Monday, April 2, 2018

Customer service

I feel like as a doctor, part of my job is customer service.  Because when I see inpatients, a lot of the time when I ask at the end of seeing them if there's anything else I can do for them, they have a complaint about their call button taking too long to be answered, the food being bad, their roommate being too loud, etc.

I try to handle the complaints best I can.  I never ignore them.  I say something like, "I'm so sorry that happened.  Let me see what I can do to fix it."  Then I tell them my plan, which involves anything from talking to the nursing supervisor about nursing issues or to the unit coordinator to get them a room change.  I can't personally fix the problem, but at least I try to show I'm taking it seriously and addressing it.

It's made me a lot less tolerant of bad customer service.

Recently, I got an email at 6PM from our leasing office, saying that tomorrow (a holiday when kids were off from school), they were doing repairs and our water would be shut off intermittently "after 8AM."  I was horrified.  We didn't even have a day's notice of this!  I was going to be home with the kids all day and how can you do anything at home when you don't know if you're going to have water to clean it up?

I called the office, and the woman I spoke to was almost rude.  She assured me they were in no way obligated to inform us in advance of such a thing.  When I asked for a better estimate of when the repairs were being done, she huffed, "I gave you an estimate already!  It's going to be after 8AM."  I was like, "But that's the WHOLE DAY."

Finally, after talking for several minutes, I pleaded with her to at least talk to the repairmen in the morning to see about getting a better estimate on the time, and she very grudgingly agreed.

How hard would it have been to apologize to me for this unexpected inconvenience?  How hard would it have been to offer to check with the repairmen instead of forcing me to beg her to do it?

I think Customer Service 101 is not acting like the complaint is the fault of the customer.


  1. Customer service is sorely lacking just about everywhere. It does, however, make the exceptions stand out and be very appreciated.

  2. I don't know where you live but the Landlord and Tenant Act in the state of Oklahoma states that they must give you 24 hours notice, unless it is an emergency. You might check you local laws. There is absolutely no reason for the way she acted.


  3. Oh, I sympathize on the kids being home and the attitude of Ms Personality.

    I noticed it said intermittently, so hopefully it'll just be a few minutes here and there.

    Definitely fill a few large pans and half fill a few buckets the kids can wash hands in if needed.

    Or if you have wet wipes around, that should do the trick. Just like what you'd do during a long car ride.

    I hope she follows through to spare you anymore duress.

  4. Spend the day out on the town with the kids enjoy being a kids again with your kids. You have a valid excuse for not cleaning or cooking, think of it as a bonus....

  5. Well at least you made contact with a human. I find trying to deal with actual robots instead very annoying always leaving me with a feeling of total helplessness...