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Flip the Funnel: How to Use Existing Customers to Gain New Ones by Joseph Jaffe

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CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IS BIGGER THAN MARKETING

What do M. Bridget Duffy, M.D., and Ingrid Lindberg have in common? Besides being women, they’re also living embodiments of the O (organizational) commitment to customer experience. Duffy and Lindberg are customer-experience officers at Cleveland Clinic and CIGNA, respectively. Both are partly—if not wholly—responsible for transforming their organizations’ approaches to customer service, loyalty, and experience, which was convenient, since both needed changing.
Cleveland Clinic begins their annual statement with a bold quote: “The patient is not only an illness. He has a soul.” But it wasn’t always like that. In fact, Duffy had to deal with statements like “Why do I have to be nice to patients? I just want to get them off the table alive” before she helped the organization make over its business perspective and processes. This shift wasn’t grounded in intangible or feel-good spirit; the clinic was losing potential business to competitors who were perceived to care more about their patients.
Part of the problem came from the organization’s structure. Every physician on staff is under a one-year contract, which makes sense when the stakes are so high and “average” performances aren’t quite satisfactory in life-or-death situations. In the past, physicians were evaluated on volume and safety metrics; patients were merely numbers. Now, customer experience has become a leading driver of quality and a variable in physicians’ scorecards. ...

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