In a vast ocean of service providers, what makes YOU different from anyone else?
Highly-specialized medical service provider?
Largest medical practice in the area?
Been in business for 50 years?
Next question — what do your clients say about you? Even those unwanted reviews on Google and Yelp? Could they possibly be right?
I’ve got a story for you today about a medical service provider. In fact, this story encompasses a whole range of medical service providers, but I’ll start with this story.
It’s almost Valentine’s Day. One of dearest loves in my life has a new, very suspicious few moles.
In fact, this person had skin cancer a little over a year ago, and the dermatologist had to do the MOHS procedure to get it all. It was hours long, requiring many layers of tissue removal.
What I am most distressed about is that my loved one is refusing to go back to said dermatologist. Overall impressions of this office were not good, though the surgery was successful.
For one thing, they handed out iPads to gather information. Very efficient. Very impersonal — just like the whole consumer experience in this office. #UXFail
The dermatologist acted like she didn’t have the time of day, and downplayed my loved one’s concerns and opinions. How do I know this is true? I wasn’t there.
Oh, but I decided to try out this same practice, by recommendation of the same primary care physician my loved one uses.
Same speedy, impersonal, efficient treatment. I literally saw the dermatologist for no more than five minutes. Didn’t even get asked if I had any other skin concerns — which I did!
Efficient service. Prompt service. Service with a hasty smile (that felt totally fake).
This wasn’t the first specialist that’s treated me this way. Or my loved ones. For a period of a many years, we’ve seen a medical specialist every single month in my family. A few years back, we were going to specialists almost every single week due to cancer.
So I’m not crying, “WOLF”.
Service that makes a loved one with a potentially life-threatening condition REFUSE to go back — now that’s the kicker!
If this were a one-time experience, I would say, “Well, there’s a bad apple in every bunch — even in a well-to-do area known for its smorgasbord of excellent medical providers.” (We travel to medical providers in the Baltimore/Annapolis metro area).
What is missing from many service providers and medical practices is HEART.
Genuine service providers that care about their clients are actually HARD to find. We’ve experienced life’s great frustrations and even being ripped off by all of the below:
The worst part is that we’ve paid good money to these over the years!
At least a dozen different medical specialists
What are some common ways (and obvious fixes) that service providers mistreat their clientele?
Number ONE on the list is treating your client like a NUMBER! To be a little extreme and possibly over-dramatic here, think about the Nazi death camps.
What is one of the top ways Nazis dehumanized their victims?
They took away their names and assigned them numbers. If you use iPads to gather information, at least make sure that you, as the medical service provider, also ASK your clients if they have any additional questions.
Number TWO is hiring incredibly rude office staff. Or just unfriendly, unhelpful folks? I’ve written about importance of that front desk personnel. Efficiency is wonderful and necessary. But your staff should also treat people with kindness and respect. Every. Single. Time.
I’ve been that front desk receptionist in a medical office. Yes, you get rude treatment sometimes. It goes with the territory. If you’re being abused by a patient, it’s time for the office manager to step in with firm kindness.
Due to HIPPA laws, I’ve struggled as a caregiver to get needed information or even confirm appointments. The worst part? The person on the other end of the phone acted as if they could care less! That stinks.
Number THREE is debatable. I could have put this as Number ONE — failure to provide a quality service or product.
Sure, I understand that we’re all humans. Humans make mistakes. What I am calling out is the purposeful deception of certain auto mechanics or the tire company selling you older tires that have been sitting in storage for too long that will wear out more quickly.
Is it any wonder that there’s deep consumer distrust in this industry? It’s easy to make a quick buck by lying, cheating, and stealing.
Or the doctor that is understandably tired but fails to take the time to listen to their patient. You could be the patient’s last hope for relief!
As a writer, I understand needed edits, corrections, and pleasing clientele. Sometimes you actually lose money along the way in order to satisfy your client. That is unsustainable! But you live and learn. You improve your game, and perhaps choose your clients more wisely.
If you are not a good fit for your client, tell them so!
If they have a problem you cannot fix, refer them to another provider with kindness and grace.
In a world full of mistrust, deception, and struggle, your quality service with HEART and kindness can actually improve someone’s life.
You can restore faith, too, in someone who’s been burned by the system. A lot of us, actually, are in this boat.
Of course, I’ve told my loved one this. “You simply MUST see another provider. Don’t give up! Change doctors.” I’m hoping with all my heart that they’ll listen.