Recruiting the Right People For Your Practice-Part II

May 1, 1996
Southwest Airlines is known for its cheerful and helpful employees. What`s the secret? Can it be adapted for your practice?

Bob Levoy

Southwest Airlines is known for its cheerful and helpful employees. What`s the secret? Can it be adapted for your practice?

It starts at the top. Herb Kelleher, CEO of Southwest, has said: "If you treat every customer like your first or your last, you`ll never have to worry about repeat business."

That philosophy is repeated in the company`s mission statement (written by Kelleher): ". . . dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness. . ."

To make sure employees know the company`s mission statement, more than 2,500 copies have been printed, framed and sent into the field. In addition, mission statements were sent in Cracker Jack boxes to all employees. The prize inside? A miniature mission statement.

Ann Rhoades, vice-president-people (actual title) at Southwest, explains: "We tend to hire people with empathy. We want to treat customers as individuals, not numbers on a boarding pass. That`s our sense of warmth. When we hire people, we ask them to give us an example from their previous job of how they treated a customer who had a problem and how they made it a win-win situation. Most people who have done it in the past will continue to do it in the future. We hire only those people who can give us examples of how they treated customers the way we like them to be treated."

Action steps for your practice: Decide how you want patients treated in your office. Put it in writing. Get the right people on board. Provide ongoing inspiration-in word and deed.

Bob Levoy is a marketing consultant, seminar speaker and writer based in Roslyn, NY. For further information, contact: Success Dynamics, Inc., 11 Vanad Dr., Roslyn, NY 11576; phone 516-482-5959.

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