Why Service Excellence?
A strong service excellence model is key to a positive patient and employee experience. The Communicate with H.E.A.R.T.® program is a comprehensive service excellence program that provides expected service behaviors and a service recovery model. This validated service excellence model was built by healthcare for healthcare and is designed to be customized and integrated into your organization’s existing culture to improve customer service. Supported by practical and easy to remember tools, Communicate with H.E.A.R.T.® is the foundation of Cleveland Clinic’s delivery of service excellence.
When Cleveland Clinic research showed more than 50% of complaints were directed at our front line staff, we realized our employees needed tools and skills to help address patient’s concerns at the point of service. In 2002, Respond with H.E.A.R.T.®, our service recovery model was developed. This model empowered our employees to consistently and promptly respond to patients’, visitors’, and co-workers’ in a caring and compassionate way. Respond with H.E.A.R.T.® enabled our employees to positively impact the patient experience by helping them to maintain confidence, composure and professionalism in challenging situations.
We also asked our patients what they thought good service looked like and from those conversations our nine key Expected Service Behaviors were born. In 2009, we introduced S.T.A.R.T. with Heart® our upfront customer service program that provides an easy way to remember those Expected Service Behaviors. This program is a communication tool that employees use in every interaction with patients, visitors and other employees. It also provided our employees more awareness of the impact of every patient, visitor and employee interaction. Our employees understand that their role is greater than the tasks associated with that role and feel empowered to do whatever it takes to deliver world-class care.
The Communicate with H.E.A.R.T.® program, as well as other initiatives and efforts were introduced to over 40,000 employees between 2010 and 2011 as Cleveland Clinic began a cultural transformation to both shape and maintain service excellence. We continue through feedback from our employees to develop and expand our Communicate with H.E.A.R.T.® program to meet the needs of our patients, visitors and employees.