The following is a Conversation with Josh Plantz, Sr. Director of Technical Support and Customer Satisfaction, STANLEY Healthcare.

When you think about customer service, one of the first things that comes to mind is a person on a headset trying to resolve issues over the phone in an eight-hour shift.

Yep, that’s right, the good old call center, a tried and true way to help people looking for answers that, when done well, moves customers from difficult moments to brand evangelists.

But in today’s era of connected customers — customers who can change loyalties and allegiances with just a tap on the phone — the number of channels and tools that can demand and bring customer service to life, has exploded. There are self-service online communities, website FAQ machines, chat functions, face-time calls, screen sharing, and more.

And leading companies don’t just think of these new channels and tools as novel ways to change how customer service is done, they think of them as ways to drive success throughout a business itself.

STANLEY Healthcare is one such leader. A maker of wireless solutions for safety, security, and efficiency applications in healthcare, STANLEY Healthcare is not only embedding customer service into its solutions, but it is connecting and analyzing the real-time data from wireless devices to continuously improve performance throughout its own organization. The results show in the trust placed in the company’s solutions by hospitals and senior living organizations for applications that directly impact patient or resident care: newborn infant protection, hand hygiene compliance monitoring, management of mobile medical assets, and much more. In addition, the company has earned the distinction of being named KLAS Category Leader for Real-Time Location Systems for five years in a row.

A few weeks ago, we caught up with Josh Plantz, Senior Director of STANLEY Healthcare’s Customer Satisfaction Program, to discuss how the company thinks about customer service, his unique role, and how the company uses the #1 customer service app — Service Cloud Lightning — to connect it all. Here’s an edited selection of Plantz’s answers from that conversation.

Tell us a little bit about your role at STANLEY Healthcare.

Josh Plantz: Well, I do a couple of things. The whole mission of the program is to measure and improve our customer satisfaction and customer experience, and our customers are healthcare providers, both at hospitals and senior living nursing homes, skilled assisted living, and elsewhere.

A lot of companies think of customer service as a department down the hall that takes care of upset people on the phone. How is STANLEY Healthcare different?

Josh Plantz: Here at STANLEY Healthcare we have a program called the Customer Satisfaction Program that everybody really rallies around. I think it’s unique for STANLEY Healthcare to have that type of a program. Lots of companies don’t have one, and it shows our culture of really wanting to continually improve and provide great products and services to healthcare organizations. I have a group of people that report to me that focuses on different segments we serve. So I’ve got somebody that helps me specifically with our senior living market, but also people that help me work on the acute market, which is hospitals. We also have a small group of engineers that goes out to the field to work hand in hand with customers at sites. Among other things, this group of people focuses on measuring customer satisfaction, gathering all the data and putting it back into Salesforce to give us visibility throughout our company on what our customers think about us. Then we use that data to improve everything. Products. People performance. Process.

It sounds like customer service is a core value at STANLEY Healthcare.

Josh Plantz: Customer care is the most important thing at STANLEY Healthcare. It starts at the top, and permeates the whole way down the rest of the organization to the people that are actually touching the customer. We call it “the ripple effect of customer service.” An example is in our infant protection service. We just came out with the industry-leading infant protection system. Customer care was instrumental in bringing everything back from the customer feedback. We’re putting that into our product and service to continue to improve it. And there’s always a feedback loop. We are always asking, “How can we make our product easier to use? How can we make our services better for our customers?” Every touchpoint you have, it’s such a complex relationship that you have with your customer. We work hard to develop the kind of consistency that means everybody across the organization is talking the same language.

You just used an interesting phrase: “Ripple effect.” Can you talk a little more about that?

Josh Plantz: Customer care and customer satisfaction are every interaction we have with our customers — everybody that touches a customer in a different way. So it doesn’t matter whether it’s talking on the phone with them, solving a technical issue, or implementing a system. All those different touchpoints are important in how our customers think about us. So it’s crucial that at all those different levels we’re performing at a high level to our customers. And we believe that means customer care has a ripple effect. Today, it’s a really complicated relationship that we have with our customers. They have a complex environment. They could have multiple systems, and we need to understand their environment quickly. They don’t have time to explain a story to us on what they have installed, or what their environment looks like. What’s nice about Salesforce is we can go in, we can assess the situation quickly, and we can start acting. The customer doesn’t need to retell the whole story to us. Customer care has to permeate through everything we do at STANLEY Healthcare. It’s the whole way — from the presales process, through sales, implementation, support, and after they’ve had the system for years. It’s a continuous process throughout the lifecycle. And we take what we learn through constant surveys, monitoring, and data, and feed it back out to our departments. They come up with an action plan on how we can improve. We pick the high-priority areas that we’re going to target to improve. We put that in action, and it’s a continuous process that goes up to our executive level. It’s one of the most important things that we do at STANLEY Healthcare. That’s how we generate the best customer experience and an industry-leading product. That’s how we continuously improve our products and services, and stay ahead of the competition. That’s how we stay innovative.

Tell us about the importance of trust in healthcare.

Josh Plantz: Trust is so important in healthcare. Our customers rely on us to deliver for their patients, so they need to be able to trust that our systems are up 100% of the time — and that we are proactive and help them identify issues before they happen so that they can focus on their job, which is patient care at the bedside.

What within customer service and satisfaction resonates the most with you?

Josh Plantz: It resonates with me on a couple of levels. The first one is a personal level. My mother was a pediatrics nurse for 40 years. I also have a 12-year-old son, so I remember when he was born like it was yesterday. Also, it’s meaningful to my grandparents’ experience in a nursing home. The importance of service in those places, for those people, is fundamental. From a professional level, I got the opportunity to work at cancer clinics in other hospitals, with a system to help improve the workflow. So there would be less waiting for care. And that’s actually pretty powerful — knowing you’re putting in a system to help people go through a process more efficiently.

Well, that’s a pretty powerful thing.

Josh Plantz: It is.

To learn more, check out the STANLEY Healthcare success story in the video below or Download the free e-book for best practices on transforming the customer experience with connected field service.