We have established service standards to give our staff direction when confronted with a situation that is new and unusual. They consider the standards in sequence and devise the best solution. The standards are:
- Safety first
- Sit in the customer’s chair
- Do the most you can do
- Communicate often and thoroughly
Our Service Standards
The safety of our staff is paramount. Without the ability to insure a healthy and alert staff, we would be unable to assist our callers. We have received medical emergency calls on nearly every medical account we serve and many non-medical accounts. We have received calls from family members of our customers with medical emergencies. We have received calls regarding everything from an air conditioning contractor receiving a call about an A/C unit that is out, with an infant at a home that is rapidly overheating, to an apartment complex call where a tenant is locked out and in danger. It must be clear to all of our staff that our first duty is to insure the safety of all concerned.
Sit in the Customer’s Chair:
When a customer’s call rings up on their screen, we encourage our staff to mentally ask Scotty to “beam them up” to the customer’s office so they can sit in the receptionist’s chair. This way, the office is never closed, as they are clearly still in the office. Further, they can help the caller; it is not a problem, it is the very reason they chose to work here. It is amazing how this simple mental image allows for more messages to be taken with more accurate and thorough message delivery.
Do the Most You Can Do:
In the early days of the industry, a constant phrase used in training was: When in doubt, reach the customer with the message. Times and technology have changed, and so have training methods. But the fundamental point is still the same. When in doubt—reach out. Do everything you can to help the caller and our customer. Too often people look for shortcuts and do the least they can do. We work hard to train and focus on doing the opposite of what goes on throughout society today—we do the most we can to serve.
Communicate Often and Thoroughly:
There were times when a message was delivered that only said, “ask them to call me.” How pointless! Why call and leave a message if you did not want a return call? Clearly, the “meat” of the message was missing. From taking a thorough message, to returning the call to clarify a detail, to checking with the office to make sure that the “always on call” is still in place, it is our job to bridge every potential communications gap.