Mayo Clinic looks to changing demographics in customer service approach

A patient experience approach by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota may represent a new front in healthcare customer service, according to Forbes.

The clinic's approach, "destination medicine," brings together experts from a broad spectrum of specialties and, because entire families often visit the clinic, Mayo's room design keeps large groups of relatives and friends in mind. The design includes features like specially shaped sofas that can seat as many as a dozen visitors. These amenities put patient needs at the forefront, according to Forbes contributor Micah Solomon.

"The relationship that matters is among your customers; the relationship between your customer and their service provider--you--is in a real sense secondary: it's a role for you of facilitation and support," Solomon writes. "If you provide a stage, a backdrop for the primary relationships of your customer, you can become, and remain, their provider of choice."

As providers structure their customer service model around this idea, Solomon writes, they should keep a few considerations about modern demographics in mind, such as:

  • The larger number of single-person households, which means single people will form "alternative groupings"

  • The fact that millennials travel with their parents far more than previous generations

  • The high number of U.S. households--80 percent--that do not follow the traditional nuclear family format of a mother, father and children

  • The increasing number of people who travel for an interest or hobby

Solomon compares the amenities offered by Mayo to those at the newly-opened Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, which similarly considers units other than the nuclear family in hospitality and customer service considerations.

A May article drew similar parallels, suggesting lessons in customer service Disney theme parks can teach healthcare, such as personalizing the experience for individual customers based on their preferences. Others, however, have argued that some customer service amenities, such as flat-screen televisions and room service, have more to do with marketing than patient outcomes, FierceHealthcare previously reported.  

To learn more:
- read the Forbes article