Q: What does good customer experience look like?

A: It looks like whatever the client expects it to be!

Let me explain………….

This weekend I treated myself to a facial.

Despite being a promoter of the need self-care, I still experienced the guilt and internal wrangle about ‘self-indulgence’, repeatedly justifying to myself that it is ok to have some ‘me time’.

In the care world we are so used to caring for other people and putting their needs first, that it is easy to neglect yourself.

Note to self: Organise relaxing events for caregivers

As I lay on the massage couch, (still feeling slightly guilty – although usually this passes once the therapist starts ), I was reflecting on the customer experience from start to finish.

In the past I’ve left the therapy room literally floating on air and not wanting it to end but on this occasion, it was simply just about OK and I was disappointed as I handed over my hard-earned cash.

I started to think about comparisons with our little business at Visiting Angels North Surrey and how we put our trust in our team to carry out the care with the same, passion, skill and attention to detail that we have, and how the poor performance of just one member of staff, on one occasion can impact on the experience of the clients and the reputation of the business.

In short, the therapist, was simply having a bad day – she was running late, the room was cold, the creams were cold, and she was still in ‘rush mode’ throughout the session resulting in her agitation being passed on to me.

As I received the next dollop of cold cream on my face, I reflected on my experience and the importance of self-awareness i.e. understanding how you as an individual can affect the client experience and how staff observation, client feedback and the uses of reflection can be useful learning tools to improve the customer experience.

I thought about how we can be sure that our caregivers consistently provide the best service for our clients. I know that our caregivers want to do their best for the clients (we know our staff) and through in house training we explain how important issues like time keeping, a smile and relaxed manner are to clients.

I also reflected on the importance of giving clients or customers the opportunity for objective feedback – even I didn’t want to be negative to this young girl. who I’m certain didn’t set out to do a bad job (I did mention the creams were a bit cold though). and I know that our clients may be reluctant to ‘get their caregivers into trouble “.

So, my facial reminded me how important it is to regularly ask our clients about their experience, create a culture of welcoming feedback from the start of service, and also ask our caregivers how they feel about their performance during coaching and mentoring sessions to help them identify potential barriers to providing a quality care experience.