Editor's Note: Great Customer Service Helps Heal Many Fractures16 Aug, 2010 By: Thomas Haire Response
Any writer with a keyboard or pen can come up with a million and one paeans to the meaning of good customer service. And in a business like direct response marketing, where top-flight customer service is essential to the health of every single company, I’m sure many have already done so.
But not until you find yourself in a situation where the best customer service shines through do many appreciate just how refreshing and uplifting it can truly be.
On the evening of July 18, I suffered three fractures in my left wrist in a minor watersports accident in Wisconsin. After toughing out that night on a houseboat with friends, I visited the Gundersen Lutheran Urgent Care facility in Onalaska, Wis., on Monday morning, where the six members of the staff I met with could not have been more friendly, caring or downright effective at their jobs if they’d wanted to.
Within 75 minutes, I’d been X-rayed, examined by the wonderful Dr. Wanda DuCharme, diagnosed and fitted with a large splint in order to fly home. After a couple of visits to urgent care facilities here in my native Southern California in recent years, I cannot tell you how fortunate I felt to have suffered my first broken bone in the vicinity of this healthcare facility.
While at the La Crosse, Wis., airport later that morning, I was fortunate enough to work with a great customer service agent from my medical insurance company who connected me to perhaps the best orthopedic and sports medicine clinic in America — Kerlan-Jobe. Any regular reader of sports news or viewer of ESPN would recognize the names of more than a half-dozen of the doctors on staff at Kerlan-Jobe from their work with the best athletes in the world.
Given this, you might suspect that a regular Joe like me would fall far down the list of important patients. However, Dr. Steven Shin — hand specialist for the Los Angeles Lakers, Dodgers, Kings, Angels and Anaheim Ducks — could not have made me feel more important. Truly, his — and the entire Kerlan-Jobe staff’s — customer service skills were second to none. And his surgical work appears to be quite magical, as well — just 10 days after surgery to insert a plate and five screws in my arm, I am already out of a cast and set to begin physical therapy.
Obviously, the quality of the product or service remains key, as I could have been treated by the happiest and kindest folks in the world but still received a bad diagnosis or been subject to a flubbed surgery. However, when the product/service is clearly outstanding — as it has been in this case — it became the top-flight customer service that truly left me, as a customer, feeling that I’d received more than just a service.
When the service provider leaves you feeling honored to have been served by them, that’s when you know the true value of great customer service.