Monday, May 18, 2015

The Ripple Effects of a Service Failure, Part 2

I think we just scratched the surface of the issue in our first article on this topic. Let’s get down to the two serious ways a service failure can bring negative attention to your hospice. 1. People talk. When your hospice has a service failure, the people affected by it talk to their friends and particularly to friends with a loved who might benefit from your hospice. I have seen this happen several times. This is one reason why it is imperative that a hospice keeps its word, whatever the issue and is prompt to follow up what it said it would do. 2. Social media is the friend of the complainant. It is astounding how Twitter, Facebook, and the many other social media outlets can spread negative comments like wildfire. The sad part is that if your hospice has done a good job of service recovery, the multitudes who received the Twitter or Facebook message will never know. Your hospice’s reputation is wounded. As there are ripples that seem to spread out forever when you throw a rock in a lake, it takes what seems like an eternity to live down a service failure. Every hospice needs a Service Recovery Team that is skilled in working with disappointed, hurt, or highly upset/angry caregivers to resolve the issues. This effort is often rewarded with understanding and reconciliation. Having been part of that type of Team, I know. In conclusion, how do service failures apply to Chaplains? We can be the reason for the service failure through carelessness in dealing with a patient’s deeply held beliefs, with giving unwise counsel, by failing to visit the patient when promises have been made, by outright disrespect, and a long list of other damaging actions. I urge you to be vigilant at all times. Never assume a relationship. Always look to be a source of comfort, counsel, and companionship. Bless you, Chaplain Colleagues, for the good you do.

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