Vancouver Business Journal

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2014: A year of business in Southwest Washington

2014: A year of business in Southwest Washington

Looking back at the year’s growing businesses, notable projects & accomplish...

Top 10 most-read stories of 2014

Top 10 most-read stories of 2014

In advance of Friday’s special Year in Review edition of the Vancouver Business ...

Fort Vancouver National Trust announces purchase of historic Academy site

Fort Vancouver National Trust announces purchase of historic Academy site

After a two-year, $10.6 million fundraising campaign, the Fort Vancouver Nationa...

Details emerge on 101 Main Street building

Details emerge on 101 Main Street building

Local developer Killian Pacific is preparing to break ground early next year on ...

Pacific Continental announces major SW WA expansion

Pacific Continental announces major SW WA expansion

Pacific Continental Bank has inked plans to expand its presence in Southwest Was...

Freshii to open two additional Vancouver locations

Freshii to open two additional Vancouver locations

Less than one year ago, Doug and Rich Gillespie brought the Freshii franchise to...

Banking & Money Management

Best practices for business seeking loans

Best practices for business seeking loans

With the right approach, applying for a loan doesn’t have to be painful. The following best practices, garnered from local experts, can help business owners successfully obtain a new loan or restructure an existing one.

“Right now is a great time to restructure debt because interest rates are so low,” said Dave Hansen, Columbia Bank’s senior VP and regional manager for the Portland/Vancouver area...

Business Forecast

Amid budget concerns, Southwest Washington counties see growth ahead

Amid budget concerns, Southwest Washington counties see growth ahead

Each of southwest Washington’s counties – Clark, Skamania and Cowlitz – have their challenges and opportunities in the coming year. The overall sentiment remains positive, despite budgetary qualms.

Clark County:

It’s going to be a busy year

Marty Snell, Clark County community development director, is optimistic about 2015. He expects “upticks in all sectors of development” – so much so that he ...

News Briefs

Clark College Foundation honored for fundraising

Clark College Foundation has earned gold in the best-of-the-best competition for fundraising campaigns from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VIII. The award recognizes excellence in marketing and communications among more than 130 advancement institutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Spotlight

Ginn Realty Group finds success in luxury market & beyond

Ginn Realty Group finds success in luxury market & beyond

Ginn Realty Group is fast becoming a star on the Pacific Northwest’s real estate scene. After taking a risk during the recession, founder Patrick Ginn has driven his five-year-old group to the top and earned the number one spot on Hasson Company Realtors’ prestigious Top 40 Agent listing. Total sales volume for his award-winning agency increased nearly $6 million from 2013 and shows no signs of sl...

Through your patients’ eyes

If you run an office – whether it’s a medical practice or not – taking a regular look at how customers access your services can be a valuable lesson. A “mystery shopper” may help identify obstacles or give advice for improvements.

If you run an office – whether it’s a medical practice or not – taking a regular look at how customers access your services can be a valuable lesson. A “mystery shopper” may help identify obstacles or give advice for improvements.

A recent seminar by consultant and author Kris Baird gave specific examples (and showed the crazy photos of real-life instances) of what not to do in terms of customer service. She suggested medical practices examine themselves in seven areas:

The one that got away

Does your practice consider the experience before someone arrives for the first time? Are your phone system and website up to date and easy to navigate? Should the website give office hours so a potential caller knows when to best contact you?

Most of us don’t realize how many customers leave before they even enter our systems.

You never get a second chance

Does your physical environment reflect your level of quality? Baird presented an insightful picture that showed the spaces reserved for disabled people outside an office were further down the sidewalk than the spots reserved for doctors.

We’re glad you’re here

If the first message that greets customers is a list of rules and regulations, they may not feel welcomed. Creating a welcoming reception isn’t expensive – it simply takes the right folks who understand eye contact.

He said what?

In often anxious situations like medical settings, the friendly banter of staff may need to be reserved for the break room.

Worth a thousand words

If everything speaks, what messages do your customers get by seeing cluttered bulletin boards or overflowing garbage bins? Little things can be perceived as lack of quality.

Doctors, PAs, technicians, referral coordinators and more…

With the complexity of medical offices, most of us who visit them don’t know the roles anymore. Are all these folks on the same page in terms of instilling confidence in your processes?

Out the door

What is the last thing a customer hears, sees or feels at the end of the encounter? Key words at key times can make a lasting impression.

Looking at ourselves isn’t easy. Mystery shopping is not intended to judge clinical competency but rather how patients feel about the encounter. Wouldn’t it be ideal if everything about the customer encounter instilled trust that we are delivering on the promise of safe, high-quality health care?

 

Chad Dillard leads marketing and communications efforts for Southwest Washington Health System. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 360-514-7263.

Opinion

Focus Column

Taking risks in 2015

Taking risks in 2015

At the turning of the year, as we reflect on the road our businesses just traveled while attempting to forecast the road...

Unleashing the region’s potential, together

Unleashing the region’s potential, together

Our region is at an inflection point. Once associated mostly with coffee shops, the foodie scene and quality of life, th...

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