A few weeks ago,  this blog highlighted some terrific customer service experiences, a rarity these days.  Rudeness, inefficiency and callousness seem to be the norm in the relationships between companies and the people who buy and use their products and services.  One of the places where customer service can be particularly bad is the doctor’s  office and medical facilities where one would expect it to be otherwise.

Tops on my hall of shame this week is a Rockville doctor whom I won’t name.  Why does she get this esteemed spot?  For starters, her office staff was rude and insensitive. They moved a scheduled appointment because the doctor was going to be out of town,  and when I got there, told me that my appointment was actually a half an hour later than the time they told me to be there for THEIR convenience not mine.  Then they kept me waiting for nearly 2 hours with no explanation.  Only when I said I was leaving, did the doctor magically appear for the appointment.  And finally instead of the doctor calling me with lab results (all was well), I had to call several times and practically beg to speak to the doctor to answer my questions.

That is just inexcusable but it is the state of affairs in medical offices.   Needless to say, I’m not going back to that doctor.  And I plan to tell her why.   Doctors, it seems, don’t see themselves as needing to be “customer friendly.”  The sad thing is that many have adopted the worst aspects of business in an effort to achieve greater efficiencies and have lost the human touch.   And patients/consumers put up with it because we often don’t know better than to demand better treatment.

People tell me not to blame the doctor for bad office staff.  But like in any business, the front office staff is the face of the doctor.  They convey the first and last impression.  And the doctor sets the tone for the office.  Doctors are being squeezed left and right by insurance companies.  But when people have a choice, as I do, they will vote with their feet and that’s not good for the bottom line.

What companies or enterprises would top your customer service wall of shame? And why is customer service and caring so hard to find in the medical field these days?

And if you have a candidate for the Customer Service Hall of Fame or Wall of Shame, please share it.