We entered the clinic pleased to see we were the only patients in the waiting area. Behind the counter sat a middle- aged receptionist on a raised stool. As our eyes met a smile came over her face as she welcomed us to the hospital’s testing facility.
I started to give her the script for my son’s blood work but quickly she withdrew her hand.
“You need to sign in first,” she said, pointing out a clipboard holding a slightly curled piece of lined paper. On the paper about a half dozen signatures of earlier patients had been crossed of with a thick black marker obliterating any chance of reading their names.
She gestured to an ink pen attached to the clipboard by a long string as she picked up her thick black marker. As I picked up the pen she removed the cap of her marker. As I began to write my son’s name she pointed the marker at my writing, holding it just inches away.
Then, as soon I had completed writing his name, not even providing enough time for me to lay the pen down she proceeded to black-out his name with her marker.
She immediately looked at me with her textbook smile and said, “How can I help you?”
Obviously nobody could read it with her cross-out but she followed the policy.
How much time and resources do you or your employees spend following procedures that do not add value every time they are followed? These blindly followed procedures cost money, productivity, and harm relationships.
Max recommends a different scenario: A man walks into a clinic’s laboratory testing area. The receptionist, pleased to see she was no longer alone in the large room, welcomed him and his son. He offers a script for blood work to her and she takes it with a smile. She then says, “Follow me and we’ ll get this blood drawn.”
Wow! That would have been service that would have left an impression.
As Aesop established hundreds of years ago with his timeless fables we remember words best when we become engaged in a story. Max has compiled an anecdotal story collection designed to generate “ah- ha” moments. Click here to see more.