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Stepwise Success

Is Scripting Bad?

Published March 29, 2013 6:03 AM by Scott Warner

We encounter scripting all the time. When calling customer service, at the end of the call, the representative says, “Have I answered all your questions today?” In a restaurant, a waiter will say, “My name is Matt, and I’ll be your server.” And at the supermarket the checkout person will ask, “Did you find everything you were looking for today?”

While some of this sounds robotic, it all does what is intended: build an expectation in the mind of the customer of what happens next, no matter the employee.

Thus, every time I go to a Best Buy and start wandering around I can expect a person in a polo shirt and khakis to welcome me and ask me if I can be helped in any way. When I go to the local Hannaford supermarket I can expect people to ask me if I need help finding any items or if I found everything I need. And if I call DirecTV the person on the other end will introduce themselves and assure me my problem will be solved.

I’m never quite sure what happens when I need help and the person isn’t helpful, I couldn’t find what I needed, or if the person on the other end of the telephone makes my problem worse. This happens often enough that it leads me to believe that scripting ends with the sidewalk. Customer service often sounds robotic because it is.

All this can be applied in the laboratory, too. You can introduce yourself to a patient, ask if there is anything more that you can do, and ask doctors if they have found all the results they need. And if everyone in the laboratory does all these things, it will doubtless build an expectation of how people behave until they need to go off road when the scripting is derailed. But that’s another blog.

After experiencing scripting in various forms, I’m not convinced it’s smart business. Some customers love personality, which indicates diversity, innovation, and unique value. If that’s true, is scripting bad?

NEXT: Your Work, Your Family



I hear you! It's kind of crazy, in a way, to treat everyone the same so they feel like they are being treated like individuals. It depends on the values that an organization wants to communicate. "We all think our customers are the same" is pretty clearly communicated with some scripting. Is that really appropriate in healthcare? I wonder...

Scott Warner April 3, 2013 6:11 AM

I worked as a Med Tech at a local hospital where we were required to say "Is there anything else I can do for you?  I have the time".  Every employee was mandated to say that.  As a patient I got so hearing the housekeeper, my nurse, my phlebotomist etc each time they came to my room they said is robotic.  I believe they should encourage employees to say in their own words thank you ,is there anything else?

Teddi Stearns March 29, 2013 10:50 AM
Nampa ID

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About this Blog

    Scott Warner, MLT(ASCP)
    Occupation: Laboratory Manager
    Setting: Critical Access Hospital
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