Read the latest ideas and best practices from our experts on infusing a culture of health.
Defining customer service excellence with wellness programs
Posted on Nov 20, 2013 | Written by Dave Hurt | Comments (0)
Studies show wellness programs can have a positive effect on employee satisfaction with the company they work for and the benefits their company offers.
Likewise, participant satisfaction with the wellness program itself is equally important, as participants who enjoy their experience are more likely to repeatedly engage with the program.
But what exactly does customer service excellence with wellness programs look like?
In health care, convenience and staff attitude are critical factors that determine a consumer’s satisfaction with customer service, according to a PwC Health Research Institute report.
Other descriptions of exceptional service in health care include, “doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right person, and having the best quality result (outcome),” says the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
With employee health and wellness programs, we see customer service excellence as a hybrid of both definitions. To ensure a positive participant experience, it requires:
- An easy-to-access path for participation;
- The right resources at the right time; and
- Ongoing communication/opportunities for feedback.
Make health convenient by removing barriers
Customer service excellence ensures the participant experience is sound from every touch point. But before participants can take the first step in your company wellness program, you must first remove barriers that prevent them from participating.
One way to clear the way forward for a wellness culture is by establishing a mission statement that is customer-centric, visible to participants and supported throughout the organization. The right mission statement can help ground management and participants in the purpose of the program, and guide future programming.
For example, one client’s mission statement with its health management program is to: “Provide appropriate resources and opportunities, while creating an environment that supports, inspires and empowers employees and their families to take responsibility for their personal health and overall well-being through healthy choices.”
In alignment with its mission, this employer makes healthy behaviors easy by providing fresh produce, safe walking trails and access to nearby parks. To keep its mission on the forefront, this client also includes this mission statement on all participant-facing posters, flyers and emails about the wellness program.
Right resources at the right time
With a health improvement mission statement in-hand, the next step to ensure a positive participant experience is to examine service delivery for each population within the company.
Questions to ask to assure the right resources are available at the right time for participants include:
- How easy is it for participants to register for the program?
- How easy is it to reach the right person if participants have program questions?
- How intuitive is the website for participants to navigate and find the health resources they need at the moment they search?
For example, offering a toll-free telephone number that integrates all health-related vendors can go a long way in making it convenient to connect the right resources at the right time. Sometimes a question may need addressing from the employee assistance program or other services, so it’s important to be able to connect the participant to what they need when they need it.
Facilitate ongoing participant feedback
Ongoing communication about your wellness program helps participants understand their health is important to their employer.
Soliciting feedback about the program can help increase a participant’s buy-in, and a clear problem-resolution-feedback process can play a critical role in letting participants know their opinion counts.
For example, one technology client with a large corporate fitness center uses comment card boxes to collect feedback. Each submission receives a friendly “thank you, we heard you” response within 48 hours with a plan of resolution.
Surveys, informal chats and an email address where people can send ideas are additional tools to gather feedback, measure employee satisfaction and identify ways to improve your program.
Learn more about successful wellness programs
Customer service excellence is just one of seven cornerstones we use to help clients achieve health management success. To learn more about our seven cornerstones, download our quick-read eBook “How to turn wellness programs into the corporate culture.”
Dave is a regional vice president in Account Management. His role includes startup of new programs, transition of existing programs, employee recruiting and training, program quality assurance, and operations management for HealthFitness. Dave has been with HealthFitness for 19 years and brings more than 25 years of industry experience.