Written by Megan Chamberlain
08 Oct 2019

Meet Our Team: Celebrating Customer Service Week 2019

My father taught me two things at a very early age: never be rude to someone who is preparing your food and always be courteous to anyone working in customer service. My dad managed teams in various service industries all his life – from fast food, to convention center kitchens, to hotels. He truly made me understand the respect that anyone in a customer-facing role deserves and the daily challenges they deal with. He even gave me some tips after I got my first customer service role as a McDonald’s cashier when I was 16.

Those lessons are equally as important now in my adulthood. I am grateful to work at Daniels Health where customer service and support for our customer service teammates is so important. October 7th marks the beginning of Customer Service Week 2019. This is an international awareness week that we are eager to celebrate across our business. In my time at Daniels, I’ve had the pleasure of working with our administrators and support teams across the US. This blog is to praise them, their efforts, and provide a small insight into how amazing they all are – while having some fun! A few of our Administrators and Customer Care Advocates across the nation took time out of their busy days to answer a few questions. Read their professional, thoughtful, and funny responses below to quickly see why we appreciate them so.


Nominate a Daniels Employee


Daniels is known for our clinically-engineered reusable sharps containers – that also happen to be tamperproof. This means sometimes people lose things in our containers, and to their surprise, cannot get in the container to retrieve the item. This feature is to promote safe medical waste disposal, but often surprises customers at how secure our containers are.


What is the most odd or common thing, that isn’t medical waste, that you’ve found in one of our containers?

  • “We always get calls about phones and keys being dropped in them. That's a popular one.”

– Deanna Sparks, Westland MI

  • “We received a call that a patient’s wife was filing his nails and dropped a very expensive file into the sharps container.”

– Mary Jo McDavitt, Shakopee MN

  • “I scheduled a pickup for 1 bloody tissue in trash after a patient blew their nose.”

– Miriam Saldana, Walton KY


Editor’s note: a single bloody tissue actually isn’t Regulated Medical Waste unless the blood, or other potentially infectious material, is able to be flaked off, dripped, our poured! We have a blog here outlining what exactly qualifies as RMW.


What type of customer really makes your day, makes you smile?

  • “I like the talkers! We have our regular customers call and tell us about the family and what's currently going on in their world. Some of my customers have been with me the whole time I've been at Daniels. I used to have a customer send me postcards when she went on vacation.”

– Deanna Sparks, Westland, MI

  • “Someone who is patient and understands that some issues may take me more than a few hours to resolve”.

– Celi Ambriz, Chicago IL

  • “I like the type of customer that tells you a little about their personal lives. I like being able to ask how your daughter is doing, or how your anniversary trip with your significant other went! It’s nice to get to know customers on a more personal level.”

– Jasmine Smith, Westland, MI


The thing I love about our team, is they clearly enjoy talking to our customers. They want to get to know our partners – our customers are far more than just an account number. A few of our customer service teammates also articulated what kind of customer makes them able to perform their job a little more efficiently:

  • “I love to interact with customers that talk to you about how everything is going. Conversations like that allow me to find out if I can do anything to improve the Daniels experience.”

– Darla Carney, Houston, TX

  • “The customer that knows what container they have that needs to be replaced instead of 'bring us what you always do.' When customers are short, it is more challenging for me to assist them because I’m not getting the information I need.”

– Mary Jo McDavitt, Shakopee, MN

  • “I love customers that are clear about what they need – it makes it easier for me to assist them quickly. And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE a customer that understands they may have to answer some questions in order for me to best assist them.”

– Ernyta Hytower, Chicago IL


Customer Service can be draining. How does your team keep morale up and support each other?

  • “The Houston Team supports each other by open communication. We talk in groups and individually about how to best support each other. We work around school schedules, children appointments, and family emergencies.”

– Darla Carney, Houston TX

  • “Most days here we are laughing, singing, and occasionally, twerking in the hallway. We go out for dinner and drinks sometimes together. We do Zumba every Tuesday night. We do our morning "cuddle" that just means we are going to meet up in the kitchen for coffee and chit chat before we start our day. The Admin team here is tight!”

– Deanna Sparks, Westland MI

  • “We try to find reasons to laugh every day.”

– Mary Jo McDavitt, Shakopee MN

  • “We have cookouts, food days and such.”

– Miriam Saldana, Walton KY

  • “We make it a point to have outings with each other. We also make a point to laugh! Our job can be stressful, but sometimes just laughing with each other helps a ton.”

– Jasmine Smith, Westland MI

  • “We give each other the opportunity and space to vent if we’re frustrated. We ask for help when we need it. Sometimes customer service can be overwhelming, so we try to take the time to laugh too.”

– Ernyta Hytower, Chicago


It’s clear that laughter and empathy are what keeps our Customer Service team going. We’re so thankful that they have championed this culture of support for each other, even through working across different time zones with one another.


What has surprised you most in your role as an Administrator or Customer Care Advocate?

  • “The level of customer satisfaction that Houston Team has achieved is outstanding! We have never lost a customer due to poor customer service.”

– Darla Carney, Houston TX

  • “The growth I have seen since I started in 2009 – it’s incredible!”

– Deanna Sparks, Westland MI

  • “How interconnected we are with the other departments across the business. I would never think that sales or logistic would depend on my knowledge and know-how. When other departments ask me for my input, It helps me feel like part of a bigger picture.”

– Jasmine Smith, Westland MI


And finally, do you have any tips or tricks you would recommend to someone else in a Customer Service role?

  • “Never take a negative tone or attitude when communicating with customers. Always ask, "How can I make this better for you?"

– Darla Carney, Houston TX

  • “Have fun in what you do! It will show in your customer service skills.”

– Deanna Sparks, Westland MI

  • “Don’t let angry customers make you feel like you are terrible or did something wrong. You can only do so much on your own. You don’t deserve to have a bad day or put yourself down if something is out of your control to fix. Just try to help as much as you can – and ask for help!”

– Celi Ambriz, Chicago IL

  • “ALWAYS Respond! Even if you don’t have the answer, just letting the customer know that you are working on it goes a long way. They just want to know someone is working on their request.”

– Jasmine Smith, Westland MI

  • “Be Yourself! There are often scripts and talk tracks used in customer-facing roles. I think there should be a basic format for general conversation, but customer service is most effective when you are relaxed and honest with the customer. No one wants to deal with a robot, that’s what makes people scream 'CUS-TOM-ER SER-VICE!' at automated service prompts.”

– Ernyta Hytower, Chicago IL


I would be lying if I said I didn’t get the warm fuzzies reading all the responses from our teammates. In a role that has challenges daily and requires a high level of empathy, these champions of care consistently prove how much they value helping others. For them, it’s not even about business, it’s about retaining a human element of connection and aid – it’s about service.

If you have had a Daniels Health teammember make a positive impact in your relationship, please take the time to acknowledge them by completing the survey below. Happy Customer Service Week 2019!


Know an awesome Daniels Employee? Tell us!


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Megan Chamberlain

Megan Chamberlain

Content Strategist

With a little bit of knowledge about a lot of things and a quick wit, Megan was the recipient of the Daniels Pun-Master Award 2017 and is the go-to for fun analogies to explain healthcare waste.