My two boys played three different sports during high school and, as it happens, there were times when they needed to visit the athletic trainer because of an injury. If you want a lesson in how to treat your internal customers, come to my boy’s high school and see a pro in action! The Head Athletic Trainer, Christina, takes her job very seriously, is always concerned about “her kids” as she calls them, and is focused on doing the very best she can to get them healthy again.
Saying “yes” and sometimes “no” to customers
Christina is 100% about the student athletes—her customers—and ensuring that they are getting the best care and attention needed. And part of that is sometimes saying what the customer DOESN’T want to hear—“You are not ready to play yet.” You see, taking care of customers is knowing when to say “yes” and when to say “no” because, in this case, it is about getting the athlete better and keeping them healthy.
Although she is known for playing it safe vs. taking risks—which can frustrate players, coaches, and even parents at times—her code of ethics and responsibility always wins people over in the long run. Many a time has a coach, parent and player thanked her for her dedication and thoroughness after the fact.
Working in the best interests of the customer
Christina never loses sight of who her customers are—the student athletes—and does whatever it takes to make sure that they feel cared for. In fact, she often calls a parent or student over the weekends, as well as check in with doctors to see how her patients are doing! In return, the sign of her customer loyalty is displayed by the number of athletes that show up in her office to eat their lunch and chat. They know they are always welcome there and feel comfortable just hanging out.
As a parent of two student athletes over the years at this high school, I am so grateful to have her as our athletic trainer and thank her for her professionalism and servant heart. And I know from having two sons that have been in her care, that her “customers” appreciate her as well!
About the author:
Kathy Cuff is one of the principal authors—together with Vicki Halsey—of The Ken Blanchard Companies’ Legendary Service training program. Their customer service focused posts appear on the first and third Thursday of each month.