Customer Service & Infant Open Heart Surgery

Posted by Warren Bergen on Saturday, March 3, 2012 Under: Business

I remember the day I fell in love with my first born. She was only weeks old and sleeping on my chest as I lay on a Sunday sofa. I had agreed to have kids because I thought it was the thing to do once married for a time. No one had ever told me how dramatic, rewarding, engrossing, and utterly thrilling it can be as well. Certainly there are things you give up and big changes occur that don’t always feel convenient or cool. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love being a father and feel very lucky to have two wonderful, healthy happy kids. I think I’m pretty much like most Dads, so when I hear other Dads tell me about health issues with their kids, I realize what kind of stress, anxiety and fear they must be going through. But without going through it yourself, you never really would.

Millie was diagnosed with a heart defect while still in the second trimester. Of course, she wasn’t yet even named Millie at that time. Then, she was just a baby on the way for two very excited young parents building a family. The doctor found a hole in her heart during an ultrasound procedure. I can barely imagine what Alex and Heather must have felt after receiving such news.

Alex is an entrepreneur who sends me period updates regarding progress of his tech company. He gives me a few days to read through it and then we occasionally get together to discuss. His brother is his business partner, which is a dangerous choice but seems to be working. Choosing business partners is hard. Yesterday, we sat down for that purpose and he told me about Millie, who now is nearly six months old and doing great. I could tell by way Alex talked that he’s a Dad who understands what a privilege it is to be a father. He talked about how they had taken Millie to the Stollery Children’s Hospital for surgery. The team there is incredible. The fact that the surgeon was sufficiently skilled to perform his task was important, but it was only a single element of the organization, preparation, counseling, support, education and overall process that made easier, a difficult situation.


 

Alex and Heather were understandably fearful until the staff educated them about what was going to occur and provided counseling and support whenever needed. The worries and needs of Alex, Heather and Millie were cared for in every respect before, during and after surgery. Because they were organized, professional and prepared, fear was replaced by trust. With a few months gone, Alex realized how this level of care and attention could be applied to his business and his customers. He is now attempting to create that same level of organization, professionalism and preparation in his company in an attempt to achieve that lofty goal of replacing fear with trust.

Most companies believe they provide a high level of customer service, but we all know that the real deal is rare. When entrepreneurs are building their startups, customer service quite regularly takes a back seat to research, design, testing, packaging, employee issues, technological hurdling, competitive offerings and payroll. Amidst the clamor, the entrepreneur must also create the garden path for a prospective customer. The customer is looking for assurances and proof of offer validity, delivery time accuracy, price equity and support. Alex’s company is doing well, but it is this change that he learned in a hospital, that will make it great.

It’s a winter Sunday afternoon and Millie is fast asleep on Alex’s chest.

In : Business 



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