Customer Care Training
Following the publication of the latest General Practice Patient Survey Leila Horsnell at Barking and Dagenham PCT contacted Impact Factory with a brief to breathe new life into their customer service delivery.
Commissioned by the Department of Health the GPPS is designed to assess patients' experiences of their local NHS services.
Practices are rewarded on the basis of the responses and with "patients' experiences" at the heart of the survey, an awareness of customer service within practices, and the impact that has on patients, is vital.
From the middle of January Impact Factory delivered eight sessions of "Intensive Customer Care".
Each session comprised a mixture of patient facing staff, receptionists, GP's, nurses and practice managers.
Written and delivered by Kate Arneil, each session began with the recognition of the enormous amount of positive feedback reflected in the GPPS.
Customer Service in Barking and Dagenham was already at a high standard; we were there to finesse not fix.
Discussion followed as to where excellent customer service was currently being delivered, with each delegate encouraged to contribute a personal example of their own.
This evolved into a discussion of where delegates felt comfortable and then less comfortable i.e., demanding and challenging patients, rude and aggressive and persistent patients, and those refusing to accept the given options.
Insight and awareness were key drivers in the sessions: - insight into where Customer Service is currently working and awareness of the behaviours which the delegates are currently using to create excellent customer service.
We continued to develop an understanding of the behaviours which could help with difficult patients and circumstances.
A key part of our session was to allow the delegates the opportunity to put these behaviours into practice.
Having experienced the new behaviour and acknowledged their ability to be flexible around different types of challenging patients, delegates felt more empowered to use new techniques.
The final element of the session was Forum Theatre, where delegates had the opportunity to manage difficult situations as they are played out.
The actors become the challenging patient, the distracted receptionist, the disengaged GP, the delegates suggest the appropriate behavioural change which result in the patient feeling they have been dealt with appropriately.
This training was an investment in the people who work in the practices, as recognition of the excellent work they do and also of the often difficult and demanding circumstances they work in.
This training was designed to give each delegate an awareness of what they already do well and to provide additional support where necessary.
Barking and Dagenham PCT with their partner Impact Factory strongly believe that more confident, aware and empowered staff provides better and more consistent customer service.
Read about PCT Primary Care Trust Customer Service Training
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