Even at the Doctor’s Office!

posted: Friday, January 20, 2012

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When I first started thinking about writing this particular article, I went back and forth about if I should write it or not. In the end I decided that there were some things to be learned from that one fateful day at the doctor. It has nothing to do with sales but it has everything to do with customer service and being a professional.

A few weeks ago I went to the doctor and witnessed many poor examples of customer service and an incredible lack of professionalism. The first thing I noticed was that despite having 3 patients at her desk, the receptionist was more interested in taking care of the people on the phone. She answered 4 phone calls before helping any of the patients standing in front of her. The people on the phone are important, of course, but the customer standing right in front of you is the most important one. That’s customer service 101.

As I was filling out some paperwork, I had a question and went to the receptionist to ask and was shocked at what I heard. Upon asking the question, the receptionist said "Hang on, can’t you see how busy I am?" We all get busy and even flustered at times, but we are in the customer service business and a response like that is NEVER appropriate.

I was then waiting to be called back and there was some sort of disagreement within the staff, and they begin to argue in front of all of their patients. It was uncomfortable sitting in the waiting room and completely unprofessional. Again, we all have disagreements with supervisors or co-workers but it is never acceptable to vent them in the presence of customers.

The one positive note out of all of this is the manner in which the doctor dealt with the situation. He apparently heard the arguing, came up to the front desk and quietly calmed people down. His professional approach solved the situation that could have been made worse had he came up yelling himself. He figured out what the problem was, solved it and then came into the waiting room and apologized to everyone. He said, "We are truly sorry for the lack of professionalism today and we value your continued business."

Thankfully the doctor’s actions saved the day. But we must always remember that no matter what kind of day we are having, delivering high quality customer service is a must.

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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