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Hire and Train to Support a Practice Culture that Prioritizes Your Patients

Zappos, the online clothing and shoe store, was founded in 1999. Ten years later, Amazon bought the company for $1.2 billion. They operate it as an independent subsidiary due to the world-class customer service that is at the core of Zappos’ success. In his book Delivering Happiness, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh outlines how the company built a culture around providing this level of service, and how this culture has created a competitive advantage for the company.

This 8-minute video summarizes how they did this.

Hsieh’s basic message is: By defining a company’s core values, and then hiring and training people based on these values, you will create passionate employees and a profitable company.

Creating Your Patient-Focused Practice

Your practice should not simply mimic everything about the Zappos corporate culture. While they certainly have a great model, what you should really look to model is the process described in the video above. Ultimately, your goal should be to define how your practice can provide exceptional service given your opportunities as well as any obstacles based on your geography, your existing team, and the unique privacy issues that exist for medical practices.

By providing exceptional service, you will set yourself apart from your competition. In fact, by assessing industry norms along with the unique qualities of your direct competitors, you can find ways to go the extra mile. This will often lead your patients to tell their friends – or even better, to post a glowingly positive online review. If your competitors have a big head start, you may also want to take proactive steps to encourage your happy patients to post reviews.

Sooner or later, you will also get negative reviews or feedback. Whenever possible, you should have systems in place to catch any complaints before a patient gets so frustrated that they post a negative online review. But whether you get direct negative feedback or someone posts online, the key is to use this information to make improvements. Keep in mind that when it comes to your reputation, people’s perception is what counts. By taking steps to manage those perceptions, you can even turn negative feedback into a net gain.

If you cultivate a culture for delivering exceptional service, you will develop a positive reputation on a wide collection of review and social media websites. This becomes a key element of your overall online presence. When a prospect is comparing you to your competitors, your positive online reputation will allow your ads and offers will perform significantly better. Thus, by providing exceptional service, you increase the ROI of virtually all of your advertising and promotional activities.