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Don’t Bring Me Cupcakes if You Won’t Return My Call

We have a new vendor who has all the sales etiquette down pat. They give great presentations with terrific PowerPoint shows accompanied by well-organized, attractive reports and they frequently bring cupcakes to me and my staff.

We were just on the verge of voting them BVE – Best Vendor Ever – until we ran into an urgent problem related to one of their services. They weren’t responding to my staff, so I put in an urgent request for a phone call myself. They didn’t respond to my call either.

Here’s a little-known fact: I rarely make urgent requests for a vendor to call me, so when I do you’d think the red flags would go up. Instead of taking two minutes to call and ensure that they were all over the problem and outlining exactly what they were doing to address it, all kinds of non-responsive emails were flying about, one stating they’d schedule a conference call later in the afternoon. I’m an ICU nurse – when one of your patients codes you don’t email about how you’ll get to it later – you act NOW!

It was only when I dropped an email to their CEO that they called, and two minutes later we were done.  The vendor’s staff invested a lot more time emailing us than that two minute phone call took.

Note to vendors: cupcakes are not customer service. They’re just cupcakes. Calling me when I tell you it is urgent is the customer service I am seeking. So in the future, please don’t send cupcakes if you won’t return my call.

I’m just saying’,

P.S. Share any of your vendor experiences where you’ve had to educate about customer service (just don’t name names – or do!).

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*The opinions and statements made by Vickie Milazzo, the founder of Medical-Legal Consulting Institute, Inc. are based on her experiences and expertise, should not be applied beyond the specific context provided, and do not guaranty or project actual results. Vickie Milazzo is no longer involved in the operations or management of the business, but is involved as an independent education consultant.

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