The Three C’s: Courtesy, Competence, Convenience by John Reed

The Three C’s: Courtesy, Competence, Convenience
Regular readers know I place a high value on service when I do business. I’ll pay more for a service or a product if I’m treated well by the business — and its employees. And make no mistake, 99% of my good or bad experiences with a company come about as a result of interactions with the employees, not the owners.
Two examples come to mind. I pay extra to buy gas at the one place in town that will still pump it for me if I ask them to. It doesn’t matter which owner or employee is there, I know I’ll be treated well. Then again, I recently had a meal at a local joint, and was served by an indifferent waitress who was chewing her gum the entire time she took my order. Not such a good experience.
In the second instance, there was either a failure to train the employee on how to interact with the customers professionally, or the lessons simply didn’t take. Since I know the owners personally, I suspect the latter is the case. This poor girl has lived 19 years, and no parent, teacher, or clergy member has been able to convince her that whacking away on a wad of gum in public is about as attractive as watching a cow chew her cud.
If I had not known the restaurant’s owners, my opinion of the place might have been different. Our decision to come back to a business is often based on incomplete knowledge of the situation. Then again, if the experience is repeated again and again, our opinion gets cemented into place. Like the one fast food place that seemingly always messes up my drive-through order; or the bank teller that always greets me by name with a smile.
All of the above was to say this: over the last few months, I’ve dealt with several hospitals as a couple of family members went through procedures. We often color our opinions of health care folks based on the outcome: did the patient get well? In one case, no, he died…but not because of his time as a patient. It was just his time. In the other case, she’s recovering nicely but slowly.
So my opinion of these facilities wound up being based on my conversations with the staff, quality of the food, general décor and “feel” of the place. Some of my times as “Dr. John” were at high-end institutions far out of town, while others were right here at our local hospital.
Just as it’s sort of expected for students to grouse about school lunches, it’s common for locals to complain about their hospital…in our case, for no good reason! Our nurses, doctors, and the rest of the staff here are as competent and professional as any you’d find at a larger place out of town. Exciting changes and additions are coming here, and I for one am looking forward to them.

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