Give referral sources great customer service

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Q. With all the competition out there, how can a company compete for its fair share of the business?

A. What really makes the difference for any company goes back to customer service. Just as people want to be around someone who is outgoing, upbeat and easy to be around, a referral source wants a company that is outgoing, upbeat and easy to be around.
Be outgoing
Outgoing companies have sales people who are approachable and can communicate effectively. They will have customer service representatives that are helpful and knowledgeable. Referral sources will never look in corners for a company. Companies must invest in marketing to the referral source. They must be visible and have a sales and customer service staff that is consistently available to receive the business when it is given.
Be upbeat
Upbeat companies are excited to receive referrals, no matter if it is an evening or weekend. The company that receives these referrals with a great attitude gets remembered. Upbeat companies will provide care for their patients with enthusiasm and an eye for excellence. They will go out of their way to make the referral source and the patient happy.
Simplify their job
Referral sources will use companies that make their jobs easy. They want a company that is knowledgeable and can assist the patient and referral source in finding services even if they can't meet the need. They want a company that doesn't require huge barriers to setting up the patient.
Make your company great to be around
Perform an inventory of where your company is on the scale for being "great to be around." Take a look at it from a personal perspective. Think about the people you love to be around and why you enjoy them so much. Write down those traits and apply them to the way your company treats your referral sources.


Julie Bowman is a consultant and founder/president of HME Solutions in Atlanta. Reach her at (770) 270-6814 or