Greetings. This past week I had the opportunity to hang out with my father in the intensive care unit of Holy Cross Hospital. It was definitely not a trip that we had planned. But when I went to pick up dad to run some errands at the beginning of the week he looked so bad that it seemed like a good idea to take him directly to the ER. And, after doing a few essential diagnostic tests, the doctors were so excited about his condition that he instantly earned a free pass to the ICU. There, among other things, they quickly gave him back a significant amount of blood which his body had somehow misplaced. My initial thinking, not confirmed by their more rigorous analysis, was that his lifetime of loving vampire books and movies had finally been too draining for him. But to make a long story short, after a few tense days "Fast" Eddie (or should we say "Not-So-Fast" Eddie) is on the road to a slow but encouraging recovery and will be heading home soon. And I have nothing but praise for the skill and care of the nurses, doctors, and other staff at this hospital.
But the main point of this post occurred the moment we arrived at the ER to check in and I was asked a simple question:
"Does your father have a religious preference?"
To which I responded:
"Yes. Whichever one gets him the best care."
And quite reasonably I was then told that everyone who comes to Holy Cross gets the same (high) level of care. It was something that I assumed, but in my desire to inject a bit of humor into dad's challenging situation it seemed like an appropriate answer. And once his condition began to improve, I started thinking about this question and about all of the times that we forget to ask those we serve about their preferences. When we assume that the products, services, solutions, and the ways we offer them are an amazing "gift" to our customers. When we imagine that they are lucky to have the privilege to partner with us. And when we fail to understand what really matters to them during each and every interaction. It is worth noting that the folks at Holy Cross have also been thoughtful and innovative in creating a special emergency room capability focused on seniors and their unique needs and preferences.
We win in business and in life when we continually ask our customers, members, associates, and team members what they really prefer. And when we tailor our offerings to the things that matter most.