This week we are honoured again to have another great writer do a post for us. Veronica from Veronica June Photography tells us about her experience with customer service. I hope you will take the time after to visit her website and other social media links to see the great story's and photos that she has. Links will be available at the end of the post. All photos that are used in this post are property of Veronica June Photography and cannot be reused without her consent.
Reading The Rant’s post entitled “Try Taking Pride in Your Work” reminded me of an experience I had a few years ago. When I’m feeling stressed, I find that writing is another great way to settle my mind. The following was penned on a snowy winter morning after a long night in the emergency room with my daughter. As if it wasn’t enough frustration to deal with the ER, I was also dealing with her recovery after an unexpected surgery while there. Perhaps you’ve been in a situation like this?
Dear Pharmacy Tech (who shall remain nameless) at an (also unnamed) chain Pharmacy that I have patronized for over 10 years - I have some questions for you....
When you make no eye contact and sigh in irritation at me when I walk up, do you know that I've just had a very long night following surgery for my child? Who is ill? Do you have a child? Just wondering....
Are you aware that I, too, risked my life to trek through the blizzard this morning to gets scripts filled? I know you did, too, but hey, that begs another question...
Are you aware that my business pays your paycheck? Do you think if all the customers stopped "bothering" you, you would still get a paycheck? Just curious...
Is it really necessary to use THAT tone with me after the ordering physician at the hospital wrote the 4 scripts on 1 paper? You do know that I didn't write those scripts myself, don't you? And that I, as a customer, might not know that that chicken scratching on the pad is for a "controlled" substance, and that I just might not know that there's special laws concerning that particular med? Just thought I'd ask...
Is it really necessary to whisper behind your hand about me with the pharmacist as if you're sharing a well-kept secret? Did you learn in elementary school that if you have something to say, you should say it in private, or so the whole class can hear? Do you know that a few feet from me is not "private"? Just wondering...
Are you aware that social norms do call for an apology when you've made an error, such as, I don't know, maybe when you CAN indeed fill all 4 scripts even though they're written on the same paper? Which brings another question...
Did your employer train you to show any kind of remorse or apology when you don't have 3 of the 4 meds in question? All of which are fairly standard scripts? Just thought I'd ask...
Is it painful to smile? Are you ill? Did you have a rough morning getting in? Does it occur to you that if you share a smile, someone might just smile back at you? And one last thing...
Did you know that I'm praying for you to be just a tad bit kinder to the next mom who comes in on a blizzardy morning needing meds for her child?
Just thought I'd ask.
The words just kind of popped out. I posted it on social media, looking to vent and maybe find some support. A good number of friends chimed in with kind thoughts and prayers. However, much to my surprise, I also had several people comment in such a way as to defend the clerk and suggest that I was being too rough on her. I even had one person suggest that perhaps this Tech was unable to express friendliness, perhaps due to a social difference.
Now hear me out… I’m all about compassion for those with social differences. We all want to find meaningful work and contribute to our family in whatever way possible. Every one of us, social differences or not, has that right and that privilege here in America. I’m also about hiring people who are qualified to do the job for which they were hired. For example, I am not a seamstress because I don’t have the skill, knowledge, or ability to measure, cut, and sew clothing. It would not be in the best interest of anyone for me to take a job as a seamstress. Unless, of course, I could be trained appropriately within the job setting.
It stands to reason then, that in order to be a Pharmacy Technician, one would expect a candidate to have the skill, knowledge and ability to do the job. Part of the job, beyond the science and counting part, is to be patient, compassionate, kind, and dare I suggest, FRIENDLY, with your customers, most of whom are dealing with health concerns which brought them to the pharmacy to begin with. Or do I have that wrong? Is it no longer part of the job of customer service to show kindness and make every effort to help the customer? Some days it sure feels that way, especially when that customer is already in a rough spot.
Maybe we have lost the value of the customer experience because so much is available to us online… Or maybe so much is available to us online because we have lost the value of the customer experience? Which came first? The chicken or the egg? I leave you to ponder that question.
Veronica Bareman is a Photographer and the owner of Veronicajune Photography, based in Holland, Michigan. She loves great customer service, talking, seeing movies in the theater as often as possible (where she doesn’t talk), and loves to wander with her camera taking incredible photos. When the fourth of her five kids got the heck out of her house, she built a home photography studio and started her own business, which keeps her busy doing her other favorite thing, meeting new people! When she’s not taking photos, she’s talking about photos and telling stories on her blog.
You can find Veronica and her work here:
Blog Website https://veronicajunephotography.com/blog/
Email address: email@example.com
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