Customer service....

  1. I work in a rich peoples' nursing home, after working with mostly poor and blue-collar folks all my life. It's been an entertaining change for me!

    Anyway, the CEO came down from the ivory tower last week and actually met with the night shift *insert gasp from audience* at 7 am. He had had a few complaints because sometimes it took a few minutes to get call bells answered. 40 patients--6 with c. diff.(almost every patient we get from this one rehab facility comes with c. diff.)--3 CNAs and a cranky old hillbilly nurse--you know how that math works out.

    Anyway, after the mandatory schmoozing and telling how much he loved us and how great we all were, he starts a long story about how he went to a dentist who gave super great wonderful customer service...always made sure his patients didn't feel one bit of pain, had nice new magazines for them to read, very timely with appointments no matter what happened, always did what the customer wanted no matter what it was, you know the kind. The CEO went to this guy a couple of dozen years and became personal friends with him because he was so great.

    Then the dentist retired and the CEO had to go to a new dentist. This dentist not only was not a paragon of customer service, he informed the CEO that his teeth were in terrible shape and had to be all redone. The CEO did not like to hear this very much.

    The CEO then told us that the moral of this story was that it doesn't matter how good your technique was and what your skills were, it's great customer service that bind your customers to you. Nothing should come before your customer service!

    Is that the moral you got?
    I nearly got hysterical, but I restrained myself
  2. Visit Cobweb profile page

    About Cobweb

    Joined: Apr '07; Posts: 244; Likes: 465
    Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialist; from US


  3. by   KaroSnowQueen
    So if we give great customer service and schmooze up to the "customers" then it doesn't matter if we don't really do a dam* thing to help them in the long run???? That's what I'm hearing!!!!!!!
  4. by   cardsRN
    ummm...that is just so wrong. that is what happens when health care organizations try to follow a business model. it is just not the same thing. did the jerk mention his feelings about having a mess for a mouth and all the extra dental work it took to fix it? it sounds like this facility is rotten to the core. (sorry for the tooth pun).
    for real, we are not selling sweaters or long distance. we are charged with caring for people's health. sometimes they will not be delighted with me. as long as i have done my best possible to ensure their health and safety, i am ok with that.
  5. by   RNperdiem
    Welcome to the corporate world. We have become the corporate world.
    Healthcare is not immune to the various fads that sweep like epidemics through the corporate workplace.
    Scripting nurses, vision statements, mission statements and some of the other things which have come along do nothing to improve patient care or quality of care given.
    If the facility has an image problem(often well earned), I could understand the flurry of effort put in to remedy it. Nobody likes rude staff.
    The problem comes in when these customer service models are imposed where there is no problem by people who do not understand healthcare.
  6. by   DusktilDawn
    I suppose the morals of the story is:
    If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with BS.
    Ignorance really is bliss.
    What you don't know doesn't hurt you.

    I guess CEO believes neglect and sub-par care doesn't matter if the patients are blinded by other things. I hate to say it, but I've seen coworkers who were continually praised and singled out in thank-yous from patients/families when all they did was shmooze with them. Seriously, these people really did nothing for these patients/families except blind them with their sociability.

    The big problem with customer service in hospitals is that patients/families are not educated about what should be important, they really are blinded by BS.

    Seriously does Mr CEO think good customer service is more important than having his teeth for the rest of his life? Wonder what his answer would have been to that question?
    Last edit by DusktilDawn on Apr 20, '07
  7. by   Cattitude
    I'm just in utter, complete shock. The health care system is going down. WAY down. Yikes.
  8. by   santhony44
    Quote from cardsRN
    for real, we are not selling sweaters or long distance. we are charged with caring for people's health. sometimes they will not be delighted with me. as long as i have done my best possible to ensure their health and safety, i am ok with that.
    I've been thinking over why this whole "customer service" emphasis bothers me so much, and I think what CardsRN says here sums it up.

    "Customer service" focuses on what people want. Nursing and health care are about what they need.

    If I work in a clothing store and you come in and buy jeans and a skimpy shirt two sizes too small in the mistaken belief that it looks sexy, customer service means that I'll take your money with a smile. If I'm a convenience store clerk and you huff and puff your way to the counter and have to take a rest before you can ask for your cigarettes, customer service means I take your money with a smile.

    Being a nurse means that I do things for you that you need but probably don't want in the least. After all, most of us would just as soon do without an IV, an NG tube, or a Foley. People who just had abdominal surgery don't want to turn, cough, deep breathe, or use the incentive spirometer, much less get up and walk. Diabetics would prefer to live without having a finger stuck or an insulin injection. Smokers don't wish to be told that their cigarettes may be killing them.

    Even when nurses do the comforting things like fluff pillows, give backrubs, or bring water or juice or sodas, it's because that's what the patients need. We aren't clerks, waitresses, or maids, paid to give you what you want whether it's good for you or not!

    Cobweb, congratulations on having the self-control to restrain yourself. Your CEO doesn't think very well at 7AM if that's the best customer service story he could come up with. That one's pretty ridiculous, and I'm sure most of us could come up with numerous scenarios where we'd prefer someone who knows what to do and does it rather than someone who is sweet and soothing while letting us get more ill and/or die!
  9. by   txspadequeenRN
    customer service only goes so far then the arse kissin needs to stop cause i have other things to do like med passes and foley draining...
  10. by   RNsRWe
    Sigh. I don't suppose this dink of a CEO, with his poorly chosen anecdote, would want to hear that I purposely chose a medical specialist who was known to have a lousy bedside manner but was GREAT as a physician? That if I wanted to be kissed and cuddled, I have a husband for that....and I choose professionals based on the quality of their care, not whether I felt loved at the end of the visit?!?
  11. by   CiCigirl
    Quote from cardsRN
    for real, we are not selling sweaters or long distance. we are charged with caring for people's health. sometimes they will not be delighted with me. as long as i have done my best possible to ensure their health and safety, i am ok with that.

  12. by   Medic/Nurse
    [font="comic sans ms"]where am i?


    why am i in this handbasket?

    just when i start to think i've heard everything ...

    if it wasn't for the potential for a tragic outcome (because of this attitude) it would be hysterically funny. although, i will give the story about the teeth an "a" for irony.
  13. by   justavolunteer
    I may be 'justavolunteer', but I know crapola when I hear it. If 'technique doesn't matter', why bother to hire nurses at all. Just hire someone who can smile nicely & hand out free drinks to visitors. Then when the state closes down your facility for the inevitable pt. disasters, the CEO can say "Well, the pts. died, but BOY did we have great customer service".