According to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Federal Government proposes to make bonus payments in 2011 to Medicare Advantage plans which achieve high patient satisfaction scores.
CMS Administrator Dr. Donald Berwick states that “The 5-star rating system helps people with Medicare make meaningful distinctions between high-performing and low-performing health plans. They also allow plan sponsors to see how they compare to other plans and encourage them to improve care and customer service, so their plans are more attractive to Medicare beneficiaries. The demonstration rewards high performers more than low performers, creating an incentive for all performers to improve.”
Essentially, funding will be based in part on patient satisfaction related to quality of care and customer service.
Can you imagine customers paying you varying amounts based on how well they feel they were cared for and how good the customer service is that you deliver?
Would that change behaviors of staff? Would leaders invest more in training, research, technology, and other improvements that enhance the customer’s experience and the employee’s ability to be GREAT at customer service? I would hope the answers to both questions would be “Yes!”
The reality is that customers are already behaving in this way. Studies have shown that customers will spend – on average – 10% more for the same product with better customer service. Studies have shown that sales can increase if the customer is engaged in a positive and productive way by employees. Studies have shown that the biggest determinant of whether or not a customer is kept is whether they feel like the company and its employees care for them.
Don’t wait for the government to pay you more for higher customer satisfaction. Your customers are already doing that themselves.
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