Customer Service – A Lesson

Oh here he goes again, ranting about customer service in fire and EMS…

Well, kind of.

I was bamboozled!  Hoodwinked!  Can you believe it?! Someone mark your calendar, get Guinness on the phone (both of them actually) because, wait for it,

A salesman lied to me to make a sale.

*GASP!*

My 5 year old DVR is great and all, I enjoy the level of service from my TV provider but the bundling has gotten good.  TV phone and internet all for almost what we’re paying for TV alone, no 12 month intro rate, no pesky plan changes.  That was all in writing from the provider, so I was good.

But I had some technical questions that this fellow had the perfect answers for:

“Can we transfer the shows on this DVR to the new one?” I asked, knowing the answer to be no.

“Until about a year or 8 months ago no, but now we can upload your DVR to a hard drive and the technician installs it with the new software on installation day, so ‘transfer’ no, but all your shows will be on the new DVR.”  his statement was factually correct but completely misleading in context.  He told me there would be no transfer and that all the shows would be on the new DVR (just not saved, I can watch them when they’re on), but he painted the picture with tech and terms I understood to answer my question in a manner that fit his end goal.

“Will they have to run new coaxial cable?”

“No, they can use your existing satellite.” A flat out lie.  The installer removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes when I mentioned this.  “What else did they promise you I could magically do?” He asked.

I imagined an ER Doc listening to all the promises made by EMS in the field to talk someone into the ER in the first place.  “They said you’d give me a fancy scan” or perhaps “They promised pain medication.”

The point being that if you buy into the customer service ideals you are a salesperson when it comes to talking someone into transport.  Not the folks that need to go in, those are an artform, but the ones who we choose to take in to keep them from calling back later, or because protocol says the rash she’s had for weeks could be a reaction to meds.

If you make promises to your patients you had better be available to explain them and be held accountable if your statements were inaccurate.

I have an understanding installer who has heard all manner of tales promising this exotic install and that computer glitch repair, all so a salesman can chalk up another commission.  This is the modern model of customer service folks, this is the example being used to move ahead in these economic times.  The point of service man saves time by making the more valuable service provider work longer, costing the service more in the long run.

And if your service is hurting from lack of income from decreasing transports…what lies are you ready to tell to increase transport revenue?

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2 thoughts on “Customer Service – A Lesson”

  1. It still saddens me that economics has to be a part of the EMS front-line provider’s bag of medical tricks and treatments… A paramedic’s (or EMT or any other grade of immediate provider) one and only consideration should be the benefit of the patient. 
    Maybe I’m just naive, and too British with our (not infallible) system, but surely worrying about the revenue should be a headache borne by the back office staff, and not another rod with which to beat your front-liners…
    I know and understand that ObamaCare is, to say the least, controversial, and our very own NHS is having to go some serious overhaul, but still, turning a medic into an accountant not only complicates the treatment process, but belittles what we do all together… 

  2. i worked with this guy who, when i started IVs, would tell the anxious patient not to worry because i was “good at IVs.” that always pissed me off, and you can see the obvious problem if i was unsuccessful. i believe in under-promising and over-delivering, so, “zip it, idiot.”

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