Hospital gowns and customer service

Today’s tale is about customer service. It is also about taking a moment and paying attention. It is about being kind. Life is hard enough, why add more road blocks?

Picture this…You are at the hospital. You are waiting to have a routine upper G.I. procedure. A nurse and a nursing student come to get you to get your I.V. started to prep you for the procedure. You are fine with a student being present (would have been nice if you were asked if you were comfortable with it).You are a little nervous since the last time you were at the hospital you had a heart attack and the pain you have been having for the last 9 months feels just like your heart attack did. The nurse looks at your hand and tells you your veins are horrible ( uh…yeah…you have been fasting over 12 hours), then puts the I.V. in (first try…bad veins…uh huh) and blood goes everywhere. She begins to ridicule you “why didn’t you tell me about your heart meds?” (all the info. was on the chart she initialed right before she began your  I.V.), then proceeds to ask if you took all your heart meds that day and you tell her no and she asks you why with a tone courtesy of Nurse Ratched and you find yourself looking for Jack Nicholson. You politely point out that on the form she just initialed that you take two doses a day of certain medications, one in the evening, one in the morning. She asks if you had a stent put in. You tell her no. She doesn’t believe you, because everyone gets a stent. (unless the artery was too small to fit a stent – hence the cause of the heart attack). Then she looks at your hand as she is wiping away the blood and see’s a mole that you have had all your life. “You better get that looked at…doesn’t look good…”. Then you are told you can go back to your seat and wait. So, you began your day thinking you just have a little tummy trouble or acid reflux and now you think you are stupid, have terrible circulation and bad veins and probably have skin cancer. The patient was my husband and Florence Nightinggale just turned over in her grave.

Yes, my husband was a patient, not a customer, but the lack of service he received was embarrassing. If I acted that way with my customers or the Salon’s clients, I would be out of a job. We are given two ears and one mouth for a reason – to listen twice as much as we speak.

When I have a customer come into the shop with a questionable scalp condition, I don’t look at them and say “Your scalp is horrible. Looks cancerous. Better get that checked!”, or run and get my stylists to come out and gawk. Wanna know why? One – that’s rude. Two – I am not a skin specialist. Trust me, be it a health issue or a scalp condition, people know what they are going through, they know what they have, they do not need to have it pointed out to them or shoved down their throat. What I do is this;

– I ask if they mind if I ask a few personal questions

– if the answer is no – I ask about the products they are currently using, if this happens only when the seasons change, if they are on any medications ( some medications affect hair/skin/nails), or if this is something they have always dealt with.

– if I need to get one of my stylists to take a look, I ask their permission first.

– I never blame them. I never make them feel like I don’t believe a word they are saying. Sometimes you don’t get the right answer because you didn’t ask the right question.

– I sell them the product that may help with the issue. The Nioxin line has helped many people with mild scalp irritations, Joico’s Daily Care Treatment Shampoo is quite nice, and Smart Solutions Problem Hair and Scalp Shampoo is terrific. I tell them to give it a week or two, explain how to use the product, and tell them if it doesn’t seem to helping, maybe give the Doc. a call.

If you are a Stylist, Doctor, Nurse, Teacher be kind. Pay attention. If you make a mistake, admit it, apologize. Read something wrong? Don’t blame the other person, admit it, apologize. Don’t know about something? Don’t belittle the other person and treat them like they are the stupid one, admit that you don’t know and get yourself informed. (pssst…there are these things that are big and rectangular in shape called encyclopedia’s and dictionary’s – or Google for our techies).

Be kind. Treat others as you want to be treated. Plain and simple.

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