Jan 052016

Waiting at the Doctor's OfficeWe arrive five minutes before the appointment.  We wait 30 minutes after our slotted time before being called in from the waiting room.  We spend a few minutes with a nurse doing weight and blood pressure, then sit in the examination room for another half hour.  Our 10:00 appointment doesn’t actually start until 11:15, and it’s over in ten minutes.  Then we schedule a follow-up to do it all again.

Why do we do this?  Why do we allow such poor customer service?  Better yet, why do we repeatedly pay for it and just “accept it” as part of the service we receive?  As annoying as this ritual is for millions of people, we really have no choice but to do this every time we go to the doctor.  Sometimes it’s worse (and in fairness, sometimes it’s better).  It’s not like we can say, “forget this” and leave the doctor’s office at 10:15.  This isn’t some class that the professor forgot to show up for.  This is Healthcare with a capital “H” and we need to be healthy.

Why do we allow ourselves to be treated so poorly and yet open our wallets for the co-pay without a single complaint?  If I went to buy a couch instead of a health check, and it took me more than 15 minutes to get assistance, I would have just walked out and gotten back to my busy day.  Or taken my credit card to the store next door.  Maybe that’s why we pay the co-pay up front?  If I made my customers wait an hour before I talked with them for ten minutes, I probably wouldn’t have many customers.  Especially if I charge them every time I talked with them, regardless of the result (that sounds like a consultant).

Time is the one thing we cannot make more of, save, go back for, or set aside for a rainy day.  Your time is important, as is your customer’s.  Waste time and your business will suffer.  So will your customer satisfaction.  Respect their time, the effort they put in to talking with you, and remember what it’s like to be on the receiving end of poor customer service.  No one likes to sit for an hour at the doctors office for a ten minute appointment that will eventually cost them $150 with co-pays and lab fees.  Unless you’re in Healthcare.