Speaking of Service

My friend Mark Waltz cites examples of poor service from companies that should know better and opines whether we do the same in the church. He asks, “Are we serving what we’re selling?”

We recently changed primary care physicians. We probably should have left the old one before we evens saw him, but I guess we just thought things would get better.

We were greeted with a frown, given some paperwork to fill out, then “ordered” to take a seat. While we were filling out the paperwork, the head office person came out into the waiting area and began rearranging the chairs that folks had moved, slamming them back into place and grumbling about the inconsiderate patients who had the gall to move the furniture around.

After a considerable wait, we got in to see the doctor. Somehow he seemed unconnected with the moment. He seemed to just go through the motions and only explained what he was doing when my wife insisted he reply to her questions. He ordered some lab work for me, but none for my wife.

Checking out was an adventure. The counter is about four people wide and one has a complete view of the six folks working in the office, of which five never even acknowledged our presence. The sixth, having caught the contageous frown from the head administrator, grumbled through the payment process never looking up.

It doesn’t stop there. It took them three tries to get the insurance paperwork in properly so it was about 8 months before we finally got our final bill. In the mean time, we acquired secondary insurance, which they mistook for primary for visits after that, further complicating the billing process.

The straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back was when I needed to reschedule a lab visit and was kept on hold twice for 15 minutes each time. I didn’t even get the chance to explain what I wanted. It went something like this: Ring, Ring, Ring, (about 10 times). “XYZ Famlily Medicine, please hold.” Click.

The new doctors office experience was a complete 180 from the last. We were sent the paperwork in andvance so we could fill it out at our leisure before we came in. We were able to mail a couple of things in early so we were in the computer when we arrived.

We were greeted with smiles, and the two who worked in the office seemed genuinely glad to see us. The window was one person wide so you knew who was going to wait on you and who would be waited on next.

We were in the examining rooms within five minutes of our arrival, and within a few minutes after that, the nurse was asking questions and taking vitals, <– And entering them in the computer that was in the exam room –>. The nurse was friendly and helpful, and explained everything that was going to happen.

The doctor came in shortly after the nurse left, introduced himself, and reviewed and verified the info that we had sent in and that the nurse had just entered. He did this from a small electronic tablet that he carries around with him. After a thorough exam, while he was explaining everything, he summarized his findings and what he wanted us to do. (By the way we were not in the same room for the exam).

When we got to the office to check out, our prescriptions and lab orders were already printed out and he had signed them while we were dressing.

It was a pleasant experience all around.

I wonder if we’re like the former doctor or like the new doctor when we relate to newcomers at our church. Do we do more than just shake their hand at the door and jerk them into the building? Do we genuinely love them? Do we really want them to be there? Do we really show it? I wonder.

4 thoughts on “Speaking of Service

  1. Customer service SHOULD be a lot better in an economy that depends so much upon providing services. But examples of bad service abound and I supose as long as this is the case, we’ll never lack sermon illustrations!

    Your point is well taken though. I wonder how many of us bring our work week ideas into church more than we take our church ideas into the world?


  2. It is hard to find doctors here that take new medicare patients, so if you are over 65, you are pretty well stuck. Wish you were still posting on xanga

  3. Mike I sat here for five minutes trying to figure out primary car physcian. I never heard of a car having a physician. LOL

    My last visit I thought the doc who I have been ok with up til now was rather condensending. A nurse who taught us diabetes classes told me if it was the first time he blew me off to reconsider going on a search for a new one. She may be right, but it sure leaves you rather untrusting.

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