Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Customer Service is Good Medicine

When a medical practice gets customer service right, it is worthy of examining and
applauding. Unfortunately, I found myself having this positive service experience at
Resurgeons Orthopaedics of Atlanta. I say “unfortunately” due to a nasty break and
injury to my arm and shoulder. The brief back story is, I had a fall in Mexico, got to visit
the international hospital, knew the injury required surgery (which I preferred happen
in the states) after stabilization of my arm we left on a flight about 15 hours after the fall.

A friend back in Atlanta worked hard at securing an appointment with an ortho surgeon.
Within three hours of arriving back home, I was at Resurgeons. Fortunately, I had no
reason to have a relationship with them until this accident. My surgeon, Evander Fogle,
his assistant Mary Bligh, R. N., and the front office impressed even in the face of my
incredible pain. Here is what worked so well in this large busy orthopaedic practice.


Warm Welcome. My husband and I were met with eye contact and friendliness.
The front desk was responsive and attentive. The area was open with none of the
usual barriers of glass windows and clipboards slid back and forth between the
patient and hidden away staff.


Expressive and Engaged. The team was personable and treated me as a real
person or should I say customer. The receptionist immediately asked what
happened, acknowledged my pain and then assured me they would take care
of me. The sling from the Mexico hospital visit caught her attention and she
humorously let me know they could do better to alleviate the pain. After all this,
she moved to the required paperwork. Most medical practices are concerned with
paperwork first and foremost, concern for the patient/customer is usually a distant
Dr. Fogle and Mary continued the warm welcome and engagement. They
were efficient but did not give the impression they must get moving to another
patient. Both continued the banter of the poor sling and were impressed with
my “undermedication” for the last 20 hours and how I seemed to handle it.
The conversation and examination showed their medical skills and expertise.
The medical profession does not require customer engagement however
they choose to do it.


Responsiveness and Reassurance. Dr. Fogle and Mary listened to my needs –
and arranged for fast surgery so the healing could begin and I could work
with clients for upcoming some engagements. I pleaded for permission to travel
within an unreasonable amount of time. The doctor (and my husband) prevailed
on forbidding that short timeline.
However, the doctor was responsive with a fast surgery and then reassured me
of a recovery that would accommodate work within 5 days. Both offered phone
numbers for easy access and reached out with personal calls to check on me after
release from the hospital. Again, there were real human connections with me
the patient/customer. For years, I have talked about “processing the customer
vs. serving the customer”. This team really serves and connects which creates
positive lasting impressions.

Dr. Fogle and Mary know the customer comes first and is the reason for the existence
of their practice. Exceptional medical expertise and surgical skills are the given and the
expected, yet they go beyond to making the customer experience count. My preference
would have been to never need Resurgeons however things happen. In this case, I was
fortunate to fall into the able hands and care of this medical team.
Customer service is definitely good medicine.

1 comment:

Ken and Patricia said...

Many thanks for your review of Dr. Fogle.

It helped make my decision easy.