Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Customer Service

Abby says:
As long as we’re on the topic of etiquette and manners, let’s talk about customer service. Very basic customer service and how it makes a difference. I get a sandwich to go from the Jimmy John’s across the alley from my office about 4 times a week. I began to notice that absolutely every time I walk through the door at least one person says “Hi. How are you today”? Wow, that’s nice. I finally asked the cashier if it’s part of their corporate culture to do this. She replied that it was. Way to go Jimmy John’s!

Something so simple really makes my day.

I work with a lot of physicians. I visit a lot of physician offices in various specialties every week. Two of my clients have some of the friendliest staff in the country. At JWM Neurology in Indiana, you are greeted immediately as you walk in the door. There’s no hiding behind glass partitions and ignoring patients. The JWM management and docs would not put up with that. The Indiana Hand Center has a patient concierge staff that greets patients as they walk in the door, answers questions, etc. Perkins Van Natta Sadove and Kelley Cosmetic Surgery does have a glass partition but it’s always opened by a smiling face when a patient comes in.

As I make my way around Indiana to visit other physician offices I often get flat out ignored. Sometimes the employees don’t look up at me. Other times they do, but they still don’t acknowledge me or ask what I need. They just finish up what they are doing until they are good and ready to deal with me. Several times, I’ve been ignored then asked if I’m a pharmaceutical representative. Do I look like one? What does a drug rep look like? Do they automatically get ignored?

Healthcare work is tough and it’s fast-paced and stressful, but a little customer service goes a long, long way. And it’s not brain surgery! We’ll leave that to the doctors.

Sheri says:
Most people engaged in a customer service role are extremely young. They have not been trained in proper manners. It does not make it any easier to swallow.

I used to have a healthcare client and we did routine patient satisfaction surveys. We finally stopped because the two constant complaints were: the phone system and the front office staff. I wonder if they’ve made any progress with either one.

I tend to frequent the same restaurants. Probably because I like the familiarity. Just like the words in the theme song from Cheers, “Where everybody knows your name.”

Speaking of names, why does no one under the age of 35 seem to have a last name? If I call, I want to know with whom I’m speaking. I want to be able to follow up. I think only Hooter’s waitresses and phone sex girls (or guys) should be able to get away with this practice. Everyone else should be required to use their full name. Just a pet peeve of mine that I should probably let go.

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