Patient Relationship Management–lessons from Thumper

Today it feels like I got a little too befuddled, steered into the skid, and took a left into the dementia cul-de-sac.  I like to dig a little esoteric hole right up front to test myself—hopefully I won’t overshoot.

One billion, two hundred and twenty million. That’s the number of hits on Google for ‘hotel’. A fairly competitive business one could easily surmise. A business in which one would benefit by trying to attract and retain customers, especially loyal customers. Their tagline is, ‘It happens at the Hilton’. You know what they say, ‘It happens’–it certainly does, ‘It’ happened to me. I’m standing at the Hilton Honors desk, checking in to the hotel. I’m in Memphis. Tennessee is one of the friendliest places I’ve ever been. The people are genuine. We go through the niceties of how my flight was, and what I’m doing in Memphis. Yada, yada. I then provide the clerk with my Hilton Honors number.

“I’m afraid you don’t exist, Mr. Roemer.”

I have the right to remain silent; I just don’t have the ability. I can feel it coming. I’m about to have a Roemer-minute. You know the feeling, when the words are going to jump pass the lips before you have the chance to go into lock down mode. I’m a bit of a stickler for English, so I press him to do better with his statement. “Here I am”—I am Sam, Sam I am, I wanted to add, but I didn’t know how up to speed his was with his Green Eggs and Ham reading. “How can I not exist?”

“In the system. You’ve expired—I checked my pulse to make sure I hadn’t—you’ve been deleted.”

“My reservation?”

“No, you. You are no longer an Honors Club member.”

Now I had it. I hadn’t expired, they expired me. Somebody had to think up that little gem of an idea, and somebody else had to approve it. They could have just pretended I was still in their little club and not said anything and everything would have been fine. Bambi 101. Thumper’s mother; ‘If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” A clear violation of the rule. As competitive as the hospitality industry seems to be, how smart does one need to be to know that it is not a good idea to expire customers?

I was in the middle of my run today, four miles away from the parking lot.  Next to the dirt trail was a bright orange Igloo water cooler with a hand-written note stating it was provided by a local running store.

What have you done for your patients recently?  What makes you stand out?

saint Paul M. Roemer
Chief Imaginist, Healthcare IT Strategy

1475 Luna Drive, Downingtown, PA 19335
+1 (484) 885-6942

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Contact me: Google Talk/paulroemer Skype/paulroemer Google Wave/paulroemer

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