How impeccable are your FAQ’s and handouts?

Doctors have yet to figure this out … how about you and your company?

Lateral Epicondylitis

Yesterday, I visited my Orthopedist and learned I had been suffering from Lateral Epicondylitis — otherwise known as Tennis Elbow. After receiving the recommended shot of cortisone, I was placed in two braces — one to keep my wrist stationary and another that uses a gel pack to press down and immobilize the tendon near the elbow. Overall, my time with my doctor was very pleasant and his staff was friendly and competent. This feeling changed slightly, after I left…

You see, the doctor had given me three handouts before he sent me on my way. Here’s the exact (total) verbiage from one of those forms:



The night of the injection, ice the hand/wrist down for 10 minutes out of every hour for 3-4 hours.

The next day, begin to soak the hand in hot water for 5 minutes squeezing a sponge or rubber ball, then cold water for 2 minutes, twice a day for 3 weeks.


Simple and straight forward enough, right? Except, here are a list of questions and concerns that later ensued:

1. He had told me to replace the words “hand/wrist” with “arm” … or did he say “elbow?” When it came time to soak, I couldn’t remember. And why wasn’t I getting a handout specific to my condition?

2. Not until I retyped their form’s verbiage here did I realize that I was supposed to ice it for 10 minutes, every hour last night. For some reason, I read it that first time as, 10 minutes every 3-4 hours (I guess my brain didn’t catch the “out of”) — oh well, too late now. (Can I be the only one ever to have read it that way?)

3. How hot is “hot” and how cold is “cold,” for the water? A simple adverb probably could have answered this.

4. It says to “squeeze a sponge or rubber ball” — hmmm … does that mean squeeze and hold or squeeze, release, repeat? Additionally, am I supposed to do the same after switching to the cold water? This isn’t clear.

Let’s call it “Patient-Brain”

The challenge is, when you’re at your doctor’s office, you don’t often realize what you should have asked until after you leave. He covered many things and I didn’t catch it all. (Ooh, that just gave me an idea for the docs — if you’re not going to update your FAQ’s or handouts, how about providing us patients with your office logo’d pen and notepad to take our own notes?)

Oh, and to boot, this form was clearly (or should I say not-so-clearly) a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy. The contact information and the names of the 7 associates were so blurry that most were illegible.

He told me that he sees this condition 3-5 times per day and he’s been in practice for a few decades. Shouldn’t the patient-with-tennis-elbow system be completely flawless —  impeccable — by now?

So how might this apply to you and your company?…

People like to be led

When was the last time you were the patient, client, customer or guest and felt completely led; taken care of; like they thought of everything. This is one surefire way to create an impeccable client experience. When I was in car sales, it didn’t take long to discover that my clients with trade-ins would often forget to bring in their old vehicle’s title, spare keys, and owner’s manual. Additionally, they’d usually forget to remove CD’s, sunglasses and garage door remotes from their old cars. Noticing how common this was (and accepting the fact that my clients didn’t go to client school) I created a one-page checklist that covered it all and emailed that info to them before their visit to our dealership. This proactively streamlined the process for me and my company, benefited the future owner of that used car, and my clients really loved the thoughtful tips.

Have you ever heard your clients say, “Wow, you guys have thought of everything.” If not, my guess is that you’ve got some work to do. It’s a great compliment and says a lot about your willingness to create an impeccable client experience. These are the types of things that will have you be remembered. When clients remember you, they become repeat buyers … and refer others.

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  1. Dead on! I think the docs are pumpin’ some funny air in the waiting room, cause when I get to see them (usually an hour or so after my scheduled appt time) I’m in la-la-land & can’t think of anything to ask them. But once I leave….it all hits me! 😀

    I hope some docs are reading ur blog. If not, they’re in trouble

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