Customer Service at its Best #NaturaPalaceHotel #Lanzarote


 

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What do you look for in a holiday? Mine is sunshine, a lovely venue, easy access to local areas, good food, swimming pool, and most of all good customer service.

Well we certainly found that last week when we went back to Lanzarote again for the second year running. Why? Because we could not fault the hotel we stayed at Hipotels Natura Palace in Playa Blanca.

I could not fault the hotel on any level last year, and the same again this year.

The customer service was second to none the moment we walk through the door to the day we left.

On arrival the Reception staff were friendly, helpful and professional. A porter took our cases to our room which was really well laid out  equipped with a fridge, large flat screened TV, table and chairs and the bathroom came with all the usual soaps, shampoos, tissues, hairdryer and other useful accessories.

We had a sunny balcony that overlooked the beautiful swimming pools (2 large pools and one children’s pool) and the best bit there were plenty of sunbeds to go around.

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The food was exceptional and catered for everyone’s taste, you certainly wont go hungry whilst staying at the Natura Palace. The Maitre d” is attentive and very charming making you feel that you are the most important person when he is dealing with you, he remembered that we have been before which was very impressive seeing the amount of people who must pass through the restaurant every day, and the staff again charming and very helpful. There was a wonderful chief who made smoothies to order – they were just amazing.

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The dining room staff work extremely hard, often working the breakfast shift, the evening shift and then working in the bar until late. They worked hours but every single one always wore a smile and were always very attentive.

The bar staff couldn’t do enough to help and got to know you very quickly, they would often have a joke or two despite the language barrier they always interracted with everyone.

The rooms were cleaned every day and the maids always went out of their way to make you feel special.

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The hotel was immaculate the public areas inside and outside were kept spotless at all times.

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The grand staircase in the Main Reception area and the lower grouund lobby area.  

I did the same this year as I did last year. I peopled watched – one the things I have loved doing since I was little (or just plan nosy as my husband would tell me)

I can honestly say that I never seen a grumpy member of staff the whole time we were there, the amount of hours that the staff worked were long and not very sociable, working in the heat giving a  110%. Their customer service was excellent at all times.

I can honestly say I have never witnessed so many staff giving such a great service.

I am intrigued to know how their go about their customer care training. How they instigate the training and uphold it to the level that is being given.

Do Hiptels hold in-house training? Does each department hold their own training or are the staff training as one? Are staff sent off site for customer care training.

To give training is one thing, the hardest thing is ensuring that the training is maintained at all times.

Whatever way they are doing it they certainly have it right. Well done to the Management and Staff at Natura Palace you should be very proud of yourself.

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© 2011-2017 Reception Training all rights reserved
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Patient criticised on Facebook #confidentiality


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We often talk about confidentiality in Receptionist meetings and the backlash that it can cause by discussing other people on social media sites. Even worse if it is linked to your job when you have signed a confidentiality agreement.

Another headline to hit the paper only the other day was

“Hospital apology after doctor criticised motorbike victim on Facebook.”

A doctor who attended a fatal accident wrote a post on her Facebook page stating she had been the first medic on the scene and the accident was gory and had the most horrific outcome.

She went on to say that the motorcyclist was not wearing a crash helmet, saying that they are not a fashion statement and they are worn because they save lives.

The family of the motorcyclist was quite right by being deeply hurt by her post and the hospital where she works has had apologised for her Facebook post.

She never mentioned the motorcyclist by name, but there are many other ways that you can identify a person other than by name.

She is more than likely a very good doctor, and was more than likely extremely upset by the accident and the sad loss of a young persons life. But she should have never put this on her Facebook page.

It’s a shame that her job could be in jeopardy but a lesson to us all. When it comes to anything to do with work, think before you post it on any social media site.

Your opinion could be very offensive to someone.

 

© 2011-2017 Reception Training all rights reserved

 

 

5* Customer Service – #PremierInn #CustomerCare


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We often take time to complain about a bad service, but very little of us complement a good one, so I would like to share with you a 5* customer experience.
We recently had to make a trip to Middlesex as a family member has just gone through major heart surgery at Harefield Hospital.
Arriving at 07.30 tired and hungry we booked into the Premier Inn near Heathrow Airport, (Shepiston Lane, Hayes) (Heathrow M4 Junction)
We had no reservation but the receptionist couldn’t have been any more helpful, and booking in at such an early time was no problem.
What we thought would have been a ordinary “run of the mill” Inn turned out to be 5* accommodation rounded off with the best customer service we have come across in a long time.
From the time we stepped through the front door the staff could not have been any more helpful, polite and extremely friendly.
The Reception staff we extremely friendly and nothing was too much trouble, the cleaning staff could not have done enough for us, and for the restaurant staff well they just went out of their way to ensure that our dining experience was as best as it could get.
Then there was the accommodation, oh wow it was just amazing. I can see why Premier Inn guarantee a good nights sleep – we certainly had that. The king size hypos bed was lush – and a good nights sleep we certainly had. Hard to believe that we were about 2 miles from Heathrow Airport, not a sound to be heard! We even had the most delightful pillows to lay our weary heads on! We found firm pillows on the bed and softer ones were also supplied in the room if needed then.
We had a good supply of tea, coffee, drinking chocolate, water and biscuits and more if we wanted them. We just had to ask.
After a hectic day visiting the patient we returned to have an evening meal. I can honestly say the restaurant was probably one of the best I have been in for a long while. The staff were very attentive, nothing too much trouble and we had two courses, a drink plus unlimited breakfast the next morning all for £22.99 each. The food was excellent. There was not one thing we could have found fault with.
When we returned to our room we found the telly had a range of Freeview Channels – my hubby was delighted to say the least!
The room was lovely and warm, with its own thermostat control panel.
After a really good nights sleep we went down for breakfast. The choices we had were unbelievable and again, I think that this was the best breakfast that we have ever had. The staff were tremendous and couldn’t do enough for us. They put the hot food out little at a time so there was a constant supply, which was fresh and hot.
And to add to all of the above, the checkout time was 12.00 midday. No rushing to book out of the room by 10.00 or 11.00 as some required. We were able to take our time, have another lovely cuppa before going on our way.
I cannot praise our whole stay enough. From the staff, to the accommodation to the food – all perfect in every way.
So, thank you Premier Inn for the lovely experience, and to the staff you have trained so well in giving such a great customer service.
We would certainly recommend your Inn and we definitely will be coming back.

link to the Premier Inn Heathrow

http://www.premierinn.com/en/hotel/HEAPTI/london-heathrow-airport-m4/j4

 

© 2011-2017 Reception Training all rights reserved

Infection Control in Reception


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Infection control starts the minute someone walks through the front door of your organisation.

It is important that sufficient information, training and support is put in place for all Receptionists and frontline staff to help them deal with the various daily challenges involving infection control.

Staff need to be reassured that the job that they are doing is done well and that they continue to be supported and motivated to provide a good service to your patients.

Staff should be adequately trained to deal with infection control and this training should include cleaners and all Reception staff.

Training

Infection control training should take place on a regular basis for all staff. Do you include cleaners in your training? Some practices have outside agencies; if so, do they hold a copy of your Infection Control Policy?

Does your organisation have a designated person for Infection Control? Is all your staff aware of whom this is?

Do you have a report policy in place for identifying any risks of infection control – Reception should be included in this policy and know whom they should report to.

The Infection Control lead person should carry out the following:

  • Help to motivate colleagues to improve good practice
  • Improve local implementation of infection control policies
  • Ensure that infection control audits are undertaken
  • Assist in the training of colleagues
  • Help identify any Infection Control issues within your organisation and work to resolve these.
  • Act as a role model within your organisation.
  • Ensure that Infection Control protocols are reviewed and updated on a regular basis – or delegate to an appropriate person.

Hand Washing Procedures – Public and Staff Areas

Wash hand basins with suitable taps, liquid soap dispensers, alcohol rubs, paper towels and waste bins are essential items for all clinical care areas.

Whilst it is normally the responsibility of the cleaner to ensure that all of these areas are kept well stocked, some things might run out during the day. Therefore it is important that staff are made aware that these might need to be replenished throughout the day.

I have lost count of the number of times I recently have gone into hospitals and surgeries finding empty alcohol rubs, and toilets without toilet tissue or paper hand towels. It simply is not good enough.

Staff Immunisation Protection

Your Reception staff will be dealing with many Infection Control issues on a daily basis.

They will be receiving samples at the desk from patients. They will be dealing with patients that could possible come into your organisation with an infectious rash and could be asked to help with spillage. It therefore is important to include them in protection against Hepatitis B.

You should also offer your staff annual influenza immunisation.

Any immunisations given to your staff should be recorded. I would recommend that you record those that declined to have any immunisations.

Handling Specimens

Samples should come in a sealed container. I have had experience where many samples have come in all different shape and forms including:

  • A faeces sample in a child’s bucket
  • A faeces sample inside a plastic sandwich bag.
  • A urine sample inside a Tupperware container – the patient in fact asked when we had tested the urine could she have the container back as it was one of her “best containers”
  • A urine sample inside an empty perfume bottle.

These of course are not acceptable, for one it is not acceptable to expect the Receptionist (or nurse) to deal with this, and of course it is not in a sterile container.

Each and every sample should include all the necessary information about the patient, failing to do so could result in the labs refusing to carry out the necessary tests, resulting in the patient having to do the test again and possibly delaying any treatment that may be required.

All blood or potentially infected matter such as urine or faeces for lab testing should be treated as high risk and the necessary precautions taken.

The Reception Area

At the end of each day the Reception area should be left tidy. Often cleaners are instructed not to move paperwork or other items and work around them. Untidy desks therefore do not get cleaned as well as a clear desk.

Ensure that there are disposable gloves available in Reception for the receiving of samples from patients.

Any spillage in reception should be dealt with immediately and reported to the appropriate person.

Magazines and books should be replaced on a regular basis.

Toys made available for children should also be cleaned on a regular basis.

Public telephones should be wiped at regular intervals.

There should be a designated room for patients that might present themselves with a possible infectious disease i.e. chicken pox, measles etc. It is also important to inform the Doctor or Nurse that the patient is in the designated room, as often there is no tannoy facility to call patients in and often they could be missed.

Ensure that there are sick bowls available in Reception as this will be the first place the patient will come to if feeling unwell.

Ensure there are bins available in the waiting room, especially important for the disposal of used tissues, and possible a sign asking patient to place their used tissues in them.

Receptionist play a big part in Infection Control, more than we might sometime realise and its vital that they get it right, and also get the support that they require to do their job well.

Ensure that new staff have Infection Control as part of their induction training, and the necessary protocols are put in place for the Reception Area.

Talk to your Receptionists in a team meeting, often they will identify an area that may not been covered with a protocol. They are the experts in their area – RECEPTION.

 

© 2011-2017 Reception Training all rights reserved

 

Cardboard Stories #homelesspeople #allocatedpatients #immediatelynecessary


 

I had only been in my role of a Doctor’s Receptionist for about 3 months still getting my head around “Temporary Residents” “Immediately Necessary” and “Allocated patients”. Patients that were not registered at our surgery but needed to be seen. Different forms, no history and often quite complex cases and often without patient notes.

I sadly witnessed some racism within the team, often trying to avoid giving appointments to those that could easily be fooled that we didn’t have any appointments hoping they would try another surgery. And I have to confess we did sometimes have some very complex cases. We would have drug addicts trying to obtain drugs and alcoholics, often wanting an appointment just before closing time with the forms to fill and not having notes these appointment would usually run well past closing time, another late night finishing after a very long day.

We had self harming patients that were at the end of their wit’s end – nowhere to go and nowhere to turn to and the patient that was “allocated” to the practice.

Did I judge these patients?  If I am honest to begin with I sadly did.  I was new to the job – the world of a medical Receptionists, a job like no other, I had never dealt with patients before. No proper training on how to deal with such people desperate for appointments, or identifying those simply just “playing the system”

It is so easy to see the drug addict and the self harmer and look down on the homeless person without seeing the actual person.

I was with the practice about 6 months and we had a training session where the Manager  from the local Homeless Shelter came in to talk about the homeless people and because they didn’t have permanent addresses often moved from shelter to shelter and when they needed to see a Doctor they had to be seen as immediately necessary, and she shared with us some of the horror stories that some of her residents had faced when trying to get them a doctor’s appointment. Often being sent from surgery to surgery before being seen.

She then told us about one of her regular customers. His name was Edward. Edward was an alcoholic – he was what some people would call a down and out. Edward just got by from day-to-day. He had tried to take his life but failed. His life was a mess. He had no life as such.

Edward had been homeless for 2 years. Up to this point Edward was just a name, another homeless person – until she told us how he became one of her customers.

Edward was a successful business man. He was very well off and had a beautiful wife and three lovely daughters who he adored. They lived in a lovely house in a nice part of town and very respected within the community. They were all out one afternoon and Edward who was driving crashed the car and his adoring wife and 3 beautiful daughters were killed outright.

Edward suffered with depression, took to drink to block out the memories of that awful day, through the drink he lost his job, his friends, his car and then his house. Edward became homeless.

Edwards story made a big impact on my career, and from then on in I always treated every single person that came into the surgery as exactly that – as a person. Who am I to judge, who was I to decide whether someone should see a doctor or go elsewhere – everyone deserves respect and from then on in every single patient got just that.

Whenever I think back on all the training I have had, that must have been one of the most powerful training sessions I have had and it certainly did teach me a lot.

Every person has a story to tell. Always treat people with respect. What right do we have to judge and count yourself lucky you are not walking in their shoes. 

I recently came across this short clip and it brought me back to my story that I have just shares with you.

Have a look – do you see these people any differently after watching it?

© 2011-2017 Reception Training all rights reserved

 

The Threatened Receptionist


Working in general practice as a Receptionist, Supervisor and a Manager nothing ever surprises me anymore, and just when you think you have seen it all something else comes along to add to the endless stories that working in a surgery brings.

The highs and lows the funny and the sad you never get two days exactly the same.

This story was a new one to me, one that I haven’t come across.

I was chatting to a friend yesterday to works in a GP Surgery. She told me that there had been an incident in their admin office. Whilst she was talking to a patient she could hear raised voices at the end of the office. When my friend had finished her call she turned her attention to the receptionist who was obviously very upset by the call.

She presumed that the caller has been an “unhappy patient” – she was wrong.

The caller phoned the Surgery and asked for the receptionist by her first and surname. The caller was put through to her and she was not expecting what came next.

The receptionist explained the nature of the call and how it involved Facebook.

A couple of days previous the Receptionist had been on Facebook. She came across a random post that one of her friends had shared. She didn’t know the person but she left a comment, which she didn’t think was upsetting or rude but obviously the person that had posted the comment felt very strongly about the comment she had left and was not happy.

The person traced the Receptionist to her place of work. How? She had it on her Facebook Profile where she worked and that she was a Receptionist.

The Receptionist was worried, as the caller had her name, knew where she worked, and of course could easily be identified due to the fact that all the staff wears name badges, with their first and surname on and she had no idea what this caller looked like – it could be anyone that walked in through the Surgery doors.

The caller told her that she was going to come along to the surgery and give her a black eye. The Receptionist was obviously worried and upset as the caller sounded angry and threatening.

She worried that the caller might wait for her outside of the surgery and follow her home.

As a Manager how would you react to this? Would you see it as a problem you would have to sort out, or seeing it started outside of work would you not want to get involved?

We then have to question should staff be putting information on their Facebook to where they work and what they do? Have you a right as a manager to say staff cannot do this? Perhaps not, but it is something that could be discuss at a team meeting, to make people aware of the consequences when they do put where they work.

A similar story to this happened when I first starting working as a Receptionist and one of my colleagues had an unusual surname, a patient that used visit the surgery on a regular basis took a liking to her. He asked out on a date a couple of times and each time she gently let him down.

The patient had mental health problems; because he knew her name he was able to get her address and number out of the telephone directory (this was before internet times). He then started stalking her, telephoning her at all hours of the day and night. The incident involved the police, many sleepless nights, which resulted in her moving out of her flat for a while. It was sorted, she changed her telephone to ex directory and everything calmed down.

At the time this incident affected the whole team. Name badges were questioned.

As a manager I always kept this story in my mind, and would only ever have first names on name badges for Receptionists who deal with the general public.

Does your staff give their full names whilst working?

Are first names sufficient on name badges for Receptionists? I think so.

 

© 2011-2017 Reception Training all rights reserved

THE BEAVER #personality test – 6/6


The 5 minute personality test is written over 6 blogs – follow from blog 1 – 6 to see who you are most like!

Following on from the personality test here are the description of:

B = BEAVERS

Beavers have a strong need to do things right and by the book. In fact, they are the kind of people who actually read instruction manuals. They are great at providing quality control in an office, and will provide quality control in any situation or field that demands accuracy such as accounting, engineering, etc. Because rules, consistency and high standards are so important to Beavers, they are often frustrated with others who do no share these same characteristics. Their strong need for maintaining high (and often times unrealistic) standards can short-circuit their ability to express warmth in a relationship.

 

National Strengths

  • Accurate
  • Analytical
  • Detail-oriented
  • Thoroughness
  • Industrious
  • Orderly
  • Methodical and exhaustive
  • High standards
  • Intuitive
  • Controlled

National Weaknesses

  • Too hard on self
  • Too critical of others
  • Perfectionist
  • Overly cautious
  • Wont make decisions without “all” the facts
  • Too picky
  • Overly sensitive

 

Basic Disposition:

Slow-paced, talk-oriented

 

Motivated by:

The desire to be right and maintain quality

 

Time Management:

Beavers tend to work slowly to make sure they are accurate

 

Communication Style:

Beavers are good listeners, communicate detail, and are usually diplomatic.

 

Decision Making:

Avoids making decisions; needs lots of information before they will make a decision.

 

In Pressure or Tense Situations:

The Beaver tries to avoid pressure or tense situations. They can ignore deadlines.

 

Greatest Needs:

The Beaver needs security, gradual change and time to adjust to it.

 

What the Beaver Desires:

Clearly defined tasks, stability security, low risk, and tasks that require precision and planning.