When Geneviève Biron took over her father’s company in 2015, she was intent on preserving the firm’s reputation for delivering exemplary medical testing, analysis and diagnostics services. That focus on technical quality had helped Biron Groupe Santé thrive for nearly 65 years; it’s what lit the torch the younger Biron was now carrying, and she was careful not to let it go out.
But Biron didn’t stop there. She took the same careful approach the company used in its scientific procedures and applied it to client relations. The strategy involved giving heightened attention to soft skills like empathetic listening, as well as funnelling resources into new technologies designed to improve the customer experience. “My feeling was that we had to focus a bit more on the clients,” says Biron. “We had to put the clients at the centre of our operations—really listen to what they had to say and then attend to their needs.”
Biron overhauled its feedback system, asking every client a simple question following each visit to a company testing centre: ‘Would you recommend our services to your family or friends?’ Instead of compiling and reviewing the feedback once a month, as the company had previously done, Biron had her management teams look at it every day. “In many cases, small actions that might be an irritant can be taken care of right away,” says Biron. “It makes a huge difference in not making something more complicated than it should be.”
The business is also increasingly focused on technology, like offering services via digital platforms to create a better customer experience. One new addition, for instance, is Biron’s proprietary AMI (short for “accompany, motivate, instruct”) sleep apnea support service. The product gives patients access to a respiratory specialist they can consult online at any time, which, research shows, increases the success of treatments for the condition. Meanwhile, personal therapists can remotely access the data their patients’ equipment collects.
Biron recently hired a dedicated innovation manager to keep tabs on new developments in the industry and encourage its 700 employees to think creatively about how to improve its services, as the company did with AMI. “For us, status quo was not an option,” says Biron. “We’re constantly questioning the way we’re doing things and adjusting it. That profits our clients.”