Effortless Experience

Is it possible for healthcare providers to make “having cancer” a great experience for their customers or patients? How can something as frightful, painful and emotional as chemotherapy and radiation become a meaningful, life-saving experience? If a business can deliver a superior experience to patients with cancer, there is hope for others to deliver an excellent customer experience for the goods or services they sell.

This topic is near and dear to my heart right now because I was recently diagnosed with cancer. Currently, I am undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment. It took a few days to get over the shock of having cancer and to come to grips with the side effects the treatment. After that I was able to get back into a positive mindset and outlook. This is just something I have to do. I can’t think about it too much or I will lose my nerve. I need to get to the other side of it.

My doctor was 45 mins late to our appointment the day he gave me the news. Of course, I had no idea he would be delivering the cancer message to me. I thought it was a follow-up visit from the outpatient surgery I had the week before. I had no idea he was late because he was scheduling an appointment for me to see an oncologist in the same building as soon as he delivered the news.

When my doctor blazed the path for me straight into the waiting room, it showed me how much he cared. Without him taking this action proactively, I would not have engaged immediately. Instead I would have put off chemo and radiation as long as possible. I would have procrastinated seeking another opinion or other options. Cancer and its remedies were too scary for me.

Next stop: upstairs to the cancer doctor in the Northside Hospital Cancer Institute. Who knew they were going to deliver an experience to me that is blog-worthy? Their current tagline in their marketing campaign is “Built to Beat Cancer”. From the beginning, they have surrounded me with caring and knowledge. As a result, I am informed, empowered, equipped fight and to have a positive outlook.

This institute is part of a new hospital campus in Cumming, GA. The staff from all areas of present themselves as friendly, caring, professional, knowledgeable. From the admissions area, to radiology, and surgical units, to the chemo infusion suit and the radiation treatment area, it is obvious that Northside Hospital and its Cancer Institute have invested a great deal into their people and the culture. They know how to hire the right people and keep them happy and fulfilled. They know how to deliver their brand promise!

The Northside Hospital Cancer Institute has gone to incredible lengths to make this journey easy for me.  They make me want to engage and come back for treatment.

A great example is the sign in the first row of parking on the campus – “Radiation Oncology Patients Only”. I have a lot to worry about, but a parking spot is not one of those concerns.

On those days where I feel bad or have inclement weather they are removing even small complaints.

Northside Hospital Cancer Institute is taking CX the next level. I am a promoter!!!

Stay tuned for more posts about my experience with them and what they are doing to:

  • Make everything as easy as possible for me
  • Make me feel like a welcomed, anticipated and valued guest
  • Make me want to engage and keep coming back for treatments



Slide1Recently I attended an Atlanta Customer Experience event at Pirch. This was a collaborative effort between the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) and the Retail Design Institute.   Attendees were given tour of the showroom and served a delicious breakfast prepared by Pirch chefs.  Afterwards, Pirch CEO, Jeffery Sears, shared the Pirch story and the Pirch philosophy.

In case you haven’t heard of Pirch, visit their website and search Google for their mentions in the news. Pirch is a premier kitchen, bath, and outdoor appliance store selling lifestyle and joy.  Over the past 6 years they have been breaking retail tradition by providing a fresh, new, customer-oriented buying experience.  Their focus on a customer-centric company culture infused with employee passion has raised the bar for customer experience in the retail setting.  All industries should take note of their accomplishments in this regard.

Great customer experiences don’t just happen… they are designed.

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Recently, I had an important networking event and needed some business cards for the next day. I went to a national office supply store to buy some business card templates with pre-printed graphic designs that I could print at home. When I entered the store, I was just before the lunch hour and there were no shoppers in the store. I was greeted promptly by the floor staff and got the typical “Can I help you today?” question. I answered, “No” and went to the aisle where the printing forms were. I looked over the selection and saw two designs but one was hearts and flowers and the other one from 1989. Disappointed, I walked to the door. The sales staff did not inquire further as I walked out of the door.

Later that day I went to Office Depot to see their selection of designs. Read More

Are reward programs really improving loyalty? Have technology, big data and access to it rendered these programs as no longer relevant?

I was at the checkout counter of an office supply store. I don’t buy many office supplies so I visit the store about twice a year. Just before the clerk scans my items he asks if I am a member of their rewards program. Hmmmm…. Am I? I don’t know. I don’t remember. I don’t shop here frequently, so probably not. I answer “No”, but in the back of my mind I think maybe I am a member. If I am, I have no idea where that card is or what my member ID is. I ask the clerk to see if he can find me in the system. I give him about 15 phone numbers – old cell #’s, old office #’s, current address, previous address… and NADA! At this point he asks if I want to sign up. Aaaaahhhh!! Read More

During many conversations I have during the day evangelizing Customer Experience I find that many people think I am talking about Customer Service. You know something that happens after the sale. Providing excellent customer service at every interaction is a big part of Customer Experience, but it is not the end all for delivering a superior customer experience. Wikipedia defines Customer Experience as “the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods and/or services, over the duration of their relationship with that supplier. This can include awareness, discovery, attraction, interaction, purchase, use, cultivation and advocacy. It can also be used to mean an individual experience over one transaction.” I am sure there other definitions, but this one suffices for this post. Read More

Have you ever called a support center to get help with problem with your cable service or anti-virus software and found yourself saying the same thing over and over but getting no results? Or maybe you contacted your mobile phone service provider to ask some questions, but instead of answers the agent kept trying to give you solutions? This is what happens when service providers are listening to “respond” rather than listening to “understand”. Read More