The Doctor Won’t See You Now

I keep hearing stories that I couldn’t make up if I tried.

This latest one comes from the world of health care.

As an industry, health care is one of the last hold outs when it comes to ignoring the customer.

Why bother treating the patient as a customer?   Many doctors still have the mindset that “You’re lucky just to be in my presence.”

Much better to lord over your patients than to serve them.

Our friend Lynn has two children.  Her youngest, Nat is a 3 year old who has come down with a nasty prolonged case of croup.

When Nat coughs his raspy deep cough, your heart feels like it wants to jump out of your chest, it sounds so bad.

After the croup persisted for a few weeks, Lynn brought him in to see a specialist, Dr. Hermann.

As Lynn and her husband are self-employed, seeing Dr. Hermann was an out of pocket expense.

$500 for a visit.

Nate and Lynn turn up in the waiting room.

And that’s exactly what they do for the next 45 minutes.

Wait.  And wait.  With lots of other people around.  Every chair is taken.  Lynn decides to stand.

Finally, they’re called from the outer waiting room into…you guessed it…

The Inner Waiting Room.

(It’s still waiting, but with the anticipating that you’ll be seeing the Doctor soon(er).)

20 more minutes of waiting.

Finally, Dr. Hermann rushes in does a quick exam.  He’s got his assembly line game face on.

His body language says, “This is going to take 3 minutes, tops.”

After a quick look in Nat’s throat, the doctor says,

Well, there’s really nothing for us to do with this.  You’ll just have to wait it out, and he’ll be better.  The best thing  you can do in the meantime is try to keep him away from sick people.

This, after 45 minutes being trapped in a room with sick people.

Lynn said to me afterwards, “Am I crazy, or does he not have a clue about what he said, and what we did in that room?”

If Dr. Hermann saw the process from the customer’s (patient’s) point of view, he’d see things entirely different.

Where could you benefit by taking your customers point of view?

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