospital wanted to create an experience to remember.

Music in the Parking Lot and a Piano in the Lobby
Being told that it was avoided whenever possible pushed Griffin to rethink the purpose for their hospital, physicians, and caregivers. Their goal was to become the hospital of choice in the community. Griffin knew that if “choice” was the goal, then they had to readjust their purpose; they needed to move from being healthcare providers to being service providers.
Griffin had to stop executing required tasks and determine what experience they would deliver, what patient and family emotions were involved. They found that the emotional journey of going to the hospital begins in the parking lot. So Griffin provides free valet parking and concierge services. Music in the parking lot and lobby welcomes visitors and takes away the sterile “hospital” feeling.
Says Bill Powanda, Griffin Hospital vice president:
It doesn’t matter if you have the shortest emergency room wait times around and deliver the greatest care in the nation; if parking is a nightmare, your patients won’t be completely satisfied.”
Griffin Hospital Enjoys a 99 Percent Recommendation Rate
Understanding the customer emotions involved in “coming and going” from a hospital visit prompted actions that made Griffin stand out. Those bookend experiences are part of the magnet that pulls people back to Griffin. No longer considered the “black sheep” hospital of the community, Griffin grows through customer referrals. Inpatient admissions grew 28 percent from 1997 to 2009, compared with a state average growth rate of 10 percent. And outpatient services grew 92 percent from 1998 to 2009.
Griffin Hospital has become the hospital of choice not only for their community, but for surrounding communities as well. One-third of Griffin Hospital’s customers come from outside of the community where it’s located. Ten percent of administrators of U.S. hospitals want to visit Griffin Hospital to learn from them.
Do you think about how you punctuate your moments of connection with customers? First impressions last the longest. Is yours purposeful? Does it create the ideal first opinion of your business?
What Are Your Customer Experience Bookends?
Griffin Hospital decided to eliminate the fear of hospital visits with music in their parking lots and a concierge in their lobby. The memory of these “experience bookends” bonds visitors to them. Ask yourself:
  • Do you have a purposeful beginning and ending to moments of customer contact?
  • Are you creating memories or just executing tasks?
  • How would you rate your intent and ability to create purposeful moments of customer contact?
  • How would your customers say you are doing?
  • Do customers rave about a memorable experience?
  • What are the marquee moments in your customers’ experiences with you?
  • Do your decisions for creating memorable bookends earn you “beloved” status today?

SMB and Entrepreneur News and Tips

SMB and entrepreneur news and tips help inform the leaders of the future. The small business and entrepreneurship of tomorrow will create new jobs and new opportunities. Information is the key to building that future as effectively as possible.


Companies are hiring-just not hiring you. With unemployment levels as high as they are, it is paradoxical that employers can not find employees to fill vacancies. This was known to be the case in many high tech job openings, but it is now being reported across almost all levels of employment. The main concern of companies is that applicants simply do not have the basic skills needed for the opening. It appears that our educational system and our training programs are not providing the skills required. msnbc.com
How to attract talent to a small company. How do you attract talent to a small business? Most likely you can’t pay the high salary and offer the benefits that the large successful companies do. What you can do is to try to show the perspective employee the advantages of working for a small business and emphasize the success and potential of your business. You also should attempt to structure the job requirements and the pay and benefits package to try to meet his particular situation. Wall Street Journal
A 4-step approach to solving workplace conflict. Resolving conflict in the workplace can be very time-consuming for the owner of a small business. When you only have a small number of employees, this type of interruption can be very costly in terms of time management and productivity. This article presents a structured model for dealing with these situations in a hopefully efficient manner. The model emphasizes face to face meetings with disruptive employees and using outlined steps in resolving the conflict. msnbc.com

Human Resources

Starting a Teach for America for Entrepreneurs. It has been difficult for small business owners or entrepreneurs to attract the brightest or the best of college graduates. Now we are beginning to see the start of organizations that are working toward attracting college graduates. One such organization is Venture for America which is based on the very successful Teach for America. You’re the Boss
Can retraining give the unemployed a second chance? The jury appears to still be out on the retraining of the unemployed. Among other factors that affect the outcome is that it has become somewhat of a political football. This article cites some examples of where retraining seems to have worked. One of the biggest hindrances is that some people have been unemployed so long that even with retraining the type of work available is totally unfamiliar to them. In addition many of the jobs that they are familiar with no longer exist, at least in this country. In theory retraining is a worthwhile undertaking but it still requires a lot of refining to make it really successful. msnbc.com
Why your company (probably) can’t innovate. Stephen Shapiro challenges some of the conventional wisdom that many small businesses use in attempting to foster new ideas. One of the main areas he disagrees with is the hiring of people that “fit” into the organization. By doing this you will not generate new ideas, but rather you need someone who rubs people the wrong way to insure you get divergent points of view. CNN Money


10 things only bad managers say. What type of boss do you work for? Does he frequently complement you on your work, or is he the type that finds fault and criticizes everything you do and every idea you have? The ten characteristics of a bad boss may be a good indication of whether you’ve entered the bad manager zone. msnbc.com
Small businesses: Building community through hiring. One of the advantages of owning your own small business is that in addition to being profitable and generating wealth, you have the opportunity to pursue social good. Many small business owners use their business to help improve their community or to give people a second chance. One such endeavor is to become involved in a group such as TRIO. These programs have some risks involved but the rewards to the community can be so satisfying. The Christian Science Monitor

Legal & Liability

The S Corp Versus The LLC. The S Corporation and the LLC (Limited Liability Company) are the two most common ways of setting up a small business. The two types have several key similarities. There are also quite a number of differences. Which type of entity you choose depends on the needs of your particular small business. Small Business Trends
Small business insurance: More than general liability. To many small business owners, insurance is general liability insurance. While this is very good coverage to have, there are a number of other types of insurance that need to be considered to protect your business. The small business owner must evaluate which types of insurance are needed for his particular situation.


Bollywood Hot Girl Deepika Padukone has been offered to play the heroine to Rajinikanth in his next film. The untitled film to be produced by a big South Indian production house will have Rajini playing a double role. Deepika is said to be excited to play opposite Rajinikanth, but she is equally disappointed as the film goes to floors this year itself.
Nayanthara is one of the leading actress who is subjugated almost the Mole Tamil and Telugu industry with her ideal body and the glamour of the film.