How communicating complex process improves customer experience
Nigerians are accustomed to businesses and public organisations having poor customer experience. We generally expect a certain level of adversity from them, these are caused by obfuscated policies and processes. Think any were from law enforcement, hospitals, even banks.
They low-key frustrate their customers who are unfamiliar with their processes. “Low-key” because, they leave the responsibility of understanding what, how, when, who to their customer. They have complex internal process and are stingy with information.
But hope isn’t lost, in this article I describe my experience at a general practitioner hospital in Abuja, who, with their combination of technology and empathetic staff use what I’d like to call Super Duper Process Explanation delivered great customer experience.
Tell me if this has happened to you recently (or ever)
You walk into a building, you see several uninformed people (they must work here you think), but you’re not sure whom to ask. You’re hesitating at the door, they all look busy, you don’t want to interrupt (this is Nigeria after all, you don’t want a tongue lashing this early morning).
Yes, that happened, my tale is a bit different. One of the uniformed people walks up to you with a smile and asks,
“What do you want to do?”
My comments, I knew what I wanted to do at this hospital, I knew I’d ask someone at the counter so that I’d know the first thing to do. But, the pleasant surprise was that I was approached and asked first.
I answered, “Bla, bla, bla. Some hospital stuff…”
Then she explained to me really quickly: what to do, where to get it done and what to do after that. This explanation had metadata like: whom to talk to, how long each procedure will take, directions around the hospital.
She understood the process intimately. I went to the first stop. Body fluid extractions, deliver to the labs, x-rays, general exams etc.
It played out exactly as explained. I knew what I wanted to do. See a doctor, which doctor? (There were several) any would do. They had special attendants that patrolled the wards, their duty to identify patients who didn’t know exactly what to do. They could tell immediately when someone needing help walked into the hall, hesitant at the door, reading all the signs, searching for a friendly face whom to politely ask etc.
These attendants asked me what I needed to do, and reiterated the process that I had learnt. I was immediately reassured of where I was and what was going to happen, at each point I was reassured that I was on the right track and was making progress.
It appeared that everyone in that organisation was on the same page. They understood what, how, how long, where and where next etc. It was an impressive demonstration of process understanding.
Limi hospital showed me that having a process that is communicated simply, especially in moments of confusion and uncertainty improves the customer’s experience.
Shout out to the Limi hospital and maternity Abuja.