Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Guest Column: Giving our Patients Some Lagniappe

Guest Column: Giving our Patients Some Lagniappe

By Cristina McElwee

There are several donut shops around my home, but every Sunday my boys and I go to the same small family owned store.  Sometimes it’s slow, usually because of the weather, and sometimes it is packed and we have to wait in line — oftentimes for a lot longer than a person would usually like. While I could easily drive down the street to another donut shop, I choose this one because of the lagniappe.

No, this is not a fancy French dessert, a Spanish horse that walks sideways or a delicate baby garment.  Lagniappe is a small token of appreciation given to a customer when they purchase something, like when I get extra donuts in our not-quite-full box. If we get there late, we get some of their extras. If they have a new item (such as Christmas themed donuts), they try them out on the kids.

It is this tangible lagniappe, the extra effort they put forth, that causes me to want to patronize this shop. All of the employees there know me by name and remark when one of my children isn’t with me.  They already know what our normal order is and usually start getting it together when we walk in the door.  I can be in a miserable mood and just walking in and seeing their cheerful grins and hearty welcome makes me smile too.

We unfortunately can’t offer our patients a material lagniappe, other than hand sanitizer and maybe a tissue, but we can certainly offer them excellent customer service. We need to offer such excellent service that while our patients may be feeling miserable, they know that they will be well taken care of when they come to Texas Tech Physicians. More lagniappe in 2013!

All TTP employees are encouraged to share their thoughts, advice and encouragement in SPIRIT5 by submitting a guest column to jeff.hunter@ttuhsc.edu