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Customer Service… Where’s the Love?

Well, many of our clients know this now, and it’s by no means a secret, so I’m going to share some news… I (Lacy) am expecting a baby in May this year! For any of you who have gone through the trials and joys of having a child, know all the wondrous things that come with it. One of those things being, choosing a hospital.

We began this process not really knowing what to expect or where to go. We got some great advice from friends and family, but the best advice we got was from my aunt and from our doctor. They said: go tour the hospitals. See what each has to offer, and then you can make an educated decision based on that. Well… I’m sure glad we did!

We picked a night that worked around both of our busy schedules, made sure we were avoiding the time the staff changed over and we started at Bryan LGH. To our disappointment, when we got there, we didn’t get any further than the front desk. They didn’t even direct us to the maternity unit. All we were told was, “We only give group tours twice a week. Come back on Tuesdays at 5:30 pm or Saturdays at 3 pm.” This worried me. We had taken time out of our busy schedules to do this and I was told (by my aunt, who works at a hospital and has toured many) that we could drop by any time and that someone would give us a tour.

Well, we decided to take a risk and head to the next place anyway. We had already taken the night to do this, we just as well give it a shot. When we got to St. Elizabeth’s, the gal at the front desk was on the phone, but someone else saw us and asked to help us right away. They gal said she wasn’t sure if they could give us a tour tonight, but that we were more than welcome to go up to the maternity unit and ask. So, we did. The gal at the desk there informed us that they had been very busy all night, but that if there was anyone they could spare for a bit, they would be happy to give us a tour. And guess what… They didn’t just spare us anyone. They spared us the charge nurse.

This gal was so wonderful to us, showing us everything we could possibly need to know, answering all our questions, and though she had to take a quick call in the middle of the tour (they were busy, so we understood, of course) she gave us the full tour and made us feel right at home, personalizing everything to our specific needs. The rooms were beautiful, they had so much to offer and we could not have possibly asked for anything more. By the time we left, there was absolutely no question to where we were going when our son (oh yeah… We’re having a boy, by the way) came along.

Now, I’ll never know if Bryan LGH is actually even more beautiful and fabulous than St. Elizabeth because I’ll never go back. How much do you think a hospital makes off of a delivery? This is our first and probably not our last, so how about 2 or 3 deliveries? Oh, and of course I told all of my friends of our poor experience so how about all the rest of my 20-something friends and family. (For the sake of numbers let’s just say we’re up to 30 deliveries.) The last kick in the pants for Bryan… I work for a marketing company and write for their blog. They just lost a pretty significant number of potential customers. All because the person at the front desk wouldn’t give us the time of day.

Moral of the story: When someone comes to your front desk… What do you want their first customer service experience at your company to be?

7 Comments

  • Nichole Tichota
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I am so glad that you posted this. Customer service is a “hot” topic for me…there is not enough quality service out there, so it is extremely important for us all to highlight our great experiences! I was trained that a “complaint is a gift”, but not everyone else in this world subscribes to that…which is unfortunate because they are missing the opportunity to learn from mistakes & negative experiences. Great blog, Lacy!

  • Lacy
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Nichole! Customer service is something very important to me. It was something that was really branded into our brains with my college major, Travel & Tourism. It’s also why I’ve stuck with my cell company (US Cellular) so long even though very few others I know have the same service.

    I hold all service providers to a high standard. Few meet this standard. St. Elizabeth, however, met this with flying colors. I would highly recommend them to anyone.

  • Posted February 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lacy,

    I am sorry to hear about your experience. My name is Deb Boehle and I am the Public Relations Manager at BryanLGH. It would be great if you could give me a call to chat further about how we can use this experience to improve our customer service. You can reach me at 402-481-8788 or deb.boehle@bryanlgh.org.

    I did share your blog with the director responsible for our front desk staff and the director of Women’s & Children’s Services. We are looking at ways to ensure we have a process in place to let people know that in addition to our set tour times, we do also provide personal tours. Our director of Women’s & Children’s Services would like to give you a personal tour of our Family Birthplace. If you would like to do this, his name is Jack Malizzi and you can reach him at 402-481-7560 or jack.malizzi@bryanlgh.org.

    We wish you and your family all the best on your pregnancy and the delivery of your new baby boy!

  • Lacy
    Posted February 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Deb,

    First, let me start by saying that I truly appreciate that you have reached out to me and as someone who does the same for many of our clients, the fact that you monitor what’s being said about your organization. The fact that you’ve found this blog and reached out to try to make it right, means a great deal to me. In fact, while writing this blog, I wondered if this might be the case and I’m glad it was. There obviously were some issues there that need to be addressed to prevent this from happening in the future.

    This being said, I stand by my blog as well as our decision to go to St. Elizabeth. As I said in my reply to Nichole, I put a lot on of emphasis on customer service. If St. E wouldn’t have far exceeded my expectations, I might be singing a different tune, but there were many chances for them to have given us mediocre service and instead went above and beyond.

    Thank you again for your reply.

  • jomomma
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I think you are the real baby!! There are rules and sometimes we don’t get our way. You expect the world to just do what ever you expect it to. Sorry there, but St.Elizabeth sucks big time!!!! Bryan is sooooo much better in the fact that they actually help people. If you are older, St. Elizabeth just want to make you comfortable and let you die, but bryan helped so many of the older people and now they are home living well and not dead!!!! YOU MISSED OUT.
    Oh you are so powerful, what a crock. I am going to be speaking out and promoting Bryan ever more so now. What a whiner!

  • Lacy
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    “Jomamma”,
    First, just let me say that if you noticed your post has been edited a little, it has. We don’t allow inappropriate language, especially when it’s directed towards someone, on our blog.

    Now, I would like to respond to your post:

    You say that there are rules and sometimes we don’t get our way, but even in the comment received from Bryan, she admits that there was a break down in the system: “We are looking at ways to ensure we have a process in place to let people know that in addition to our set tour times, we do also provide personal tours.” So, you see, I had been told that they gave personal tours, which they admittedly do, and was denied one when I went in. That’s not “me not getting my way” that’s poor customer service.

    You also say “Oh you are so powerful, what a crock.” I would like to know how you found this blog if it’s not powerful. If you search Bryan LGH Maternity, this blog shows up on the first page. To me, as a marketing professional, that’s pretty powerful. Besides that, this was a post on customer service, and the point was word of mouth is powerful. So companies should be careful with the experience they provide to their customers.

    Lastly, here was my major concern when this all happened: If Bryan LGH isn’t taking care of me as a potential customer, then are they going to take care of me as a patient? This is my first baby and of course, I’m going to choose the hospital that makes me feel most comfortable. St. Elizabeth did that for me.

    It appears that you have had a poor experience with St. Elizabeth just as I have with Brayn. So, I’m sorry but you’re no different from me, speaking your opinion for the service provider you believe to be the best. You can call me a whiner or any of the other things you stuck in there, but the truth is, you’re doing the exact same thing. Luckily for both of us, this is still America, and we are both still entitled to our opinions.

    Thank you for your post.
    -Lacy

  • Martin
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    You made the right choice with St. Elizabeth’s

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