Monday, August 15, 2005

Customer service - like it or not!

Last week I had to go to the optician for my contact lens eye check-up. The optician who "saw" me was a very nice man called James - very friendly, very helpful, very explanatory. In fact, SO explanatory that he wouldnt stop talking about every step of what he was doing... rather like a running commentary: "Now I'm going to just gently pull your lower lid down so that I can move the lens just a little bit.." "Now I'm putting a drop of this mildly anaesthetic solution in your eye so that I can check for any dry patches..." "Now I will be moving this machine close to you..." - and so on and so on, with lots of medical tidbits thrown in as well - terms like "sclera" and "aqueous humour" and "eye pressure" that brought back vague and not-quite-pleasant memories of biology classes in school. In fact, he pretty much had the same effect as Miss Daisy, my biology teacher in school - soporific to the extent that I had to stifle yawn after yawn.

James was a good optician, and I do appreciate that he took the trouble to keep me informed at all times - in direct contrast to doctors in India (and some here as well) who just go about testing you for whatever, and either ignore your questions or give answers that dont leave you any the wiser about what's wrong with you or what's happening. A lot of information would be welcome and useful if what you have is serious or worrying, and if you have a lot of questions to ask the doctor.

But that was not my situation - all I needed checking was to see if my contact lenses had the correct fit. This is not a new procedure to me and I had no questions because I've been having the test done yearly for the last few years. So James' explanations and reassurances were merely boring and, at worst, intrusive, prompting thoughts like "Oh my god, just shut up and get on with it, I'd like to get home sometime this century!"

I didnt say that, of course, although I tried a couple of gentle hints like "yes, I've had this test done every year for 5-6 years now" and "yes, I was told about it the first time I had this check-up" - but he was far too gone in the customer service ideal to take heed of any faint protests. He was determined in his friendly, pleasant, overinformative way to let me know what was going on and never mind what I wanted.

Information is good, but a lot of information doesnt necessarily equate to a lot of good!

No comments: