Please don’t underestimate the importance of careful hiring and deliberate training — not only in the “hard” skills of the job, but also in the “soft” skills of dealing with people.
I am inspired to comment on this subject because as I write this blog, I am waiting for a call back from the technical assistant at my ophthamalogist’s office. I placed a call to her this morning, but technically, I have been waiting to hear back from her for more than a week, when I last called her for information.
What makes this “wait” so much more irritating and frustrating is that when I last saw this assistant, I related to her the story about my husband getting fired by our doctor because he wanted good customer service. All he wanted and expected was for the staff in her office to keep him informed. When they didn’t, he complained, and she fired him. (See my blog entry, “Do you fire patients?”)
When I told the technician this story, she was dismayed at the lack of understanding by the doctor. But, I guess the lesson did not hit home, because here I am, waiting for the telephone to ring.
The technician is competent, but she could obviously benefit from some customer-service training. Or, the doctor could benefit from more careful hiring practices, to make sure he hires someone who knows how to balance people skills with productivity skills.
We recently asked readers to tell us about mistakes they have made in running their businesses and what they learned from them. (We’ll be publishing what they told us in an upcoming issue.) One of the recurrent confessions was not taking the time to hire the right person.
Please take time, and then train them in your expectations for good customer service. I suspect your patients are no different from me. They just want the courtesy of being acknowledged.
Until next time,