Wednesday, February 15, 2012

120215 Customer Service in Healthcare

So, a very serious subject that really touched me this week. As some of you know, my grandmother is in the hospital. After a very long drawn out ordeal, she is ready to be discharged from hospital care, but needs to be checked into something called a "Skilled Nursing Facility."
Lovelace gave us a list of rehabilitation services to choose from and advised us to pick one because she would have to do this therapy "in patient" meaning she would have to stay there.
Well, we had time to check out (2) two facilities as the close of business was drawing near. We jumped in Jason's dodge diesel, and we headed to the closest one. Paloma Blanca. On the way, I called ahead to let them know we were coming. The phone was answered by a lady who was very attentive, understanding, and was adamant that she wanted to get us to the right person right away, but the person I needed to talk to was on the other line. She asked me to wait a moment, and I was soon transferred to Lorraine. I explained my situation, and she said no problem, "I'll see you in a few. very pleasant.
We arrive and Jason was not very impressed with the facility. He said it reminded him of the old day care we use to go to 30 years ago (Peanut Butter and Jelly). To say this was an older facility would be a fair assessment, I believe. When we arrived we rang the little desk bell, and were greeted by a very cheerful receptionist. Granted it was 4pm, and I know it was a long day. Lorraine game out immediately, welcomed us, and was very patient, understanding and compassionate as well as very understanding of our time constraints. The facility was very clean, however you can tell this facility has been in service for quite a few years. (The TV's were the old tube TV's, that gave it away for me right away :)
After the tour, Lorraine thanked us for visiting, and understood that we had other facilities to go to, and if there were any questions to not hesitate to call.
We then proceeded to Albuquerque Heights Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center. On our way, we called, and the person on the other end of the phone couldn't be less interested in helping me. She didn't tell me who she was, or who she was transferring me to, she just said "please hold" and connected me with someone's voice mail. Well, I need to let someone know I'm on my way down now, so I called back, and the individual on the phone, in the snottiest teenager voice possible said, "You need to talk to Amber, if she's not answering, just leave a message."
By the time I finish the conversation with Ms. Cheerful on the phone, we arrive. We walk into the facility, and I have to admit, it was nicer than the last. The ambiance was relaxing, and everything looked more modern than the last facility. The receptionist was breaking down her station for the night because it was 4:30 and it looked like it was time for her to go home. She didn't look at us, or greet us, however when I said "Hi, I need to talk to someone about admitting my grandmother from the hospital.," the moment she opened her mouth I could tell it was the same person I spoke with on the phone.
She tisked, and handed me a clipboard and informed me that I need to fill this out to speed things up when Amber frees up. I sit and filled out the paperwork, and shortly Amber, who was dressed, in an outfit that revealed all of natural 'assets' showed up and began to review the form I just filled out. From there she walked us back to the unit where Grandma would be staying, a "show" room, and pointed it out that she would only get 2 showers a week, and that was it. At least, that's what I remember of the whole conversation.
Needless to say I was able to control the geekiness part of me, and focus on the service, and realize that if the folks at ABQ Heights Rehab walk around hating the job, in a rush, and generally unfriendly with me... How are they gonna treat grandma. Well, today she checked in to Paloma Blanca!
Here's what I really want my readers to get out of this: How are your ,front line' or, as I like to say "First Impression" employees projecting the quality of service for your company? Are they warm and inviting? Are they truly showing off what your company has to offer? Or, do they hate their Jobs... And show it to every one they comes thru your doors? I hope, that if you truly understand that service gets return customers, you will know how to answer that.
Have a great week!

Michael D. Chavez
Cherokee Street, L.L.C.
"Live off the Blackberry"

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