Bruce Himelstein is the Ritz-Carlton executive who transformed customer service for one of the world's most recognizable luxury brands, as featured prominently in the New York Times bestseller, The New Gold Standard.
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Customer Service Critique of Hospitals and Urgent Cares

July 18, 2016   

In a recently published article, Mr. Bruce J. Himelstein, who has spent well over 30 years in the realm of hospitality upper management helping global brands improve their culture of service, addressed the need for strong customer service reforms in hospital and critical care environments.

Responding to comments by John Stossel, a Fox News Host and Consumer Reporter, Mr. Himelstein expounded upon his experience working with the CEO of the Shady Grove Hospital to enact a top down approach to shift the focus from medical care that comes at the expense of customer care, to a more balanced distribution of services emphasizing empathy, proactive communication, and positive patient interactions.

Being approached by the Shady Groves Hospital CEO to serve on the Board of Directors and analyze the industry-wide issue through his hospitality service lens of perception allowed Bruce to tap into his own expertise and apply proven measures to current healthcare settings in order to find practical ways to enrich the patient’s experience.

The solutions he mentions in the publication are forward thinking and intensely relevant in a time period when the healthcare industry is shifting from relative hospital monopolies towards an array of more diversely competitive options. Simply put, hospitals are going to need to compete with private urgent care facilities, CVS pharmacy clinics, new companies jumping into the healthcare arena, and conglomerates like Walmart who are considering the idea of building hospitals.

When people have more options, as the healthcare industry is trending towards, then the patient experience (in a time of intense social exposure) will play a critical role in the decision making process about which facilities a patient chooses to attend.

In Mr. Himelstein’s professional estimations, there are a series of highly relevant practical solutions (such as encouraged communication and celebrated service awards/incentives) that when enacted from a top down approach could shift the culture and make a huge difference in whether patients feel cared for and important, or isolated and uncomfortable.

With so many hospitals struggling to stay afloat and other struggling to evolve, it is becoming a business necessity for sustainable medical care in hospital environments to include the levels of empathy and communication that are so vital for customer service.

The new wave of healthcare is coming, and it includes a focus on hospitality that previously was reserved for industries dependent on positive client experiences like large scale hotel chains.

Read the Full Article Here.

  • Recognized as “One of The Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing” by The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI).
  • Featured & Quoted in Bloomberg.com as Branding Consultant.
  • Featured on The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania’s Sirius radio channel discussing his experiences in marketing lifestyle brands.
  • An inductee into “The American Marketing Association” Hall of Fame, Himelstein also sits on many prominent industry boards, including the Luxury Institute Advisory Board.
  • Drove efforts to "blow the dust off the lion and crown" by transforming one of the world's most recognizable luxury brands...the Ritz-Carlton.
  • Recognized for identifying and implementing strategies to maintain relevance in today’s rapidly evolving business world.
  • Featured prominently in Joseph Michelli's New York Times bestseller, "The New Gold Standard".
  • Passionately worked to improve healthcare by serving on the Shady Grove Hospitals Board of Directors
  • Completed innovative work by breaking marketing barriers for Marriott's Senior Living Services
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