You’ve heard it before. Client care begins with the phone call. Too often we forget about the impetus for the call. The context. Years, typically, of pain, anxiety, frustration, or conflict that motivate someone to call you – a complete stranger – for help. Think about what a big deal that is.
Things have gotten out of hand in someone’s life. Pain overcomes fear of change. So they do a web search. Or ask a friend. And they pick up the phone and call. This is the moment therapy begins. We shape their experience from that first moment they punch in the phone number.
Think about your own experience as a patient. How many times have you called a doctor’s office and asked for an appointment and the receptionist asks for your date of birth? Not your name. Your DOB. “Hi, I’d like to make an appointment with Dr. Fancy Pants.” “Are you an existing patient?” Hmmmm. Hard not to take this as an existential question but you persist. “Nope. Brand new.” “Date of birth?” Gaaaaah!!! So annoying! What if it went like this? “Hi, I’d like to make an appointment with Dr. Normal Person,” and the receptionist said, “Great, thanks for calling. What’s your name? Let’s see what we can do here.” Completely different experience. Now you feel welcome. You feel like a person, not a file.
Small things add up to a comfortable, personalized client experience.
Therapists are in the discomfort business. We use the discomfort of our clients to help effect change. Too often we forget that our clients have plenty of discomfort of their own without our making their therapy experience anything less than optimal.
Therapists are in the discomfort business. Too often we forget that our clients have plenty of discomfort of their own without our making their therapy experience anything less than optimal.
Upping your game – a Lifeologie institute Core Values series –
Core value: comfortable client care
by Melanie Wells, LPC, LMFT