It seems that everywhere I go today I find myself evaluating the quality of service I receive as a customer. My first thought is, “how would our folks at GCTI behave in this situation?”. Below is real situation I found myself in a few weeks ago that reinforced an initiative we have at GCTI.
With this in mind, I have a story.
A few weeks ago I walked into my doctor’s office for an appointment that I had been waiting on for 60 days. As I signed in the receptionist asked me for my insurance card. I reach into my wallet and my card is not there! I always have my card, what happened?
“Ma’am, I do not have my card”
Receptionist: “Oh! that is going to be a problem. Our office policy is you must have a card.”
Me: “I am really sorry, this is my fault. I have been a patient here for many years, do you have my information on file?”
Receptionist: “That does not matter, our policy is you must have a card with you at each visit.”
Me: “I have been waiting a long time for this appointment, what if I call my insurance agent and have her fax the insurance information to you?”
Receptionist: “That should work. I will need to run it by the billing folks.”
I am thinking: Isn’t all of this stuff electronic these days? Why do I need to have a card for a doctor I have seen many times? I call my insurance agent, Sarah.
Me: “Hi Sarah, I am at my Doctor’s office and I cannot find my insurance card. Can you fax the doctor my insurance information?
Sarah: “Of course, I will send it right over. By the way, don’t they already have your information? Why do you need your card? Interesting?
Within a few minutes my insurance information has been faxed to the Doctor’s office. The receptionist is happy and I sit down to wait to be called back. A few minutes later, the receptionist calls me back to her window.
“David, I am sorry but our billing department says you need to reschedule. It is our policy that you must bring in your card.”
Me: “Didn’t the fax have that information?”
Receptionist: “Yes, but it did not have the insurance company billing address so it is not the same.”
Me: “Well, I can have Sarah fax over the address.”
Receptionist: “Our billing folks will not accept that, it must be your card.”
At this point I am getting a little irritated. I realize this is all my fault but the situation does not seem logical. I have been to or taken my kids to many doctors’ appointments and this is a first. For heaven sakes, all of this stuff is electronic. I ask to speak to the billing department. A lady comes from out of the billing office, clearly not happy, she tells me that it is office policy that I must have my card. She tells me she has the information she needs to invoice my visit but she needs the card! I maintain calm (which is a big thing for me) and explain my situation. She reluctantly tells me, “I will allow the visit this one time but THERE WILL BE NO PROCDURES ALLOWED!” She turns and goes back into her office.
As I sit in the waiting room I call Sarah again and explain the situation.
Me: “Sarah, I am really sorry for all of this trouble but they must have a card. They are going to allow the consultation but no procedures.”
Sarah is somewhat flabbergasted at the lack of service from the doctor’s office but she asks me to give her a few minutes. Sarah proceeds to create an account for me on the Blue Shield website and print up a temporary card. She then faxes it to the doctor’s office.
All fixed, I see the doctor and go home with a good customer service story to tell.
Now, I don’t want it to seem like I do not believe in policy and procedure. It is critical that a business have repeatable policies and procedures in place to create successful completion of tasks. At the same time, when those policies and procedures do not change with the times and they interfere with serving your clients then you have a problem. At the end of the day, the doctor needs to make sure they get paid, I understand that. But once they have that information shouldn’t they be focused on caring for their customer? Why would an organization want to make it harder for their customers’ to do business with them? Oh well, ultimately this was my fault and I will make sure I do not let it happen again.
The better story here is Sarah! I am sure Sarah had other work to do. The thought probably crossed her mind that I should be more responsible. But Sarah went over and above to take care of me. I will remember that when it comes time to renew insurance next year!
In my story above I do not blame the individuals working for the doctor’s office. They were just following protocol. It is management’s job to make sure that employees are tooled properly to provide quality care. When you walk into a doctor’s office or any well run organization your experience is the result of good policy combined with good management, and good people working together.
It is my job to make sure that GCTI is making it as simple as possible for you to do business with us and to provide you with the highest level of customer care. I hope you never experience my story above with GCTI and if you feel you have received inferior service I need to know. I would love to hear from you as to how it is to be a customer of Global CTI. Please send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know what we are doing well and what we need to work on.