We’ve all heard the adage, “Be kind. You never know what someone is going through.” The profession that likely deals with this the most is customer service. The best CS reps (God bless them) internalize the adage and treat each customer with patience and care to help them with their problem. I encountered one such woman today.
I had a prescription for pickup at the pharmacy and decided to go get it after lunch today. I was already meeting a friend for lunch near the CVS, so it worked out nicely. There was terrible traffic to get to the pharmacy. I eventually pulled into a parking lot and walked the rest of the way there. I’m not sure if I would have even made it to the next traffic light by the time I was walking in the door. There was a long line, as there tends to be at any typical errands-type stop during the lunch hour. When it was finally my turn, I gave the woman my information, and she got my bag ready to give to the pharmacist. It’s a face cream that has to be mixed at the time of pickup, so it’s your usual grab and go situation.
“Oh – are you aware of the price? It’s [muffled] 46 dollars.”
“I’m sorry, what?” I asked her, slightly panicking because I thought I heard her say it was $346.
“It’s $246. Let me see if it’s running through your insurance.” She clicked a few buttons and then came back. “Yeah – it is. That’s the price with your insurance. Do you still want it?”
I could feel my heart rate rising. I really wanted my face cream, but not for $246. I’m used to the $20 copay I had with my old insurance.
“Umm…I don’t know. I might come back for it,” I stumbled through telling her this before briskly walking toward the door.
As I was walking, I could feel my throat tightening and my eyes watering. I just wanted to get to my car and call Josh and ask why his insurance was so expensive for prescriptions. When I got into the parking lot, I realized that I needed to walk a couple of blocks back to my car, and another wave of “I might lose it” hit me.
Disclaimer: I cry easily. None of this was a big deal, and I knew it. Sometimes I just react with tears. It’s definitely not my favorite thing about myself, but if I can catch it and control it before I actually cry, it’s not so bad.
I settled on texting Josh since that allowed me to continue calming myself down. He told me what I already knew – that I needed to call the insurance company.
I settled into my car, found my insurance card, took a few deep breaths and dialed the number. After going through a few prompts, I got to talk to a real person, and she was great at her job.
It turns out the policy is set up to use a mail order pharmacy instead of a retail store. We pay full price at a retail store but typical copay amounts if we use the mail order. She looked up the prices of both of my prescriptions and offered to walk me through requesting them online if I was at a computer. I told her I was sitting in my car, so she did everything for me on the phone. She sent the request to my doctor to have the prescription filled via mail order. She updated my address since we recently moved. She set up my credit card to be on file for future orders, and she gave me the call in number for the doctor in case I wanted to follow up with him about where to call in the refills from now on.
In addition to all of that, she answered my questions thoroughly. Not just the short snippets of what I needed to know and not condescendingly by overexplaining like I was an idiot. She had a perfect balance of full information and a kind tone that had me completely calm by the end of our call. I thanked her and told her how helpful she was before hanging up.
She had no idea I was having a mini-freak out just moments prior to calling her, but I have no doubt she knows she helped me. She just doesn’t realize it was in more than one way. It’s true that everyone is going through something you likely don’t know about. Be kind and be helpful. You might just be the one who turns around a low moment for them.