(I am currently teaching a Service Operations Management course for our MBA program, and part of the requirements for the course is for students to blog weekly on service experiences they have had, and relate and assess that experience as it directly relates to the recent chapters covered in class. In that spirit, I am offering some of my recent service experiences on my blog.)
My wife is an insulin dependent diabetic, and has been using the Medtronic “pump” for several years now. In addition, she has the “continuous glucose monitoring” (CGM) sensors, that talk with the pump, and allow her to get information far more quickly about changes in her glucose levels. 1
As part of that treatment regimen she has to order supplies on a regular basis. Of course, these supplies are only available from the manufacturer. Our insurance company picks up the tab for much of the supply cost, and as part of the typical healthcare regimen, we pay our portion of the bill as well. I typically call Medtronic, or at least their billing contractor, and make the payment over the phone with a credit card.
In December I called, and quickly dispatched with the task, paying the balance owed on the bill, and writing down the confirmation number. Then, in January, we received another bill, for the next set of supplies received, and I called back. This time, they told me I owed for the new supplies, and that I still owed the (now late) payment for the prior supplies.
Here is where things could have gone terribly wrong, with accusations, recriminations, and the like being passed back and forth. But instead, things went terribly RIGHT. (um… is that possible?)
I dug around, and found my copy of the previous bill, with the confirmation number written on there (in traditional, Air Force “Memo for Record” fashion. Old habits die hard.) I read the customer service representative the number, and she looked it up. And then she gasped! “I was the person who took the payment!”
She immediately sprang into action, verifying that they had, indeed, taken my call on that day, and that I had indeed paid my bill. She went to her supervisor whom I was told was “as we speak” taking the paperwork to the accounting office to straighten them out. We then proceeded to take care of the rest of the business, and process the payment for the balance owed.
At the end of the call, I asked if she wouldn’t mind sharing her name with me, just in case I had any other issues. She was very gracious and agreed to that.
So, Esther, thank you for your gracious and attentive support to your customers. It is very appreciated!
- I will say, the ability to get near-realtime bio feedback is a tremendous boon to diabetic care. More on that at another time… ↩