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Montgomery Foundation funds MMH customer service programs

| Date Posted: 12/8/2011

TROY – Pam Duncan and some of her co-workers at FirstHealth Montgomery Memorial Hospital were so impressed by the customer satisfaction class they attended at Montgomery Community College earlier this year that they went back to work and began lobbying for a similar program at the hospital.

Duncan is Imaging director at Montgomery Memorial, where she serves as leader of the Team Excellent steering committee that is currently focused on improving patient satisfaction scores in the Emergency Department. A $1,500 disbursement from the FirstHealth Montgomery Foundation, based on a grant request that Duncan wrote, will fund an upcoming series of customer satisfaction classes with a much broader reach, however.

“These customer satisfaction classes are for everybody,” Duncan says.

The community college program that Duncan and her colleagues attended was conducted by Mike Collins, a frequent speaker on workday effectiveness issues. Duncan was so interested in what he had to say and how it could be applied to Montgomery Memorial that she immediately spoke to him about the possibility of a program at the hospital.

With the money from the Foundation and the blessing of hospital President Beth Walker, the classes will focus on a topic called “The Experience of a Lifetime: Offering Winning Customer Service.” Four sessions will be held over two days – Monday, Jan. 23, and Wednesday, Feb. 1 – to accommodate the busy schedules of hospital employees.

“It has been many years since Montgomery Memorial has brought in an outside motivational speaker,” says Walker, “so having the opportunity to do this and focus on how we can be more sensitive to customer perceptions is very exciting within itself. We are certain it is the ‘little things’ that we can do that will mean the most to our patients. We want to ‘wow’ them.”

Attendance for the upcoming program will be required, because good customer service is essential for every member of the MMH team, according to Duncan. A single negative action can wipe out the effect of any number of positive experiences, she adds.

“We want to be the best that we can be throughout the whole facility,” she says. “There’s no reason not to do this. There’s no reason not to be the best you can be.”

A motivational speaker and entrepreneur, Collins is president of The Perfect Workday Company, an information company based in the Research Triangle. He presents more than 100 programs a year for organizations that include IBM, American Express, Pepsi-Cola and the Duke University Medical Center. He has an undergraduate degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and a master’s degree from Duke, and has completed course work at N.C. State and Oxford University.

Like the name of his company, Collins’ signature program and his daily blog are called “The Perfect Workday.” Duncan says she appreciates the support and encouragement of the FirstHealth Montgomery Foundation in helping bring a speaker with such an extensive customer satisfaction background to Montgomery Memorial.

“We are so grateful to have the Foundation,” she says.

For more information on the FirstHealth Montgomery Foundation, call (910) 571-5024.

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