Monday, February 1, 2010

Have I told you about Tony?

What a delight to experience service that is so deeply woven into the culture of an organization! It is easy for companies to give lip service to the fact that their people are at the heart of their customer service. And for years, I have defined customer service as, “Service is adding people to the product”. However it is still rare to see it in action from top to bottom. Make sure you get that – from top to bottom, from first encounter to last encounter. A few days ago, our daughter had a fall during basketball and we had the “opportunity” to visit the emergency room of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta,

The experience started with complimentary 24 hour valet parking a true sign this hospital understands no parent should face parking a car when dealing with a child and an emergency. The check- in process was easy and simple administered by a caring and friendly team. Here is a hint, ALL the employees worked to create a seamless experience.

However there was one employee that I can not stop talking about, Tony Richardson. Tony is the “cast guy extraordinaire”. From the moment he introduced himself, his professionalism, pride and personality shone through. He was patient answering all the questions posed by a very curious and slightly drugged 10 year with a broken arm. We watched him redo bits of the wrapping process to meet his exacting standards. He even suggested and gladly put on his famous custom cast with both blue and red wrapping. His attention to the details was amazing – tone of voice, eye contact, sincerity, attitude and competency. Tony is a stand out in an organization that is already jam packed with service stars.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is once again on Fortune Magazine’s Annual List of 100 Best Companies to Work,

My story about this hospital is not unique here in Atlanta – rave reviews abound. But I really understand how it is woven into the fabric after my chance meeting with the CEO, Donna Hyland. Forty hours after our emergency room visit, I was introduced to Donna at church by a friend. Remember how I can not stop talking about Tony so I took the time to relate my experience. When I got to Tony, she was able say his last name along with me. She knows her team. No wonder CHOA is a repeat star of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies list. The service culture is evident from top to bottom – from CEO to valet parking.

CHOA is #74 this year and in my experience they are #1. By the way, have I told about Tony?

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