All professionals, whether you’re a doctor, a veterinarian, an attorney or a bus driver, are judged in part on their customer relations. While the quality of your work may not be directly related to how you work with other people, what they think of you affects their overall experience.
When a customer or client has a negative interaction or sees your behavior as unprofessional, it likely decreases their opinion of your work itself. Sometimes, those interactions can lead to a challenge to your professional license.
The dancing doctor of Atlanta
CNN recently reported on an Atlanta area dermatologist whose notoriety comes from sharing videos of her singing along to the radio and dancing while performing surgery. The videos were publicly released on YouTube and clearly take place as she operates on patients. The videos were removed after the controversy began. In the aftermath, the doctor has five separate medical malpractice suits.
The news report states that the state of Georgia was already investigating the doctor, and it’s possible that the recent malpractice claims did not directly relate to the doctor’s behavior. However, when the spotlight pointed toward her behavior, unsatisfied customers remembered their grievances.
There is some debate whether dancing during surgery is unethical or simply in poor taste, but the fact remains that she is now facing serious charges that threaten her livelihood. Every client interaction is important because an unsatisfied customer can impact your profession if they file the right claim. Sometimes those claims are entirely justified, but sometimes a perceived slight influences a claim against your license.
Customer service is always challenging and unpredictable. It’s important that professionals take any threat seriously and act within professional boundaries to protect their licensure and their career.