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Two Steps to Starting a Customer Service Initiative from Scratch

Nearly 4 years ago BenchMark Rehab Partners decided we should start a customer service program. And when we decide to do something, we do it whole-heartedly.

We focused our time, effort, and money to improve the experiences of all our customers and differentiate our company from the ho-hum pack. While many companies strive for this, very few make the commitment and investment we did to achieve our goal.

Our customer service program is about “Creating A Remarkable Experience” so we call it the CARE program.  And, I’ve had the pleasure of nurturing this program from its inception.

So how does a company with 1,000 associates spread across 7 states start a customer service program?  Well, we did it in 2 steps.

Step 1: Identify Guiding Standards

The first thing we needed was to identify the guiding standards of our company—those trail markers that could lead us down the path toward our non-negotiables: our Mission, Vision, and Values.

We have always taken great pride in our hands-on, anti-cookie cutter treatment approach, but that did not help us make decisions or align our actions with our brand. We needed simple operational guidelines every associate could use to reach similar decisions.

We gathered our leaders, 50 or so of them, and brainstormed, discussed, and word-smithed to arrive at our top 4 standards.

  • Courtesy
  • Efficiency
  • Presentation
  • Safety

But, there was a problem. Even if every one of our associates were using these same four standards, very different decisions could be made.

For example, if an associate valued efficiency above all else, the perception might be they were cold and uncaring or that they felt the customer was just a number.  If an associate valued presentation above all else, they could create an environment that was beautiful but not safe.

We needed to put them in a priority order.

Step 2: Prioritize the Order

We gathered in small groups and force ranked our 4 standards; there could be no ties. Then, we each stated our reasons for the rankings and eventually came to an agreement.

I won’t lie, this took a lot of time. Getting 50 independent thinkers to agree was no small feat, but we did it.

We came up with this order for these reasons:

  • Safety – Customers and associates needed to know they were in a safe place both physically and emotionally. We decided the old saying “Safety First” was right.
  • Courtesy – We felt everyone deserved sincere kindness, compassion, and hospitality. It was vital for us that our customers believed we cared about them and not just their money.
  • Presentation – We agreed that appearances sent a message about our professionalism.  Not only how we look and act, but how our clinics look as well.  And, seeing is believing.
  • Efficiency: Last, we decided if we did all of the above in the shortest timeframe possible, we could give people the gift of time.

Once we came up with this order, we felt pretty smart since many Fortune 500 companies, including Disney, use the same 4 in the same order.

Next came implementation of the program, but that is a topic for another blog.  I will say that it is much easier to implement a program that was created by the people who will use it!

Are you wondering if it worked?  Yes, it did.  And here’s how I know.

Three years later, our Operational Standards are woven into our daily routine.  We use them for decisions. We use them for coaching and guidance. We use them for Annual Reviews. We even use them to survey our Clinic’s appearance.

Also, three years later we are still growing – well over 2,000 associates with 350+ clinics in 13 states. I believe this is due in part to the culture our “Non-negotiables” have created including the Operational Standards.

Thanks for your interest – let me know if you found this blog helpful!

Would you like to work for a company with this culture?  Contact our Recruiting team at Recruiting@bmrp.com.

Would you like to partner your clinics with a culture like ours?  Contact our Business Development team at 205-536-7604.

Stacey Corrado, PT is a physical therapist who has dedicated her love of customer service to BenchMark’s CARE Initiative.  She strives to Create A Remarkable Experience at every touch point for our customers – both internal and external.  Stacey can be reached at scorrado@bmrp.com.

SERC Physical Therapist Earns Distinguished Board Certification

SERC Physical Therapy of Pleasant Hill is proud to announce physical therapist Meredith Cabe earned the credential of Orthopaedic Certified Specialist, OCS. This achievement puts Cabe in the top 2.5% of physical therapists nationwide.

As an Orthopaedic Certified Specialist, Cabe is more skilled in identifying and addressing the underlying causes of dysfunction. Studies show these highly skilled physical therapists use fewer visits and fewer procedures, saving patients time and money. They also get measurably better outcomes.

Meredith Cabe, PT, DPT, OCS, completed her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Northwestern University. She graduated from the BenchMark Rehab Institute Orthopaedic Residency program in 2016.

She specializes in various orthopedic and musculoskeletal conditions. In addition, she can treat geriatric, vestibular and orthopedic conditions, as well as pre-and post-surgical pain. Also, Cabe can treat neck, mid and low back pain, extremity pain, headaches and TMJ problems.

She is certified in Trigger Point Dry Needling. Meredith is also certified in Sportsmetrics, a program aimed to prevent athletes from suffering ACL injuries.

Meredith has served as a clinic director at the SERC’s Pleasant Hill clinic since 2014. The clinic offers extended hours by request as well as complimentary assessments with an appointment.

Matthew Winkle Earns Orthopaedic Certified Specialist

SERC Physical Therapy of Waldo is proud to announce physical therapist Matt Winkle earned the credential of Orthopaedic Certified Specialist (OCS). This achievement puts Winkle in the top 2.5% of physical therapists nationwide.

As an Orthopaedic Certified Specialist, Winkle is more skilled in identifying and addressing the underlying causes of dysfunction. Studies show these highly skilled practitioners use fewer visits and fewer procedures, saving patients time and money. They also get measurably better outcomes.

Matt Winkle, PT, DPT, OCS, completed his Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the University of Missouri. He graduated from the BenchMark Rehab Institute Orthopaedic Residency program in 2016. He is certified in Trigger Point Dry Needling. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Missouri Physical Therapy Association.

He specializes in various orthopedic and musculoskeletal conditions. In addition, he can treat geriatric, vestibular and orthopedic conditions, as well as pre-and post-surgical pain. Also, Winkle can treat neck, mid and low back pain, extremity pain, headaches and TMJ problems.

Matt practiced at SERC’s Belton clinic for nearly three years. In March, he opened the SERC Waldo/Brookside clinic. The clinic offers extended hours by request as well as complimentary assessments with an appointment.

Coble of BenchMark earns Board Certification

Benchmark Physical therapy of Pulaski is proud to announce physical therapist Megan Coble earned the Orthopaedic Certified Specialist (OCS) credential.This achievement puts Coble in the top 2.5% of physical therapists nationwide.

Coble, a 2012 graduate of the University of Tennessee at Memphis, explained that she’s always looking for a way to enhance his manual therapy skills and patient outcomes.

As an Orthopaedic Certified Specialist, she is doing just that. Coble is more skilled in identifying and addressing the underlying causes of dysfunction which means her patients may receive a plan of care that helps them feel better and move better, faster. Studies show these highly skilled practitioners use fewer visits and fewer procedures, saving patients time and money. They also get measurably better results.

Coble joined Benchmark Physical Therapy in 2014 as a doctorate of physical therapy. She graduated from the doctorate of physical therapy program at East Tennessee State University in 2013 with a 4.0 GPA and 95 percentile for licensure board exam. In 2010, she graduated with a bachelor’s of science in psychology and a minor in health science at ETSU. She specializes in various orthopedic and musculoskeletal conditions. In addition, she can treat geriatric, vestibular and orthopedic conditions, as well as pre-and post-surgical pain. Also, Coble can treat neck, mid and low back pain, extremity pain, headaches and TMJ problems. Wheel chair evaluations and screens are available. The clinic offers direct access, which allows a patient to be seen by a physical therapist up to six times without a physician’s referral.

Outstanding PTA of the Year Award Given To Keith Myers

The Tennessee Physical Therapy Association awarded BenchMark Physical Therapy’s Keith Myers, PTA, MBA, CEAS III. CEFE, the Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant of the Year Award.

The Outstanding Physical Therapist of the Year Award is given annually to the PTA who has demonstrated qualities of an outstanding PTA, shown commitment to the advancement of the Tennessee Physical Therapy Association, TPTA, and the physical therapy profession and been recognized by his peers for extraordinary service to the TPTA.

 Myers has worked for BenchMark Physical Therapy since 2001. In 2008, he began serving as a Regional Director. Today he manages more than 20 Chattanooga and North Georgia physical therapy clinics.

He received his Associate of Applied Science as a Physical Therapist Assistant degree from Chattanooga State Community College in 2004. Later, he attended Bryan College to receive a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2010 and a Master of Business Administration in 2012.

In 2016, Myers was a keynote speaker at the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability conference in New Orleans, where he presented his comprehensive program on safety, prevention and wellness. In 2013, BenchMark awarded him the Spirit of Service Award for his volunteer work throughout Chattanooga. Additionally, he served as Legislative Chair and SIG Chair roles with the TPTA. He has over six years of industrial rehabilitation and wellness in manufacturing settings.