A Prescription for Seriously Sparkly Service

A guest post from Chip Bell…

When I ask my friends and work colleagues to name the best service providers they know, rarely is a healthcare provider on their lists. I often wonder why an organization that is so personally important to customers providing service at their customer’s most vulnerable moments would not be the best of the best. We can chalk it up to regulations, insurance carriers, busy doctors and overworked medical staff. But, does it have to be that way?

Twenty-four hour viruses are mystery bugs. You typically are totally clueless about where they come from or what makes them go away. All you know is that a 102-degree fever is not normal and medical help might be needed if you intend to not be slowed down by the malady!

It was 6:15pm on a Sunday night and I was flying out Monday to North Dakota to give a keynote. After enduring an afternoon of aches, I finally checked my temperature. I immediately called the Lake Oconee Urgent Care and got receptionist Christine. “You know we close in the summer at 6:30pm but come on and we will get you in.”

At 6:35 I walked in. Christine had already generated the paperwork and had an examining room on hold for me. With a twinkle in her eye, “She asked if my birth date had changed and what it was today.” When I told her my birthdate, she smiled, “Yes, I have it here. I just wanted to make sure you were you and not someone else with your name!!”

After lots of questions and an examination, the PA indicated a blood test was needed; seconds later the nurse appeared. “Good evening, I’m Nurse Dracula here to take your blood.” I laughed and started to feel better. At 6:55 I had a diagnosis, a prescription called in and waiting for me at the nearby pharmacy and was all ready to leave. As I walked out, I heard the PA say, “Call me if you have concerns. And, break a leg in North Dakota tomorrow!”

We sometimes use medical service as a comical oxymoron–an example of poor service. At a time when we most have a need for speed, we sometimes endure long delays in waiting and examining rooms, arrogant medical professionals, disrespect of our temporary dependent state and endless paperwork to satisfy the “rules r’ us” insurance company or government.

But, it does not have to be that draconian. Take a copy of this blog to your health care provider and show them the level of service you expect and deserve.  And, if they need best practices to emulate, have them contact Lake Oconee Urgent Care for customer service lessons!


Chip R. Bell is a renowned keynote speaker and the author of several national best-selling books. His newest book is the just-released Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles. He can be reached at chipbell.com.

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