Posts Tagged ‘LifeSpring’

Your Feedback Matters to Us

December 10, 2007

Along with auto-rickshaws, the customer feedback form has become another ubiquitous feature of Hyderabad. This weekend alone, I was asked to complete three customer feedback forms. You know the type: on a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied are you with the service, decor, range of products, etc.

While I appreciate the strategic customer focus that these forms imply, I can’t help but wonder: (1) are they actually collecting any meaningful insights from this data? and (2) can these forms do more harm than good for customer satisfaction? We all know that these forms are usually no fun to fill out and often come at the most inopportune times.

And here’s the “so what?” to all of this:

A huge part of my project is helping LifeSpring better understand their customers — the low-income women who give birth in their hospitals. What do they see as quality? How do they view the hospital?

LifeSpring already has quite a few initiatives in place: a feedback form for customers, a customer comment and complaint log at the hospital…For women who do not complete feedback forms, someone from LifeSpring calls to follow-up. LifeSpring takes its commitment to customer satisfaction seriously; last week, I sat in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) meeting, while each customer complaint or comment was read, analyzed to find its root cause, and discussed to find a resolution.

Yet we are looking for ways to do this better. Feedback forms are intrinsically limited — not only for the reasons cited above, but also because many of LifeSpring’s customers are illiterate. Focus groups provide another option — but these are timely and difficult to scale up as LifeSpring grows.

So I’m throwing the question out to you all, because “your feedback matters to us”. Seriously though. What ideas do you have for us to collect meaningful and action-oriented feedback from our customers?

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99.9% Identical

December 6, 2007

The woman looks at the bag, a bit unsure of its contents. Slowly and almost hesitantly, she opens it up, and a huge smile sweeps over her face. Inside is a pink baby gown and a soft baby cloth to wrap her newborn in – a gift from the hospital.

I am at LifeSpring (www.lifespring.in), where I will be working for the next nine months (a time period not lost on someone now working at a maternity hospital!) I’ve spent the last few days completely immersed in its operations: sitting with the doctor as she consults with each woman…sitting in the ultrasound room, watching images of unborn babies on the tiny square screen…sitting with pediatricians as they vaccinate dozens of children…sitting with customers in the waiting room…and easily the best part: watching the customers leave the hospital, healthy new addition in tow!

In the last blog post, Catherine brought up Harvard’s Commencement speech. I am reminded of this year’s other speaker. Bill Clinton commented that: “Human beings, with their three billion genomes, are 99.9 percent identical genetically…Don’t you think it’s interesting that [we]…spend 90 percent of our lives thinking about that one-tenth of one percent?”

Sure, the cultural practices around childbirth may differ around the world. I watch fascinated, as family members circle the new mother’s head with a coconut…then the baby’s head…then break the coconut on the ground before leaving hospital grounds.

But there’s nothing like holding a LifeSpring baby to remind me how similar and connected we all are. Indeed, I am reminded of something Jacqueline Novogratz said before the fellows left: “We all want the same thing – a life full of meaning, a life full of purpose, a life full of dignity.”