My ‘WOW’ Experience

7 Aug

My ‘WOW’ Experience

Last week I had to take my daughter to the doctor.  Here is what I encountered when I walked in to the office….

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The signs on either side of the welcoming (insert sarcasm here) window include several ‘instructions’.

·       Have your co-pay, insurance card and driver’s license ready. Without this information your appointment will be rescheduled.

·       All co-pays will be collected before going back to see the doctor.

·       Check in with the receptionist before sitting down.

·       If you cancel appointments in our office without 24 hours notice, you will be charged.

·       Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah.

Wow, did I feel loved. I picked up one of the writing pens in the cup that had tongue depressors taped to them – Good grief. I mean it would just be awful if I were to steal a pen with the doctor’s name on it.  After signing in, I stood there for a few minutes- waiting.  I had my driver’s license, insurance card and debit card in hand, waiting for someone to open the little window.  I could hear people talking behind the frosted glass.  I cleared my throat several times, rattled the cup of tongue-depressor pens, trying to make some noise so that I would be noticed.  My efforts to get attention were in vain.  I finally sat down.

After 15 minutes, I went back up and knocked lightly on the frosted sliding glass window.  The talking immediately stopped, the window flew open and I was asked to handover my cards in exchange for a clipboard.  No greeting, ‘hi how are ya’, or anything.  Just simply ‘Your co-pay is $20, I need your driver’s license and insurance card – please fill out all of these forms completely’.  The clipboard had 7 pages – Now, I get a little ornery when I’m given these forms to fill out.  See, there’s so much duplication of information, questions about things that simply don’t apply in my opinion, and it just irritates me!!   Plus they take my insurance card, then ask me to fill out information about my insurance – which is on my card, which I don’t have in my possession.  So I left a lot of areas blank, or simply wrote ‘on file’, or ‘same’, etc.

After (sort of) filling out the 7 pages, I headed to the window to hand over the clipboard.  I stood there for 30 seconds or so, then rapped on the window again.  This time there was no one there.  Do I dare open the window?  Yeah… I was feeling bold.  I opened the window, sat the clipboard just inside, then… left the window open a smidgen so they might notice.  Twenty minutes later, someone finally returned to the desk to find my clipboard.  She gave me a strange look (for opening HER window, I’m sure), and then she promptly closed the window without saying a word.  Ten minutes later we were in.

Forty-five minutes after we stepped foot into the office we were finally called – I won’t even tell you how long we sat in the treatment room before the doctor arrived.  Let’s just say I was able to tackle levels 23-31 of Candy Crush.  What did we do before electronics??

We have all heard this warning: “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” Also, psychologists and writers caution that we only have from seven to seventeen seconds of interacting with strangers before they form an opinion of us. I had a ‘wow’ experience alright – ‘Wow – I won’t be back here again!’

What do your patients experience when they walk through the front door? Stay tuned this week for some challenges that will bring your attention to your patients’ perception, and hopefully will emphasize a positive WOW experience for your patients that will foster a culture of retention and referrals!

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