I appreciate really good service and I’m sure you do, too. And I like to draw attention to those organisations and individuals providing exceptional service. ‘Catching some-one doing something right’ is the way I operate and I take great joy in actively following through and giving those individuals and their superiors specific examples as to why I’m praising their efforts.
In the last few days I have been pleased to receive outstanding service from three different groups of people and I’d like to share these examples with you. It is interesting that the first is one of the top hotels in South Africa. The second is a company offering an ambulance service. And the third example is a group of family and friends whose informal support meant a great deal to my husband and to me.
So what do the three diverse examples have in common? They all gave us exceptional service.
Example 1: The Oyster Box Hotel
My first example involves the Oyster Box Hotel, Umhlanga, Republic of South Africa, part of the Red Carnation Collection of Hotels. We are regular guests at the hotel which is our favourite place for holidays, business functions and also exceeds expectations for celebrations like my husband’s 70th birthday where we hosted an outstanding breakfast function for 70 people in May 2014. We value the wonderful ambience, attention to detail, professionalism and exceptionally high levels of service.
However, the calibre of an establishment can often be tested more stringently during trying times rather than under ideal conditions. This hotel became my place of refuge during my husband’s recent medical emergency described in the second example below. I needed to be as close to the hospital as possible during the time he was in ICU and being a very busy time of the year, I didn’t want to travel backwards and forwards to Pietermaritzburg on a daily basis. Although the Oyster Box Hotel was fully booked, being the Christmas week, they ‘found’ me accommodation in their customary charming manner.
The story unfolded on a daily basis and they adapted accordingly to suit my needs. I had not had time to pack clothing properly before following the ambulance to Umhlanga and they attended to my laundry. They also provided drivers to take me to and from the hospital and this was very much appreciated as the traffic was very heavy during the Christmas rush. The management and staff were always ‘there’ to support me. I highly commend Wayne Coetzer, the General Manager, his management team and staff at all levels individually and collectively for their kindness, sincere concern and their efficiency. The levels of service went way beyond what could ever have been imagined. They got the job done, yet put people first.
Example 2: ‘ER24’ – Emergency Rescue 24
In the second example, the two individuals are accustomed to dealing with crises. However, as the primary customer, I had the impression that their emphasis was not only on getting the job done. They showed compassion and a strong service ethic.
On Sunday, December 21, Ndumiso Khoza (Intermediate Life Support) and Yenziwe Olifant (Basic Life Support) of ‘ER24’ (Emergency Rescue, 24 hours) gave exceptional service when they transported my husband by ambulance from a hospital in Pietermaritzburg to the Intensive Care Unit at the Umhlanga Hospital, a journey that took well over an hour. Some of the reasons (just a few of the many) for my commending them on their attitude and behaviour are as follows.
- It was a pleasure dealing with them.
- The paperwork was enormous and the wait before we could leave the hospital in Pietermaritzburg was ridiculously long.
- Appropriately humorous. While we waited endlessly for forms to be filled in, other forms to be copied downstairs, envelopes to be collected, Ndumiso made light of a tedious situation with his humorous comments.
- They followed procedures required by ‘ER 24’ and by both hospitals, but at all times considered the patient.
- Polite to everyone. I noticed that they treated the patient, the spouse and the hospital staff at all levels politely and with respect.
- Able to inspire confidence. I knew that my husband was in good hands.
- Exceptionally caring and compassionate.
- Considerate of all participants, including me, the spouse. They kept me informed and knowing that I was following the ambulance (for more than an hour) in my car, made sure that they kept me in view while on the road. That is just one of the many examples.
- It was interesting that when we finally were able to leave the first hospital and travel to the second, a great deal of time had passed and I was concerned that Ndumiso and Yenziwe hadn’t eaten lunch. I offered them money to buy food at the hospital. Yenziwe politely refused explaining that they weren’t allowed to accept money and that permission would have to be granted. I like dealing with organisations where honesty is valued.
I commend the company, the management team and the individuals on the exceptional service that these two young people gave us on Sunday. Well done!
Example 3: Family and friends
We often forget that by supporting each other we are informally providing a service. During Ed’s recent stay in hospital, family and friends made regular contact and were always ‘there’ to support us in so many different ways. Some even braved the rigours of ICU (aprons, gloves, spray, only one-at-a-time allowed into the ward and only for a few minutes). There were also the cousins and friends who came and visited me at the hotel. Thanks everyone! At a time like this we really appreciate positive relationships and those who actively show support either in person, by phone or electronically.
Exceptional service can be offered routinely. I like being able to share examples of where organisations or individuals have ‘shown their mettle’ by continuing to provide high levels of service even under unusual circumstances. Thank you to all of those who have given me these excellent examples. Well done!
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