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Bed Side Manner

September 7, 2022 By The Siren Of Support Leave a comment

What is harmless, yet can kill you? 


Time is priceless, however it has no cost. Time can stand still while flying by. Time is infinite, yet there is never enough. 

How we as service providers choose to spend our time, and our customers’ time, is crucial to the development of the business relationship. There will always be another call in the queue or another person waiting to check out, but we can not allow the customer that’s in front of us at the current moment to feel as if they are not special. They are not just a number, nor a box to be checked off. They deserve our full and undivided attention. If you treat them as a priority, they will be back. You are gaining more than business buddy, you are earning repeat business, and just like time, you can’t put a price on that. 

For the last few days I have watched doctors, nurses, CNA’s and a multitude of other caregivers  waltz in and out of my Dad’s hospital room. He is their customer. The staff that zooms in, poking and prodding with few words leave him feeling agitated, disconnected to his own care and like nothing more than a specimen. Yesterday, a nurse came in. She held his hand and talked about fishing and drinking beers while soaking up the sun on the boat. She still poked and prodded. She asked all the necessary questions to gauge his current condition, but did it while creating a bond. She was only in the room a few minutes longer than the others. She not only got her job done but left a sense of calm, compassion and an overall feeling that someone cared. Those few minutes spent, left a long lasting impression. 

How do we teach our team members to exhibit good “bedside manner”? What do they need to do to make the most out of the moments they have the customers’ attention? Time well used is not wasted and we must make sure the interactions are intentional, beneficial and impactful. 

  • Make it Personal: “Is that a dog I hear?” “Beautiful weather in Texas this time of year, I was in Dallas recently.” “Oh, ‘98 Chevy pick up, huh? I love those trucks!” Some conversation starters might feel like pick up lines but run with it and find common ground.
  • Find a connection and follow up: Once you discover your commonalities, build your connection from there. Next time you are lucky enough to be facing that customer again, revisit the topic. “OHHHH I hear Marty the dog, how’s he doing with that hip issue?” Conversating in this manner will make your customer feel valued, heard and create trust.
  • Quality vs. Quantity: Obviously you don’t have thirty minutes to small talk with every customer, so make the three minutes worth it. Multitask while you take care of their needs. Chit chat a few more minutes to finish out the subject but know how to control the conversation so you can end it without seeming as if you are blowing them off. 

At times, what we don’t do or say has more effect than what we do. When quoting a job or checking out a customer, take it a step further than price and availability. Time is money.  Invest it in your customer relations and watch your dollars soar. 


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