That took me about three seconds to type, illustrating the point that (as they say) common courtesy does not cost a lot.
I was reminded of this phrase this week when an acquaintance told me of their experience in telephoning their Doctor’s surgery and asking whether blood test results were now available. My acquaintance said ‘Good morning’, introduced himself and was mid-way through his question when the receptionist interjected saying, “… can I just interrupt you there, we cannot look at blood results until this afternoon …”.
My acquaintance, slightly surprised both by the interruption and the strange bureaucratic quirk that permitted only pm viewing of the blood results, said he would call back later.
The receptionist did not:
- greet my friend
- say who she was
- explain fully why the results would not be available until the afternoon
- undertake to get someone to call him back
- empathize in any way with someone who might be concerned about the results of a medical investigation.
The receptionist’s behavior betrays many things. She might be in the wrong job, which is a recruitment issue. She might lack training. The surgery might be under-resourced. These are issues for the way in which the medical practice is led.
But that’s not really where I am going with this. I think her behavior is symptomatic of a trend I have noted for some time in business and, in fact, the world at large …a growing lack of courtesy and respect for each other. I sometimes put this to business leaders when I suspect that a lack of courtesy is part of the culture in their company and that this might be having a negative impact on morale, on customers and therefore on business performance. Most trot out the old cliché about this being a business and that the strive for cost-efficiency sometimes means that a lack of courtesy is unavoidable. I tell them that they are missing an opportunity to differentiate their customer experience from competitors as well as contributing to a negative aspect of modern society. Some take the point on board, while others ignore it (very rude of them!).
Oh—and my friend’s blood results were fine by the way.
Thank you for asking.
Tags: acquaintance blog blood results blood test results business leaders business performance cost efficiency customer experience interruption job medical investigation medical practice negative impact phrase quirk receptionist recruitment issue