Poppe Practice Management | Your Stress, YOUR Problem
Brianna Kuelz discusses the impact of stress in your office
Customer Service, Dental Practice Management, Dentistry, Patient Experience
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Your Stress, YOUR Problem

01 Jun Your Stress, YOUR Problem

Sometimes I wonder, if my job wasn’t based in customer service and patient experience, would I notice all of the things I do? Does everyone experience these situations, or is it just me?

Here’s the latest in my adventures in terrible service. I was not on the receiving end this time, I just had a front row seat.

This week, while in the waiting room at my doctor’s office, I witnessed one of the craziest displays of terrible service…EVER! What I gathered was that one of the doctors in the office had recently given their notice. The two gals at the front desk were tasked with calling all of his scheduled patients and letting them know they’d be seeing a locum provider.

The first issue I noticed was the obvious irritation with the situation from receptionist #1. While I can appreciate that it is less than ideal, a waiting room full of patients shouldn’t have to see you openly seething about your job.

The second, and I thought (at the time) most egregious misstep was receptionist #1 nagging at #2 (WHILE SHE WAS ON THE PHONE) that she needed to speed up her calls or they’d be doing them all day!! You see, #2 was being friendly, and chit chatting with the patient. In my book, this is fabulous! Build that rapport, sister! If you have to call and give less than great news to a patient, why not be friendly, right? I guess not. Evidently,#1 has NO TIME for that nonsense and will not tolerate it from #2.

So, while I’m still processing that…(and if I’m being honest, I’m basically sitting there, mouth agape at the absurdity of her demand) I hear #1 start a new call to another patient.   She is immediately irritated with the patient’s response to her news, a fact she doesn’t even try to hide. The call goes on with her saying there is nothing she can do, but that he can complain to administration if he wants. She further explains to the patient how “this situation” is hard on EVERYONE…letting him know just what an inconvenience these calls are for HER.

So, I’m still sitting there, aghast… She finally gets off the phone with him and transfers him to the admin office where he can lodge his complaint, but not before belittling him to the receptionist on the other line (in administration). Before I’m called back for my appointment, I hear #1 complain about this situation and that caller to no less than 3 other staff members who make the mistake of engaging her.

There are going to be days where the workload is heavier, the team is lighter, or an unusual task is at hand. It is really important to make sure that you and your team handle these days and situations with grace. Bottom line, your stress is not your patient’s problem. Great strides should be taken to ensure your patients do not feel one ounce of your stress over your job.

If presented with a difficult challenge tomorrow, how would you all handle it? Would your patients be able to tell? If you feel like you might need help, let’s chat.

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