Mutti is my 93 year old grandmother.
She still lives on her own and is very independent – in fact she only stopped driving last summer. She never asks for anything and never complains.
Like other people her age, she takes medicine. And like other people her age, there are some types of medicine she cannot take because they make her sick and affect her heart.
A month ago, Mutti fell in the street. She was rushed to hospital. She had broken her femoral neck.
In the emergency room, she made a point of indicating she could not take a specific medicine because it was making her extremely unwell as she had an intolerance to it.
The initial care was given and she was sent to a room.
When she realised the nurse was giving her the precise medicine she could not take and complained, she was told she was making up stories, that no one had ever had problems with this in the past and that in any case they were following due process and that was that.
Mutti got very unwell. So unwell her heart raced all night. So unwell that she later confessed she thought her time had come. Never mind the femoral neck, that was not the issue anymore.
It took more 24 hours and 3 pleads to the nurses, “bypassing the system” as family members are in the medical care sector, for the medicine not to be given anymore.
What if “Mutti” was your customer?
- Would you believe Mutti when she says something is not right for her?
- Would you listen to what she has to say?
- Would you follow process even though it is blatantly obvious she is worse and at risk?
- And what about that other customer who does not have other means or channels of getting heard?
Businesses need to realise that they should no longer offer customer service but customer care. They must transform themselves into customer centric organisations which listen and act based on what customers feed back. By making this transformation, they will solve problems rather than creating new problems which are often bigger than the initial one. Most importantly, they will retain customers instead of losing them to competitors who have already learnt this lesson.
Mutti is much better now, she’s walking again and will be out of reeducation this week.
Will your customers recover that quickly?