Before I moved jobs I was going through a large piece of work on Learning Management Migration, specifically around content, and I became very aware of the importance of involving the teams who will be using the new LMS in the testing and verification of the system. Not only does it allow them to understand what it is capable of, what they need to do with the new system, and how to change their processes, but it tells them something is changing.
So I’m very aware when a process change occurs the customer should at least know about it.
It seems the hospital where I attend a yearly clinic at is most definitely not.
Each year I visit a heart clinic for regular check-ups, and each year they make an appointment for me for the following year. To date, when the appointment is approaching, they would send me a reminder to tell me it’s coming up.
This year my letter arrived and it said that I had an appointment for three months time. As always I checked my appointment card from last year and it had last weeks date on it. I double checked the letter, no word of a failed appointment or explanation, just an appointment made.
Now that confused me, and talking with a friend in the Health service she confirmed that the hospital they work in have stopped sending reminders and just send out new appointments when missed, although they do make it clear that their process has changed and that the letter refers to a missed appointment.
I’ve had no notiication of the change, it just seems to have happened, and with yearly appointments it’s not really surprising that people forget, is it? What’s more the letter I received never told me I had missed an appointment, just that I had one made for me.
It goes to show you, change your process, tell your customer, after all it’s only hurting yourself in the end, and in this case it probably means a raft of no-shows as patients fail to realise that the system has changed and are surprised when they don’t get that reminder letter.
Ideally I would like an option of a letter or phone call, even an email or Twitter/Facebook message but I think that’s too far ahead.
My local doctor’s surgery calls you the day before your appointment to check if you are still attending, and if not rearrange. A quick service that saves time and money.
Imagine that bundled online, via text, or even email for the hospital, think of the no-shows and time it would save.
However it’s not, but if the process were to change you would like to be informed as the customer. Imagine movng the booking system online and come time for your yearly appointment they hadn’t told you?
Change process, inform the customer. Even better, involve the customer.