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The piece ‘NHS could learn about motivating staff from John Lewis
stores’  brought a smile to my face as I reminisced over the bonuses I
received during my part-time employment as a Sales Advisor and subsequent
Customer Services Manager at John Lewis during medical school. I felt
valued and motivated as a core team member and the extra cash served as a
useful buffer against spiralling student debt.
However, democratic principles are not the only concept John Lewis
can offer the health profession. Successful retail companies such as John
Lewis ensure customer loyalty through providing excellent customer
service. In an increasingly consumer-focussed health service, staff would
do well to spend time within the retail industry, learning and practising
the ABCs (Acknowledging, Building and Closing) of good customer service
 and undergoing work-place based assessments in the form of ‘mystery
shoppers’ to assess performance.
The ‘patient experience’ element of Darzi’s vision for High Quality
Care for All  should certainly not be underestimated.
1. Kmietowicz Z. NHS could learn about motivating staff from John
Lewis stores. BMJ 2009;339:b2703
2. From Customer Services Manager training manual, John Lewis Partnership.
3. Department of Health. High quality care for all: NHS Next Stage Review
final report. June 2008