“The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” I said this to someone yesterday regarding some personal stuff I needed done. It was in reference to me because I had to complain loudly and often to get something done. I remember Quint Studer once talked about patients who are unnecessarily picky. He said that one hospital gave them yellow bands so people would know that they are the typical complainers and to treat them with kid gloves. Why do people complain loudly and often?? BECAUSE IT WORKS. And shame on us for allowing it to work. We should treat every patient, customer, and anyone we deal with – with the utmost dignity, courtesy and promptness.
In today’s society, we as customers are now on the lookout for bad service. It is an expectation. When I go to a restaurant I always ask the server their name. I wonder what they think. Is it “I better be on my best behavior since they know who I am now? I better give them extra special treatment.” I hope not. Wouldn’t it be great if the first assumption of the customer is “I am going to get awesome treatment because this is what always happens in society?” Yep. I get a lot of comments from patients saying their stay was a complete WOW experience – we at Iowa Specialty Hospitals and Clinics are doing it right. Yay us!! But how often do we find that the first two or so times we ask – we aren’t heard? Sometimes it takes that “third” time for someone to really see that we are serious.
“So what are you going to do with this, Steve?” Perhaps I need to be more assertive up front. My sister is having some issues with one of her kids – she is frustrated that they are “mooching” off of her. I asked her what she is doing about it. “Complaining to you …” she said. My question to her is what is the accountability? Do they present her with a plan or proof that they are looking for a job or is she literally filling out the applications? “Are you doing the work for them so they don’t have to?” “Yes” she replied. Perhaps we are making it too easy by asking 3 times to get something done. Perhaps if we just ask once with confidence and accountability and then be done … we’ll not have to get squeaky. It’s worth a try.
(Note: Carol’s last day is today – Thursday, May 21, 2015. She has been with me for 15 years and I am going to miss her big time. I think a lot of people will miss her. She was awesome! Good luck in retirement Carol!!!)
- Steve Simonin, President & CEO