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Babbling Will Get You Nowhere
Margaret needs help for her aging father who lives 600 miles away from her. She wants to find someone to accompany him to doctors appointments, someone who can review and organize his medical bills as they arrive, and someone who can discuss his medical needs on a three-way phone call (Dad, Margaret and an advocate) once each week. Dad is happy with the idea and is willing to pay for the service. The “perfect” client, right? Here’s how I know Margaret’s story: She sent an email to our “info” email address at AdvoConnection, asking for the best way to find an advocate. We sent our automatic reply that explains how to use the patient’s zip code, and the services needed to find the right person in the AdvoConnection Directory. Margaret replied that she had already done that, and had called the only advocate listed in her father’s location. However <quote> “All she did was babble on about herself and her own medical problems. She dissed a couple of doctors in ____ (the name of the town) including Dad’s doctor who is a family friend! I don’t want to work with her. I need someone else.”<unquote> OUCH! So I picked myself up off the floor, replied to her email, and asked if we could chat by phone so I could better understand her experience since that is is how we can improve service provided by all advocates. She agreed, and so we did. She elaborated on the story I’ve just told you, but bottom line, that babbling advocate did herself no favors. In addition, her poor behavior did ALL advocates damage. Margaret did say she was sure the advocate she talked to didn’t mean to come across the way she did. She admitted the advocate was very friendly. She just felt as if the call was more about the advocate trying to prove something than it was about helping her or her father. That wasn’t acceptable to her. Here’s how she phrased it, “I want someone who behaves like a professional, attending to the needs of her customer. Not someone who…