Fix The Problem, Fix The Relationship


I’ve found that my favorite calls can be the ones that start off a little rough.

Yesterday, I received a call from an office manager which began, “I should start by telling you that I hate ZocDoc.” As I had introduced myself as, “Scott from ZocDoc,” this fact was troubling.

I have a lot of fun at my job. Just before I answered the phone, for instance, I was eating a fudgsicle and watching a shark-shaped, remote-controlled blimp fly by. Walking into a conversation that begins this way is a lot like drinking milk that you thought was water or finding out that the death star is actually fully armed and operational.

To win over someone who’s upset with ZocDoc — blimp, myself, and fudgsicle included — requires a special sort of problem-solving. As I listened to his concerns, it became clear that the office manager who called me didn’t just need a fix for the technical problems he called in with. He needed to be heard.

In fact, I’ve found that the most important side of Operations has less to do with the problems we solve and more to do with the people who bring them to us. Whether speaking with a patient, doctor, salesperson, or office manager, I’ve learned that any issue, confrontation, or complaint is actually a gift in disguise. It gives us a chance to fix not only the problem, but the relationship it has damaged as well.

By the time I hung up the phone fifteen minutes later, the flying shark was gone, my fudgsicle was melted, and the office manager and I had discovered that we both nearly cried during the film Air Bud. He was also very happy with ZocDoc, because we got to the bottom of his technical issue and fixed it right away. Most importantly, he called in upset and we hung up friends. Exchanges like these are what make the Operations Team tick.

At ZocDoc, we’ve found that success doesn’t come from just having a business that works, but from having a business that works well with the people who use it. In Operations, we make sure that all of that gets taken care of.

Scott works in Operations and lives in New York City. He likes reading Euripides, Beer Fridays at ZocDoc, and playing kick the can.