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The Power of a Pregnant Pause

The busiest maternity hospital in the world is my client. They were once listed in the Guinness Book of Records for “most babies delivered in one year!”

Pregnant women appreciate the slow pace of elevator doors at the hospital, but visitors and guests complain, “The elevators close too slowly!”

The slow doors are intentionally programmed to give pregnant women and wheelchair-bound patients more time to enter and exit. If the hospital were to speed up the program, you can imagine the complaints: “The elevator doors close too fast!”

What would you do in this situation to improve customer satisfaction? Go faster? Stay slow? Endure the ongoing complaints? This hospital tried a more creative and cooperative approach to improve customer satisfaction.

Attractive signs were posted in the lobby and inside each elevator car saying: “Thank you for assisting patients who may require extra time to reach the elevator. Your kindness is appreciated.”

Suddenly, slow elevator doors become a gesture of care and concern for others, while visitors “in a hurry” are just as quickly included in a gracious social effort.

This was a brilliant way to improve customer satisfaction while keeping the focus on the hospital’s most important customers – the patients. The genius is found in the fact that this measure also placated visitors who may one day become patients themselves.

Key Learning Points

Sometimes the facts of the matter don’t need changing at all – only the way we look at them needs to shift. Measures to improve customer satisfaction don’t always have to be sweeping to have a fantastic impact.

Action Steps

If something is bothering you or your staff, your visitors, guests or customers, see if you can shift the language and change the point of view. It’s one powerful, effective way to change a situation without making a physical change.