Even as someone who understands behavior, I sometimes struggle getting the behaviors I need out of people under one very specific circumstance. Phone-based customer service. I don’t know why but I am easily frustrated by the person on the other line, which leads me to use language and a particular tone that rarely get me to my intended outcome.
Things were a little different however, this week when I was on the phone with a nurse I knew from my doctor’s office. I love this office. Everyone is friendly and helpful and this doctor is top notch. Her knowledge and bedside manner make going to the doctor a…dare I say it…pleasant (?) experience. So when I needed to call them to get me a lower cost prescription ($150 for a three month supply?!?) I thought, “I like these people and I really need this prescription. Be purposeful with your consequences, Jenny.” So here’s how it went.
I’ll start by outlining the method I am using to rate the Nurse’s responses on a scale from Not Helpful to Helpful.
1= Not helpful. Doesn’t utilize resources to help me. Not getting the prescription today. Might get it tomorrow.
2= Somewhat helpful. Utilizes some resources to help me. 50/50 chance that I might get the prescription today but it’s more likely that it will be tomorrow.
3= Helpful. Utilizes all resources to try to get me the prescription today. I might actually get my prescription today!
Here are our conversations with ratings embedded:
I need a prescription filled ASAP so I call my doctor’s office.
2 hours later, I still need that prescription filled and now I’m near my Pharmacy so I check back in.
So although I didn’t end up checking for my prescriptions until the next day, I left the phone call feeling confident that someone was trying to help me. I rarely feel that way (especially after speaking with United Airlines or one of my student loan providers). Is it possible she was giving me lip service? Yes. But I think the odds were higher that she was really giving me her full effort more than when I’m going all Ricky Ricardo on "Joan from Denver" who won’t give me that last business seat on the only flight left that will get me home before the weekend…..but I digress… the point is that, when we make the effort to really be conscious of the consequences we provide to the people around us, the outcomes can be much, much sweeter.