Recently, my daughter was not feeling well. It was a Friday afternoon, after 4PM. Most readers who are parents will agree with me that health problems with our children mainly happen either after hours or on weekends.

So like any dad would do, I took her to The Children’s Hospital. In Denver they have a new location on the Fitzsimmons campus. We parked outside and marveled at the amazing new building as we approached the entrance. When we walked in, the first thing about the state-of-the-art hospital that struck me was their amazing security system. Before I could take my daughter to the lobby and meet a nurse, I had to go to the security desk and give them my driver’s license to create an ID badge for me.

In an effort to get through the process, I complied. But their ID printer was not working; my picture ID got printed as a black blob. I know I am not terribly good looking, but still, that was not right. However, I was fine living with the black blob badge for a few hours as I wanted to make sure my daughter got medical assistance sooner rather than later. But the security personnel were adamant on getting it right. What followed was a crazy episode of security people trying to act like IT professionals. Maybe they thought they could do it as their title “Security” includes the letters “IT”. It never worked, so finally I was allowed to go in with a black blob ID.

When we approached the patient registration desk, the first question the lady at the desk asked was, “Can I get your proof of insurance please?” Then I had to sit there, waiting for this insurance card verifier lady to take her time making copies of my insurance card and doing all sorts of verifications. Finally she came back and wanted me to make sure all information was correct and updated. I said a patient yet determined “Yeeeeees!”

After 30 minutes of security and insurance verification, I was finally in line waiting to see a nurse who would then decide if my daughter would get to see a doctor. I totally understand the operations philosophy of minimizing costs and serving a customer with the minimum salaried employee, but is that also the vision that marketing has? Is that the vision I, as a customer, had when I took my daughter to the hospital? I did not go in to get served in the most efficient way! I went in to be served with reassurance, immediately.

  • Arjun Sen

    Lane<br />Thank you for your comment.<br />Yes, this is Raka and she led me through life as I wrote &quot; Raising A Father&quot;.<br />You totally nailed it when you stated that brands find it convenient to offer an &quot;efficient&quot; service and not a &quot;memorable experience&quot;. <br />As this is a mass phenomenon, the question is when and were we went wrong. I will throw the

    June 21, 2009
  • Lane Cardwell

    Arjun…You have identified the problems with most businesses today. Marketing makes a promise, and operations and finance deliver an efficient experience. Memorable? Pleasant? Make you want to return? Not in the least. We all go hoping for effective experiences, not efficient experiences. The airlines, many hotels, many restaurants, hospitals, you name it, are all becoming much more efficient.

    June 20, 2009