Hey, who’s the customer here?

customerservice-webToday’s blog is about a topic that seems to be increasingly rare in the business world — and that is customer service — with the actual CUSTOMER as the focal point.  It’s just the approach of making yourself easy to do business with and being a good client- facing company.

Recently, my daughter needed to have a letter sent from her dentist to her orthodontist. My wife called the orthodontist’s office to make an appointment and the orthodontist’s office said they had not yet received the referral letter, which is not surprising — sometimes that happens. But then we got to experience their “standard” of customer service at which point the person in the orthodontist’s office said, “Call me back when the letter arrives.” My wife was perplexed. Her thoughts: First of all – Huh?  How am I supposed to know when the letter arrives? And second of all — really? I’m the client here. I’m a patient and a client.

Conversely, I was recently taking my parents out for a round of golf and it fell upon me to make the tee time. I called a local golf course and a young lady answered the phone. Clearly, she’s not the owner of the course, she’s probably a summer intern. But when I called to make the reservation, their computers were down (they use a computerized tee time scheduling solution). She apologized, and with low expectations, I assumed I would be told that I could call back in a few minutes. But no, that’s not what happened. This young lady, obviously at the direction of management, well trained in customer service, said, “Sir, can I take your name and phone number down and I will call you when our computer system is back up. It will probably be 5 minutes, but I will give you a call.” How refreshing. How absolutely 100% refreshing that something as simple as calling the client back, instead of putting the burden back on me to call back. And obviously this golf course is aware that having that level of service — being in a competitive environment — that this is how you retain clients. What a nice experience. And sure enough, she called back and we had a wonderful round of golf.

Unfortunately, healthcare and all its related businesses are “Big Business,” and with that customer service can be poor, if not absent altogether. Why? It’s cultural, with leaders not only demanding it of their employees, but also investing in training and technology to ensure it happens, and setting the example that the customer comes above all else. All the time, not just when it’s convenient.

We strive to do that every day at ImageIQ, I think most of the time we get it right. We’re not perfect, and the times we don’t get it right, we try to make it right.

As leaders, we owe it to our customers to make their service common practice, not a treat. I would love to hear from medical device, pharmaceutical and biomedical CEO’s on how they make that happen. If you read this, please leave a comment below with your thoughts.

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Sony-Lens-PhotoWhen we spun-out the company a few years ago, we wanted to share with the biomedical community the passion, the energy and fun we have with imaging analysis. So we started doing our holiday email campaign where we take something related to that holiday and do some imaging and some analysis in the spirit of fun. One of our most popular holiday emails was last year’s holiday decoration contest, where we took pictures from a few different holiday light decoration home displays and quantitatively analyzed them. Then we asked our friends throughout the internet community to take a look at those pictures and vote which they felt were, let’s just say, closest to the lighting output of the Sun.

This year we’ve raised the bar. We are conducting a contest. However, instead of ImageIQ picking the three images that we analyze, you can snap the pic, send it in, and have your Internet colleagues vote. And the winner gets super cool smart phone lens.

Fun speaks to a bit of the culture here at ImageIQ. We have a passion for imaging, having a good time with it, using it to explore new things and look at things in a different way, and love to bring the thrill of discovery to our clients. I hope all our blog fans will snap some outrageous house pics, and send them in and maybe you will find that the picture is voted most gaudy, or best dressed or something like that.

Click Here to submit a photo.

Have a wonderful end of the year.  We’ll certainly see you in 2014!

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