Not too long ago I spent an evening at a local emergency center with my mom. The experience reminded me of the old saying “You are only as good as your weakest link” and here’s why . . .
When I walked into the emergency room I was immediately accosted by a huge poster focused on customer service which promised “service excellence” and that we would be seen in 30 minutes or less. Hmmm, I thought, this may be interesting to watch. After a brief check-in we waited about ten minutes before being screened and were immediately shown to a room in the back. (WOW! I thought to myself) Within the next hour the doctor stopped by, a knee x-ray was taken and a nice lady came by to officially log us in. Things slowed down a bit and we were advised that nothing was broken but that a steroid shot had been ordered from the pharmacy and then we could go home. Ok – bring it on . . .OK …bring it on . . . Hello, is anyone out there?
Nearly two hours later I stepped up to the nurses station and inquired about the steroid shot. They were very quick to inform me that it was the pharmacy’s fault. “The pharmacy was the hold up.” The pharmacy (in this case also known as the weakest link) had successfully turned this WOW experience into an OW experience. After a total visit time of five hours and ten minutes, we were finally on our way home.
The experience reminded me that the customer doesn’t really care whose ‘fault’ it is. The old saying is true – you are only as good as your weakest link. As for the service poster, I would recommend they take it down as they wouldn’t want any of their patients to die laughing on their way out.