Health Ministry Spearheads Customer Care Training In Hospitals

GOVERNMENT  on Monday unveiled the customer care training program for health institutions aimed at establishing accountability between staff and patients as well as giving good lasting experiences.

By HealthTimes Reporter

Speaking at the launch  graced by First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa who is equally concerned with customer care in hospitals, Health and Childcare Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo noted how customer experience is increasingly becoming topical.

“Everyone has an experience interacting with organizations in hospitality, banking, insurance, financial services and retail, it’s become very clear that customer experience is increasingly on people’s minds. It can be frustrating for customers – and employees – when institutional systems or customer-interfacing processes fail to deliver a positive touch point or the needed action on raised concerns,” he said.

Dr Moyo also noted what will happen in faulty customer feedback mechanisms.

“Two things often happen when the customer-provider interactions are less then optimal:

“If you’re lucky, customers switch to other communication channels, to register their frustration through social media and across their personal and professional networks, reaching many audiences, the intended and the unintended resulting in bad publicity.

“If you’re unlucky, they switch to competitors who provide a better customer experience.

“Customer loyalty and brand promises are irreparably shattered. Our job as leaders is to provide value to customers by removing obstacles and making it easy and memorable to receive our services,” he said.

He also said, “. Good customer experiences require change across all parts of the organization, from reception, triaging, treatment and testing to receiving customer feedback. Our actions should speak more, and our efforts directed more towards building a singular accountable organization. Let us aspire for an alignment that delivers a single complete customer solution. We should track our waiting times at various service delivery points, order fill rate and staff behaviour amongst other quality of service indicators. In doing so, we truly drive all service delivery and decisions around best customer outcomes.”

The Health Minister said customer service programs enable institutions to reframe problems and opportunities by taking the customer’s perspective.

“The biggest challenge facing leaders is with culture and team organization. Customer care transformations require a shift from advisory and “ivory tower” positions to more operational participatory approach. Customer care issues should be more visible in the institutional efforts and key discussions and should be brought to the attention of the in-charges at relevant levels. “Furthermore, they must be documented must be the resolution made thereof. This operational control makes it easier to influence and drive culture change within and across the organization,” he said.

He revealed that his ministry is already implementing customer feedback soliciting systems under the RBF program.

“Self-administered tools and other platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook will complement suggestion boxes in harvesting user feedback. As leaders we are charged with maintaining a keen eye in resolutions taken in attending to the data generated. The Ministry should be comparing this data across facilities and provinces. This will help identify common customer care pain points in addition to systems performance.

“We encourage our facilities to organize ‘meet your customer days’ to encourage users to actively participate in the design of service provision that affect them,” he said.

The First Lady applauded the Ministry of Health in spearheading this initiative.

“It is befitting that the Ministry has made this strategic choice in the endeavour that the country’s health service delivery becomes more responsive to the needs of its users. The customer care  program  should reflect a positive image and a more customer focused philosophy incorporating the voice of the users in the design of how healthcare delivery should be is the gateway to enable providers to avail the service as expected,” she said.

Mai Mnangagwa also said, “A healthy Zimbabwe is a must and is the first step in revamping our country operations and our economy.”

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