The Way We’re “Treated” in a Doctor’s Office: Well, It’s Just Plain Wrong

June 9, 2010 at 7:14 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Customer Service | Leave a comment

I went to the doctor’s office yesterday. I was a first-time patient and yes, the “usual” transpired:

*A somewhat surly receptionist ignored me while she finished her conversation with a co-worker, then looked up and thrust the obligatory insurance forms towards me.

*I completed the paperwork, went back to the desk, handed them to her and asked her approximately how long I would be waiting. (I was 15 minutes early for the appointment as they requested on their confirmation call.) She told me that it would be 20-25 minutes and so I settled in with some work and the time passed by.

*25-30 minutes later I approached the desk and asked for an updated ETA. She told me another 5 minutes.

*15 minutes later I approached again and asked if this was “standard” for this particular doctor in the practice. Her reply: yes, always. I asked if there was another doctor for me to see as I was running out of time. The answer…you guesed it—NO!

*10 minutes later the nurse brought me into the office for my exam and treatment, which was completed in 10 minutes start to finish.

Could you run your business in this manner?

Is there another profession that can get away with such a shocking lack of customer service?

I say not. And here’s the thing. From time to time, I get phone calls from physicians querying my firm about the customer service skills training programs that we offer.

We go back and forth and then it always comes down to cost; they just don’t want to spend the money on this type of endeavor.

And I can see why. The treatment that we receive from the front desk is often a hand down from the doctors themselves. Since they don’t consider the time schedule of patients to be important, the receptionists have carte blanche to treat customers/patients in kind.

Yes I know not all doctor’s offices are the same but unfortunately I have had this experience many times.

The choice is mine. I can elect to go to another doctor next time and poerhaps I will. And with the world of managed care perhaps this doctor will get the message when I cast my vote with my business and chose to not give him mine.


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