Recently I was looking for a new school for one of my daughters. In that process, I phoned one of the prospective organizations—a modern school with a good reputation and a progressive-sounding name.
The individual who answered the phone was immediately helpful; even on the phone her obviously winning personality and positive demeanor came through clearly. And, along with the follow-up correspondence, I couldn’t help notice her email signature
Kelli Firstperson, Director of First Impressions, (phone number) (email)
Subsequently, I sent an email saying that the school wasn’t quite right for our needs, but that I LOVE her job title. (She replied saying that she loves it too.)
Launching patient relationships…
Every patient-centric doctor’s office—that’s pretty much everyone—can take a page from this playbook. Re-think the work of your customer-facing staff and consider a new title for your “receptionist,” “telephone person,” or “front desk person.” Some options include:
- Director of First Impressions
- Patient Ambassador
- New Patient Consultant
- New Patient Navigator
The other vital ingredient in the formula for success here is to have the right person and personality to carry the job. Everyone plays a part in delivering excellence in patient service and satisfaction, but a “first impression” title creates an immediate expectation. (The wrong person can sink the ship regardless of the title.)
The overarching concept is that everyone who meets a patient, especially at the start of a relationship, is a Director of First Impressions. This can be by way of a telephone call, an email, or in person. The job title is an important reminder to the employee, and it’s a brand promise to the patient/customer.
Connectivity via creativity…
What can you add to this list? Let us know if you are using creative job titles in your office. You’ll spot examples in the retail/commercial world such as the Creator of Opportunities (SVP Business Development) or the Genius (service tech) at an Apple Store. And from a healthcare marketing perspective:
- Avoid clichés, buzzwords and clinical shorthand
- Focus on the patient and/or benefits to patient
- It’s not about the work, it’s about value delivered
A thoughtful and imaginative approach to job titles grabs attention, contributes to the patient experience, and differentiates your practice. Generic HR labels, such as “front desk person,” are bland and impersonal, but inventive titles can empower staff, reflect organizational pride, and inspire better job performance. And the most important beneficiary of this small but important communications technique is the patient.
Let us know what you can add to this list and we’ll pass good ideas along in a future post. In the meantime, you’ll find related reading here: Putting Your Reputation on the Line with Every New Patient Contact in Doctor Marketing and Branding in Unlikely Places in Medical Marketing.
Stewart Gandolf, MBA