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#PR: Gr8 Customer Service = Gr8 PR
By: Gerard E. Mayers
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I’ve not contributed my weekly blogs here for several weeks due to my wife being seriously ill for much of the month of February. Without going into detail about why she was in hospital and et cetera, I can happily say she is now home, recovering, and making progress… albeit slowly.

Her overall experience while in hospital and my experience of visiting her and interacting with the doctors and nurses taking care of her and doing their level best to make her well got me to thinking.

In some of my varied blogs over the last few years, I’ve mentioned how important customer service can be (or not be for that matter) to the general PR picture for any organization. I believe I’ve also mentioned that, despite best efforts of dedicated flacks, poor customer service within an organization can doom that organization’s marketing and public relations campaigns. I know I have also mentioned that an organization’s internal customers can have a huge impact on its success or failure.

Creating and generating an organizational culture that delivers great customer service, on a consistent basis, is not easy. Yet, it can be done. It takes commitment, training, and lots more. The hospital where my wife obtained her medical care is the hospital for the county in which I live. This same hospital has received numerous healthcare industry awards, including the highly coveted MAGNET status (I understand less than 1 percent of all hospitals in the country achieve this) for its nursing care.

Almost everywhere I went in the hospital, and especially on the patient floors, I saw evidence of commitment to quality care for patients and compassionate interaction with family members (especially those who became patient spokespersons for others in their families, as I did with my wife, enabling me to pass along appropriate information to family and friends about her condition). Ultimately this translates to great customer service, both for patients and for visitors. This great level of caring and service is, you guessed it, sure to engender tremendously positive public relations about the hospital and its staff.

Customer service can be the linchpin that can make, or break, an organization’s public relations efforts. I recently witnessed, and participated in, customer service that would result in an extremely high level of consumer satisfaction. Can your organization say the same?

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About the Author
Gerard E. "Gerry" Mayers writes about PR and other relevant topics for PR professionals. A former PR manager for Sensor Products, Inc. (currently based in Madison, NJ), he lives in Milford, NJ.
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