Healthcare: Why Does Your Boss Do Laundry?

I received a text message from my manager asking me to call her back in five minutes–she was doing her laundry.  Her text caught me off guard  enough to make me believe there had to be a pony hidden somewhere within her statement.

Why does your boss do laundry?

For the same reason your boss makes school lunches, changes the oil in the car, unloads the dishwasher, buys the groceries, pays the bills, picks the children up after soccer, and does the hundreds of other things each week that require adult supervision.

Who not if not us? If not you. Things need to get done. Also on everyone’s list are schedule the kids’ physicals. Pick Sally up from school and take her to the doctor because she sprained her ankle during gym. Walk the dog. Order refills for your father-in-law. Take Sally from the doctor to an urgent care clinic for an X-Ray. Walk the dog. Dispute an insurance claim.

Stuff happens.

And here is why that matters. Everyone you meet is either your patient or a potential patient. You have stuff, and they have stuff. The last thing anyone needs is to have to spend more time than is needed to do things they do not want to do.

People do not want to spend fifteen minutes on the phone with Verizon. And they do not want to spend fifteen minutes on the phone scheduling a physical with Our Lady of We Have All The Time In The World.

But guess what? For the most part, you no longer have to spend 15 minutes on the phone with Verizon. Most of the things that you need to accomplish with Verizon can be accomplished online. Not true with healthcare.

Is Verizon a mobile-first company, one that reengineered all of its processes so that the things you need to do could be completed virtually? No. It is just a company that lets customers do some things online.

A true mobile-first company is one that is at its best without a call center, one that says to its customers, ‘You can’t call us.’ Those companies, companies like Amazon, Netflix, and eBay, designed their businesses so that people never need to call them.

And how has that affected them? These companies function better than all of the other companies. And they tripled their customer service hours. Instead of only helping their customers between 8-5, Monday through Friday, they offer 24 x 7 customer service 365 days a year.  Online.  Without ever having to talk to anyone.

Their customer satisfaction is higher than any healthcare firm. Their marginal cost of providing exceptional customer service to their next customer is zero.

Your boss does laundry. People are busy. Nobody in their right mind wants to talk to anyone in your firm with the exception of speaking with a clinician. And for some reason, most health systems and payers do not provide that service.

People call your organization because they have no other choice. Before spending a fortune improving your call center, rethink the business problem. And then rethink the solution.

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