In the second of a series of articles examining key issues within the care sector, Theresa Swan, Springhill Care Group’s learning and development manager, looks at customer service.
Effective customer service is held in great regard by all businesses, and those working in health and social care place a high priority on this vital aspect of their relationship with customers and the local community.
The Springhill Care Group is keenly aware that every person should expect a quality and person-centred service whilst living in a care facility. The element of customer service should be integral to that process.
The views of families, friends and potential and current residents are paramount to ensuring the provision of care is constantly meeting the needs of the people who use the service.
At Springhill we are aware of the partnership that this involves – all our efforts are centred on the provision of care which enables a person to live their life as fully as they are able to – with a dedicated and professional team who can offer support that is tailored to the individual.
Having served the people of Lancashire and Ribble Valley for over 30 years, we have discovered the intrinsic value of monitoring our performance to our customers in a variety of ways. Possibly the most effective of this is the feedback we receive from people who have experienced our services.
This ranges from those who have enjoyed a short break with us, a period of respite care, perhaps to provide a break for a home carer, during or after a period of illness, or when a family has been supported through a time of bereavement and loss.
A job well done
Our efforts to provide the best possible support, to a large and varied group of people within many sets of circumstances, are often rewarded with the most outstanding praise and gratitude for a ‘job well done’ and wonderful memories of times at Springhill. So many of our relatives speak about friendships forged forever, people who came as visitors becoming friends and continuing to share in the life of the home.
This is a most effective measure of customer service – many of the people who have benefited from the care and support offered at Springhill have been delighted to share their stories.
It is perhaps the greatest tribute to our customers that many wish to offer reassurance, through their own personal experience, to those who may be thinking about a care facility and feel at a loss to know how to begin the process, or, more importantly, how to feel supported if they have to make a decision about someone very dear to them.
We think it’s helpful to allow our customers to speak for themselves:
“I have had a wonderful time with you all at Springhill. During my stay I have improved in so many ways and feel a confidence in myself that I never expected to feel. Not only have you provided excellent support and care, but you have laughed and cried with me during these weeks of recovery. It has felt like I came into a family and I will be eternally grateful for your care and compassion.”
“We wanted to say a very big ‘thank you’ to all the staff for your love and care shown to our mum during her time with you at Springhill. As we spent more time with mum during her final illness it made us realise how much you had all become her extended family. It was very clear to us how much love she received from you all and we are so grateful.”
“We could not have coped without your help in the final days of mum’s illness. The personal touches and the time you all spent with her was unbelievable. You watched over her and understood how distressed we were, taking time to listen and talk with us. Your kindness will never be forgotten.”
“Your staff team are really excellent, they go beyond professionalism and really care about what they do. I’ve been humbled by the emotion expressed by many staff members at mum’s passing and would like to say that what really sets them apart is their kindness and compassion.”
“I must have visited around ten homes when looking for the ‘right’ place and Springhill stood head and shoulders above the rest. I would advise anyone who is considering care to visit Springhill and see the difference.”
“I have been receiving care for many years and having made the decision to move permanently to Springhill I have no regrets. I know I have made the right choice and this is now my home. I am treated as an individual, with respect and as a person in my own right. I live my life as independently as I can and know I have the support and care of staff when I need it.
“Some months ago I celebrated a special birthday and had a wonderful party – many of my relatives and friends came and they all said what a warm welcome they received when they came through the door!”
These reassuring and heart-warming accounts pay the greatest tribute to the individuals who make up the outstanding team, which is Springhill Care Home.
Dedication to a rigorous recruitment and selection process secures the high standard of worker who embodies the values of Springhill, and delivers an enviable quality service which is rooted in continuous learning and development.
A quality care home, for quality customer service.