Imagine that you’re a hospital patient about to be discharged, and two employees (a nurse and a tech) are standing in front of you but looking at each other (not you). The tech asks the nurse “What should we do in this case?” The nurse responds, “Well much of this is a patient issue; I’d suggest that he do a better job of caring for himself at home, modifying his diet.” The tech responds, “That’s a great point. Patients need to take more ownership over their own health.”
It makes the customer want to yell “HELLO!! I’M RIGHT HERE!!”
Whether it’s a hospital patient or a banking client, a fast-food customer or an event patron, customers want you to talk with them – not about them as if they’re not even there.
So when you do need customers to do something (such as take better care of their health, complete forms, send in some paperwork, get their own condiments, or find their own seat), you want them to do so right the first time. You want your and their outcomes to be positive. And the best way to get the customer to do what they need to do is to involve them in the process. We’re talking buy-in, and buy-in isn’t just for employees; it’s for customers, too.
When decisions need to be made or processes require customer action, include the customer in the discussion – encourage and allow their input.
An article titled Getting results in practice: The importance of patient involvement is written by a nutritionist who advocates getting patient compliance and ownership over their health by building their “knowledge of one’s health and the skills and confidence to self-manage chronic conditions.” She states that “A more balanced power distribution between patient and doctor fosters patient confidence and allows the patient to play a larger role in achieving his or her health outcomes.”
Involve your customer in their process of working with you and in your decisions. It will build their compliance, their participation, and your sales.
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Very good point. Patient communication and involvement can make a big difference in the overall outcome. It also builds a comfort for the patient and will ultimately provide a more positive relationship with the patient.