The WOW Factor!November 10th, 2010 by
The WOW program was set up to demonstrate to all of our employees what superior customer service can be. Here is a great example set by one of our managers. Wes Lutes, an Account Manager at one of our hospital locations, often fills in for various positions during peak hours of operation in order for employees to take their meal break. Little did Wes know that filling in for one of his cashiers for thirty minutes would give him a new perspective on his job, the service he provides, and the value of going the extra mile.
While helping a customer on the exit side of the booth, a middle aged lady on the entrance side of the booth yelled at Wes to help her. He opened the door and offered her assistance. It was clear that she was very upset and on the edge of having an emotional breakdown. With a stern voice she said: “I need to get to the Hospital’s Main Entrance!” Knowing she was in a hurry, he quickly explained to her detailed instructions about where she was going. She stared back with a confused look and said, “This is ridiculous!” Wes decided to physically point her to the street she needed to travel to get to the front of the hospital. When they met in the street, he identified the street she needed to turn on and she drove off towards the street, but missed the correct turn.
About fifteen minutes went by and the lady pulled back up to the booth, now enraged, told Wes she couldn’t find where she needs to go and that he had given her wrong directions. He apologized and tried to explain that she missed the street she needed to turn on, but all she wanted to do was argue. She ended up speeding off and parking in a nearby handicapped parking stall. The lady climbed out of her vehicle and loaded up her arms with bags full of her belongings as if she was staying somewhere for a while. By the time she walked to the next parking stall she came to a stop, dropped all of her bags, sat on the ground and leaned her back on the vehicle next to where she was parked.
Wes quickly ran over and squatted next to her offering her assistance or a wheelchair. She quietly said she did not want any help and that this has happened before. By that time, she made quite a commotion and some nurses passing by came over to offer help. Before they could offer any help, she interrupted them and shooed them away to avoid further embarrassment.
Again, Wes tried to talk to her to see what was going on and if there was anything he could do. She stated that she has a pace maker and when it goes off it hurts. By sitting and calming herself down, she was able to lower her heart rate and prevent the device from going into defibrillator mode and shocking her heart. Wes was worried for her health, but she reassured him that she would get through it. He loaded all of her bags back into her vehicle and opened the passenger door for her. She sat down and he shut the door, ran around to the driver side and got in.
He began to drive her vehicle to the main lobby of CHOC and she started explaining to him that it was very important for her to get to the main entrance because her granddaughter was going into emergency surgery and that she might never see her again. He reassured her that he would get her there as quick as possible. She then went on about her faulty pacemaker being recalled and her husband’s five back surgeries that had failed the previous year.
Finally, they arrived at the main lobby valet circle and Wes opened her door and she got out slowly, gathering her bags. As he tore the ticket in half she grabbed the ticket, placed it in her purse and began to dig for something. Assuming she was looking for the payment or a tip, he told her not to worry about the payment and that the most important thing is that she gets in to see her granddaughter. She looked up and stared at him for a second, setting all her bags on the ground and asked, “Can I at least give you a hug?” In shock and amazement, he said “Sure!” Beginning to cry, she leaned in and gave him a tight hug and said, “Thank you so much!”
This goes to show that you never know whose life you are going to effect on any given day. What seems like the smallest gesture can brighten someone’s day, put a smile on someone’s face, or even create a lasting friendship. Let us remember this story each day we work and create an inspiring moment that guests and even you, will remember forever.
Thank you Wes Lutes for WOWing us!