Communication and Laboratory Customer Service

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Communication Basics for Laboratory Leaders. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Communication and Laboratory Customer Service

Most people can recall an experience of poor customer service. Perhaps you were transferred multiple times to different people? Perhaps the person on the phone was not knowledgeable and was unable to assist you? Or perhaps the person was rude and unprofessional?
Laboratory employees may not always think about the laboratory as a service center but in essence, laboratories are businesses offering the broad services of specimen collection and specimen processing. Every time a phlebotomist interacts with a patient, or a technologist has a phone interaction with a provider or nurse, or a manager sends an email to a manager of another department, the customer service aspect of the laboratory is being represented.
The customer base will vary depending upon the type of laboratory, but the basic customers for most laboratories are their providers and their patients. Take a moment to think about all the non-laboratory individuals that you communicate with on a daily basis, whether it be face-to-face, over the phone, or via email. In framing the laboratory as a business, it is easy to understand how communication is a foundation of customer service.