Customer service impacts patient satisfaction beyond the patient room. In fact, patient satisfaction often begins when the patient leaves his or her car and continues on throughout the facility.

For instance, environmental services leaders should take a look at their parking lots. Are they full of debris? Are there any safety issues that need to be addressed? Is signage appropriate? It is interesting to see how many visitors are upset about how it looks outside.

Next, they should take a look at their entrances. Is the trash picked up consistently? Are the windows fingerprint-free? Is there appropriate matting in northern climes and are the mats straight and not curled up? Are the floors clean?

Third, environmental services leaders should determine whether wayfinding is appropriate and easy to understand. This is probably one of the biggest complaints by visitors to a health care organization. If wayfinding is lacking, what can be done about it? And, are staff trained to physically take visitors to their destinations, if necessary?

Fourth, environmental services leaders should notice whether staff are smiling when they walk the hallways. Are their ID badges visible? When an organization is friendly, the culture is vibrant and evident to everyone who enters the facility.

Finally, do environmental services staff members provide positive experiences for patients and their families? Are they pleasant, helpful and comforting? Do they respond to patient needs even though they may be outside their specific job descriptions? Do they respond to family and visitor needs?