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Better Experience – 5 Ideas For UNC Sleep Clinic

Five Ideas

UNC Sleep Clinic Ideas To Improve the Customer Experience is an open letter sharing five ideas. These five ideas to improve the UNC Sleep Clinic customer experience apply to many businesses.

  • Say Hello – Create A Greeting Area
  • No Cell Phones – Get Real and Change Language
  • Explain and Have Fun – Add Signs Under Camera and Motion Sensor
  • Close The Door – Treat Rooms Like Hotel Rooms Respect Privacy
  • Say Goodbye – Create A Checkout Process

Say Hello

After registering at UNC’s Women and Children’s Hospital, receiving a printed map, walking by the noisy sculpture, and getting lost a friendly UNC Sleep Clinic employee met me in the elevator. This time, my fourth Sleep study with three at UNC, it was Saturday.

Lucky too because the Clinic is kept locked down. They need a greeting area. While I can understand the need for security in an after hours department, the UNC Sleep Clinic feels like a prison. The environment is set up for staff comfort, safety, and efficiency to the detriment of the customer experience.

As a web designer, I’ve learned how crucial the first few seconds are to customers’ feelings, emotions, and collaboration. Hire a consultant from the hotel business. She will tell UNC about the crucial importance of first impressions. Hiring a hotel expert is such an important idea I’ll pay for it!

No Cell Phones Sign

The No Cell Phones” sign is stupid and abusive. We bet 100% of patients have cell phones. Why not include a note about UNC’s excellent guest WiFi? Explain that electronics may interfere. Request electronics to be turned off during testing.

UNC has Sleep Clinic patients arrive at six thirty. My test began with an hour of electrode placement at eight, so the No Cell Phones sign is stupid and abusive. The tone is crucial when building trust. The hotel consultant will tell you to change your language to increase compliance and sound like we (patient and hospital) jesting are in this together.

Explain and Have Fun

Once you have one sign on the wall, it is important to have others. When the new sign requesting electronics to be powered down during testing is on the wall then the spooky camera and motion sensor, need signs too.

UNC should Have fun creating those signs. Consider naming the weird black sensor Vader or something as nerdy. Using names in a sign will prompt patients to ask, “What is Vader?” When the UNC staff replies, “Great question, Vader is our motion sensor, and Hal is how we watch you Sleep,” patients relax. Humor, even if patients don’t get the joke, creates a better experience.

UNC, like many hospitals, has lawyer language where they need hotel speak. Currently, the UNC Sleep Clinic sounds like an angry parent, an angry parent who practices law. Naming the spooky tech required to create a sleep study helps staff smile and patients engage.

Close the Door

Once UNC’s Sleep Clinic looks more like a hotel, it’s important to act like one too. I shot a short video of the more than an hour my door was open. My door was open while I’m in bed in my boxer shorts. I felt vulnerable and embarrassed as a circus of people filed by my open door.

Close the door! Yes, closing the door is more of a pain for the techs, but don’t they work for the patients? For one night the UNC Sleep Clinic room is my .bedroom, not your office. Maybe the right way to say that is for a night the room is my bedroom and your office.

When in doubt err on the side of the money, and the cash comes from the patients so more hotel room than your office. I know how hard this recommendation will be to implement. Sitting in a chair in the doorway for an hour as electrodes were placed I closed the door seven times as my otherwise excellent tech Dave came and went. Dave NEVER got the message.

Say Goodbye and Offer Help

If first impressions top the “better Marketing” list, then last impressions follow right behind. After my shower with poor shampoo and a scratchy towel, no one said goodbye. I was asked to take an awkward survey collected while I was in the shower and left to crawl the hat a mile to my car.

I moved yesterday pulling my calf muscle in the process. Last night I humped thirty pounds of computers in my Messenger Bag and walked/limped the half a mile from the UNC parking deck. No Valet parking on weekends. Even the golf cart shuttle was closed at six this morning.

This morning stopping twenty-eight times for brief rests was the only way to walk/crawl back to the car. This morning’s walk/crawl tool thirty-four minutes. Along the way, I passed nineteen members of UNC staff. Help was only offered by a departing family as I bent down for another rest.

If the UNC Sleep Clinic is at least half hotel, my walk/crawl departure this morning was an epic fail. I’m a leukemia patient at UNC Lineberger and a sizable UNC healthcare donor. Even if none of those things applied the UNC Sleep Clinic should take better care. They aren’t aware of how isolating, terrifying, and somewhat abusive their process is, and ignorance isn’t a good thing.

The Duke Sleep Clinic is in a hotel. Great idea since parking is a breeze. Training staff to think of the Duke Sleep Clinic as at least half hotel is easier. Can UNC create a hotel feel inside the hospital? Anything is possible with the right ideas, willingness to change, and the good consultant.

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