Feb 16 2009
A doctor is a doctor is a doctor.
So why should you expect the doctor to be a lawyer?
There are some who are both, of course (like from personal experience, I think there are probably also dentists who moonlight as plumbers!), but training and experience usually dictate expertise. You’re not likely to find a physician handling tort reform, class action suits, or wills, real estate and corporate law.
With the same reasoning then, why should a doctor be expected to understand and practice sound customer service principles? Because physicians are not simply technicians working on car engines. They are, as we who have been patients know all too well, dealing with human beings.
And there is, though some doctors have yet to notice, a difference between machines and bodies.
Okay, so medical school doesn’t much emphasize the importance of bedside manners, but it doesn’t take a whole lot of living life (even IF it’s been mostly in a medical closet) to appreciate that physicians are rightfully expected to be compassionate and understanding and empathetic enough to help their patients cope and rise above difficult physical and emotional pain and ailments.
Don’t you think? So what makes it okay for any of us to sell or market products and services to others without taking enough interest in the buyers to check back with them? Why is it not important for us to make sure our customers are STILL pleased with their purchases?
Why do we think doctors shouldn’t get away with ignoring our humanness, but it’s not a problem to sell someone something and then push them out the door or over the cliff and dismiss them from our lives? Do we think there’s no chance they’ll ever return? That they won’t tell anyone else to visit us? (or not?!)
When I was a college teacher on the Jersey Shore, I referred to this way of thinking as “boardwalk mentality” because tourists could be sucked into anything on the boardwalk while they were there vacationing and treating themselves and their families to some good times . . . and they’d be gone in a week and never return anyway . . . or if they did, they’d never remember getting ripped off, so screw’em!
Well, besides the fact that those days have gone, that even boardwalk concessions are more customer-conscious, and that doctors and lawyers (well, okay, not lawyers) have become more patient satisfaction savvy, many sales and marketing people still avoid customer service followup calls.
They do so at their peril, and naively thinking it’s not costing them repeat sales. It is. And will eventually (sooner rather than later) cost them a job. A word to the wise . . . halalpiar
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