Written by Megan Chamberlain
06 Oct 2020

Celebrating Customer Service Week 2020

"It's through vulnerability that human beings create connections. The more vulnerable we can be with one another, the more that we'll trust one another and the more we'll be able to collaborate effectively."

Neil Blumenthal

This year has reinforced many lessons for us all - a key one being that it is okay to be vulnerable and to lean upon others, your team, for support. Navigating COVID-19 and it's impact on healthcare and our reality presented a unique challenge - how to stay connected and how to keep going?

I believe that every customer-facing Daniels team member knows the value of maintaining a strong team bond - that they understand that through finding ways to strengthen our customer support, we then strengthen our customer service and in turn our customer's ability to provide exceptional healthcare. Our team members, across the globe, have all stepped up to become pillars of consistency that our customer's could rely on during, a truly, uncertain time.

Customer Service Week 2020 allows us the opportunity to reflect on all the positive changes this team has driven across our business - and the impact they've made on our customers. As you read, if you think of a Daniels team member who has really shown you the #DanielsDifference with their service, consider nominating them here.

 

Coming Together

In the fall of 2019, for the first time, all the Customer Care Advocates and Business Unit Administrators from across the US assembled for a meeting of the minds to answer: how can we improve our customer service and systems in a way that impacts our staff and those we serve? This began a flood of not just good ideas - but great ideas that would dramatically impact the business in multiple ways. Key takeaways from this meeting were:

  • Needed improvement of communication between Customer Support Teams
  • Additional training and intuitive systems that helped quickly resolve customer requests
  • ...and continuing an annual in-person Customer Service Summit!

Of course with COVID-19, this year's summit has been postponed - but the team sure had fun last year:

 

Now, a year later, we can reflect on all the wonderful changes team Daniels has created that stemmed from our 2019 Customer Service Summit. This was truly an organizational effort and involved many folks from IT to Billing to Marketing. We understand that while all of us may not be customer-facing, each of us impacts the customer's experience in some way.

 

Hadley Wade from our Chicago team reflects upon some positive changes:

  • The US Customer Support team now has a weekly call to go over metrics that directly impact our customers.
  • Overall our customer satisfaction score has significantly increased - indicating we are improving the right things!
  • With the implementation of Customer Cases across the business, we have more prompt resolutions to customer requests.  

 

Now that you've seen the team, get to know your Daniels Customer Support through the following fun Q&A:

 

Before you begin, you may be aware that Daniels Health 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 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

  • "Well, I have never opened a container personally, but I manage the live chat on the Daniels website and the weirdest request I ever received was from a patient asking for their eyeball back..."

– Meagan Bailey, Jacksonville FL

  • “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

  • "Customers who call in and have a mini conversation with me before or after their actual needs. Those customers treat us like friends and not robots on the other end of the phone line."

– Kate Niesen, Shakopee MN

  • “The types of customers that really make my day, and make me smile, are those that will call just to brag on our drivers for the wonderful service that they provide.”

– Monica Cunningham, Gastonia NC

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

– Celi Ambriz, Chicago IL

  • “The customers who humor my jokes are the best. Sometimes we’re put into a tough spot, but if you can get a customer to chuckle it breaks the tension.”

– Meagan Bailey, Jacksonville FL

 

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:

 

  • “Having all the information up front is the most helpful thing for me, like customer numbers, container types, etc."

– Meagan Bailey, Jacksonville FL

  • “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

  • "Know their customer number! If we can search them by their customer number, our conversation is going to be a lot quicker AND we’ll have way more information to help them."

– Nick Lurquin, Chicago IL

 

 

Do you have any tips or tricks you would recommend to someone else in a Customer Service role?

  • “Smile on the phone - the customer can hear it."

– Nick Lurquin, Chicago IL

  • “You cannot take anything an unhappy customer says to you personally. Most of the time the issue they are having is not with your department, and they just need a place to channel their frustrations. If you have an exceptionally bad call, try and get up and walk around for a minute before you take any more calls, make a cup of coffee or have a quick snack. Other customers can hear it in your voice when you’re having a bad day, and we need to be able to move on after altercations to give the best service to the rest of our customers.

– Kate Niesen, Shakopee MN

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

– Deanna Sparks, Westland MI

  • “Take breaks. Step away for a minute if you have a rough call. If you can’t handle something by yourself ask for help! No one will know you’re drowning if you don’t ask."

– Meagan Bailey, Jacksonville FL

  • “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

 

Meagan Bailey was the best. Wonderful customer service!!! She is down to earth and just seemed like a great gal. My experience with her made my week!

Tish Neilson, HSHS Medical Group

Jasmine Smith is always friendly and helpful with my many questions!

Renee Durant, Spectrum Health United Hospital

Scott Fellows works like he’s part of our team, always thinking about our needs and being proactive about meeting them.

Jim Ramsak, Aurora Hartford

Brian Dalton has been an amazing driver for both of my clinics.  He is always professional and courteous.  He always ensures that I have enough supplies needed from pick up to pick up.  He deserves to be recognized   

Samuel DeAngelo, FKC Pennsylvania Dialysis Center Reading

David Leverenz would inform me if something was wrong or different inside of any of my soiled utility rooms while inspecting the sharps containers.  

Gary Farmer, Advocate Sherman

All of your team members, especially the drivers, that I have had the pleasure of encountering are always extremely helpful, positive, and pleasant when they come to our campus.    

V.Hall, Lincoln Tech

 

I look forward to Customer Service Week every year because I personally know how amazing each of our team members are - it is truly a joy to shine some additional gratitude and celebration on them. As the landscape of our world continues to grow and evolve, I know each of them can be counted on to provide an excellent customer experience. They are great humans who excel in empathy, and champions of care that 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 2020!

 

Know an awesome Daniels Employee? Tell us!

 

Header Style: 
Megan Chamberlain

Megan Chamberlain

Content and Digital Solutions Specialist

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.