Only Engaged Employees Can Create Engaged Customers

Kowshik Bhattacharjee is a well-known name in the field of Customer Experience in India, he was conferred the prestigious Bharat Gaurav Award in 2017 by the Central Ministry.

Bhattacharjee has 22 years of experience and is the Head of Service Excellence/CX at Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres. In 2 years, he has accelerated the Service Excellence Transformation at Medcare. Under his leadership, the company was conferred with the Gulf Customer Experience Awards for Best Patient Experience & Best CX Team of the Year in February 2022.

During his tenure with Apollo Hospitals, Bhattacharjee institutionalized the concept of service excellence in healthcare and brought about significant best practices from other service industries. 

Excerpts from the interview;  

Do you think employees’ experience has an impact on customer experience?

The manufacturing industry uses the Six Sigma process to reduce errors. What Six Sigma does for manufacturing, Human Sigma does for any other service industry. In any service industry, there are multiple variables whereby the same product gets served to variable customers through variable associates. 

In such a scenario, it is essential that the workforce directly related to serving a product to the customer is highly motivated and engaged; otherwise, the experience is compromised. 

Only engaged employees can create engaged customers, as stated beautifully by John H. Fleming and Jim Asplund in their book Human Sigma. All great service organizations like Disney, Indian Hotels Company Limited, Ritz Carlton, and Google have employee engagement as their key pillar. These are all profitable organizations and a benchmark for other service companies.

What are the top three focus points to improve CX?

In Medcare Hospitals and Medical Centres, we have three pillars to get a zoomed focus on service excellence: Digitisation, Human Experience, and Facility Facelift. Under each of these are various initiatives running across the organization’s length and breadth. To create a culture of CX, we have three focus points:

  1. Empower and motivate our workforce
  2. Create a robust Reward and Recognition system in the organization
  3. Measure to improve and not to impress.

What are the challenges in CX for the healthcare industry?

CX is on an evolving stage in this sector. There was a time when the customer did not have many choices, and institutes were limited. But today, healthcare is mushrooming across Dubai, and power has shifted to the customers. Primary and secondary healthcare is becoming a commodity, and only healthcare organizations focusing on experience are the ones who will go through the transformation journey and will survive. 

The major challenge in adopting the CX culture is the mindset of a few senior leaders who fail to realize the power of CX in driving the top line. Following are the few listed challenges very relevant to healthcare:

  • CX is often confused with operational excellence.
  • There is no proper CX organogram. 
  • There is no adequate budget allocated for CX.
  • CX leaders are often not empowered nor a part of the steering committee.
  • CX is only limited to presentations and doesn’t exist in reality.
  • In many cases, CX leaders don’t report to the Group CEO’s office but to Medical Heads/ Head of Strategy/ Head of Marketing.
  • Many confuse Guest Relations Manager as a CX role and elevate it.

What is the role of technology in improving your CX?

Digitization is crucial in improving CX in Medcare Hospitals and Medical Centres. We have three initiatives running under this wing:

  1. Voice of Customer – A robust feedback mechanism used to capture customer voice across all touchpoints
  2. Query Management System – A unique application that helps to monitor every query raised by our patients through the call center, which is monitored in real-time through dynamic dashboards
  3. One Touch – A unique innovation we adopted in Medcare Hospitals for increasing our nursing bandwidth and making non-clinical departments more accountable for all actions

Kowshik Bhattacharjee will be speaking at CX NXT, a customer experience summit, Address, Dubai Marina, UAE, on November 16 and 17, 2022.