Using technology to improve customer satisfaction
Ophthalmic partner of four Specsavers stores in the South West of England, Dr Josie Forte, shares insight into introducing an app-based clinic management tool in practice
Dr Josie Forte
04 July 2019
We introduced a new app-based customer capture system in the first of our four stores in August 2017. At the time, we were looking for a solution to a problem, having merged two practices.
In the new, revamped store, we suddenly had lots of customers under one roof looking to access an increasing number of services, from spectacles, sight tests and audiology to contact lenses and a range of enhanced services.
The aim of introducing Qudini was to better manage the multiple patient journeys that we offer, improving the patient care and customer service that we provide.
Having seen benefits for patients and staff in our largest store, we have since rolled the technology out into one of our smaller practices, where the benefits were, arguably, even bigger.
Qudini is very simple to use. It is an app that sits on the iPads that we have in store
Introducing the software
Qudini is very simple to use. It is an app that sits on the iPads that we have in store. On the app, we collect information on every customer who comes into our practice, including why they are there.
The app is accessible by all staff, who can see how long a patient has been waiting and where they are in their journey. Each department has its own Qudini list that they can manage accordingly. This information is invaluable as we strive to provide a good customer experience.
As when we have introduced other new technology, we have found it important to provide staff with a careful explanation about why it is being introduced alongside training. I wouldn’t expect to be able to launch new technology instantly and would advise seeking feedback from staff along the way.
As most people don’t like change, it can take time to introduce and embed new technology into practice. Because of this, it is important to identify your ‘early adopters’ who you know like technology and embrace change. Once they are on board, they can help others on the team learn and adapt to the new system and processes.
From first-hand experience, we definitely found that this helped to engage members of the team who were slightly hesitant at first.
It is important to identify your ‘early adopters’ who you know like technology and embrace change. Once they are onboard, they can help others on the team learn and adapt to the new system and processes
Small size benefits
Initially, we introduced Qudini into a large practice where we had created an in-store environment with multiple patient channels and health clinics. However, as an industry we are becoming much more involved in shared and enhanced care, and multiple health clinics are increasingly present in smaller practices too.
In smaller practices, an unhappy customer or a customer who walks out due to wait times can have a much larger impact than if this happens in a larger practice and this is where Qudini can help.
While the name of the app implies that it is primarily a tool to help with queue management, and smaller practices can feel that they don’t necessarily have a problem with queues, the app provides support in many more ways, including providing information about why the patient is there and the length of time they have been waiting. This is something that can be difficult to manage in smaller practices – it only takes one phone call in a small practice for staff to be distracted.
Plus, with many smaller practices running only single or double clinics, it is much easier to run late as there are fewer colleagues around to support and help out and it can be difficult to approach all browsers.
While introducing the clinic management app, Qudini, has improved customer services, it has also positively impacted on staff – something I would identify as one of the apps biggest benefits
As a practice owner, I have always taken the wellbeing of my staff seriously. You need your place of work to be a warm and welcoming environment for staff. That is the only way you retain the best team. The stores that I run, large and small, can be very busy environments and while introducing the clinic management app has improved customer services, it has also positively impacted on staff – something I would identify as one of the app’s biggest benefits.
Three steps to success
- Embrace it and be positive
- Be open minded and follow through until you see the benefits
- Don’t forget that it doesn’t just have benefits for customer service and the patient journey. Don’t underestimate how it can create a better working environment for your store team.
- As told to Emily McCormick.