Jul 27, 2009

Basic Customer Service: LISTEN!

I'll admit right now that I'm not a chiropractor person. After a couple of run-ins early in my adulthood with Chiropractors who made some unsolicited claims that they could fix some very odd issues I had internally as well as a couple who told me I was evil to get my children immunized, I pretty much decided they were not for me.

Well, I have been experiencing severe pain in a tendon in my lower back for nearly a year now coupled with clicking in my tailbone. So, after consulting with my podiatrist (I have on leg shorter than the other and this is my short-leg side), I decided to try a chiropractor to see if they could get rid of the clicking and pain. It felt like something was out of whack.

So, I found one that claimed to do "Sports Medicine" and "Physical therapy", too. After talking to a cousin-in-law who's a Chiropractor in CT, he suggested I find someone who did a mix of stuff like that so there was a more mainstream approach to my pain.

Well, that was a mistake...

Okay, I'll admit that my neck feels pretty darn good. I can turn it better than I could before and my left knee - which had been clicking, catching and feeling like it was going to collapse feels really great! So, I give them an A+ on that. But, the original problem I went in for is a big fat F. I'm still not sleeping at night and the pain hasn't gone away. It seems at times like they work on every area BUT that one I came in for. I get the feeling they aren't working on it so I will keep coming back. They want me to come in 5 days a week at $45 per visit. Do the math - that's $1000 a month. Not gonna happen due to money and the fact that by the time I visit all their stations (physical therapy, massage, adjustments) and drive over there, I am looking at nearly 2 hours per day. I pointed all that out and got the response I totally expected, "What's the price of your health?" Came straight out of a chiro marketing book somewhere, I'm sure.

What if I took my car into the repair shop and said, "The engine dies when I stop at lights" and they sent it back and said, "Hey, we noticed the tires were low so we filled them. Then we washed and vacuumed it. Then we noticed your headlight was out so we changed it. Oh, and there was a couple of old hoses that we swapped out and we also changed the oil." Thank you, that's great that you took care of all those other things but the car is still dying when I stop at a stop light. "Oh, we'll work on that over time and fix it eventually."

Would I as a customer be satisfied with that answer? Nope.

I feel like they aren't listening to me and that frustrates me. They plop me on a line of tables and poke at my chart and then ping, pop and plop me for a few minutes and then send me out the door while they slap another face sheet on the table and another patient lays down. No one has asked me specifically about the pain in my back and no one really addresses it. They just fix what they can feel is wrong - but while those things might be wrong - they aren't the reason I came to them in the first place.

So, as of today - I'm done. I tried, I really did. But, when I get back from my trip later this week, I'm going into my regular doctor because I know she'll do something about the pain in my back and send me off to physical therapy.

Listening to customers is SO important in any business. I appreciate the way my knee feels, but I really need my back to feel good. It's been a month of 2-3 times a week visits - you'd think there would be at least some progress. There is, but in the wrong place - there's been absolutely no change in the thing I came in for in the first place. That's not good customer service.

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