“I’m very sick and you made me wait on the phone for 20 minutes,” the man yelled. “I had to listen to your stupid recording telling me my call is important. If it really was important I wouldn’t have to wait so long.”
This call is real and it was placed to one of America’s largest medical institutions. This institution insists that before a patient can see a doctor he or she be screened by phone by a nurse who is required to ask a long series of qualifying questions.
“What’s your name sir,” the nurse asked. “What the hell does my name matter,” hollared the man. “Get me in to see the doctor, I’m sick!”
“First I’ve gotta ask you some questions,” she replied with irritation ringing in her voice. “What is your name?” He shouted an expletive, and screamed, “My name is John Smith, are you happy?”
“Mr. Smith,” she said. “The first question I have to ask is … “ Cutting her off, he yelled, “That’s it, I am going to report you. What’s your name?”
The woman who told me this story was upset and loudly exclaimed, “I hate my job!”
After listening to her complain I said, “Let’s see if we can make your job more pleasant.” She took up the challenge. We role played, and she was him and I was her.
“I’m very sick and you made me wait on the phone for 20 minutes,” she shouted. “I’m so sorry to hear that you’re sick sir,” I replied. “And that we made you wait for 20 minutes. I apologize and I can understand why you are so angry. You have every reason to feel as you do.
“Let’s get you top notch medical care quickly,” I continued. “To do that, I need to know your name sir.” “I’m John Smith,” was her reply. “When can I see a doctor?”
“I’m going to make an appointment shortly Mr. Smith,” I answered. “To select the right doctor for you, I need to ask you some questions, otherwise I’ll be wasting your time.”
This woman was startled at how quickly this ugly call was defused. “Put yourself in the caller’s position,” I replied. “He’s sick and then he gets a recording, a long wait followed by bureaucratic indifference.
“What he wants is someone to care,” I continued. “We all do. And he wants someone to help him. You are that someone. So put yourself above his complaining mindset rather than be angered by it. It’s nothing personal. He doesn’t know you. Help him and he’ll have nothing to complain about because he’ll be getting exactly what he wants.”
And I will add something for you dear reader you can use to become very popular and productive and become highly successful at work.
In our example, most people would complete the call and the paperwork and move on to the next call, quickly forgetting each preceding one. Here’s a little magic that could make all the difference for you, and I’ll use this woman to illustrate it.
If she will follow-up on his care, such as an extra call to be sure he got in to see the doctor, and a brief phone call afterward to check on him she will have done the extraordinary on his behalf. And if she does this for patient after patient, she’ll become that caring person so many people hope for but rarely find. She’ll become indispensable to her patients and to her employer.
If you follow these simple steps in what ever line of work you’re in, it will have a profound affect on you. It’s easy to do if you think of those you come in contact with as your loved ones and give them the care you wish your loved ones would receive.
It’s more work but worth it for you’ll feel good about yourself for doing it. And you’ll become much more popular and productive and indispensable to your customers and to your employer.