Lifeline brings great customer service home
Philips Lifeline’s Home Service Representatives come to your home to make getting the Lifeline service simple. It’s all part of the service.
One of the things that sets the Lifeline service apart from many other medical alert services is its team of Home Service Representatives, the tireless ambassadors who visit customers in their homes to demonstrate, install and test the service and make sure the customer is comfortable with how to use it.
One of Lifeline’s youngest HSRs is Stefanie Rivet- Barrette, 28, who looks after customers in the city of Montreal.
“Installing a medical alert service is not complicated,” says Stefanie, “but I think it’s asking a lot to expect the customer to do all the unwrapping, deciding where the Communicator should be placed for best reception, bending over or reaching behind furniture to plug it in and testing the voice range and connections. Installing a medical alert service has to be done right or it might not work properly. I’ve had customers who told me they’d tried another service but it just didn’t work right.
“Our objective is to make getting Lifeline a simple and stress-free experience,” says Stefanie.
United in supporting the elderly and chronically ill
There is no such thing as a typical Lifeline Home Service Representative. They range in age from their 20s to 60s and come from a variety of backgrounds. However, there are some important attributes they all have in common: their empathy, caring, listening and social skills, and experience working with the elderly or chronically ill. For example, Stefanie is a graduate of a CEGEP Special Care program.
“I’m definitely one of the younger HSRs, one of the babies,” she laughs. “But I love the job. It’s super- rewarding and I love seeing the smiles on my customers’ faces at the end of my visits. And often their family is there too, and it’s so gratifying to see the peace of mind they have knowing their parent is going to be able to get help if they run into trouble when the family member isn’t in a position to help.”
During a visit, Home Service Representatives will spend time talkng with the customer about their needs before demonstrating how Lifeline works and answering any questions. There is no pressure or obligation to take the service. “Sometimes we chat over a cup of tea,” says Stefanie. “If the customer isn’t sure they’re ready to subscribe, we give them our card and tell them to call us back whenever they’re ready to move forward.”
Walking into an emergency
While most appointments with customers are straight- forward, HSRs sometimes find themselves walking into an emergency situation.
“A few months ago, I had a 10:00 appointment with a customer who lived in an apartment,” recalls Stefanie.
“When I buzzed him from the lobby, there was no reply. It happens sometimes that a customer will forget an appointment time, but my sixth sense was telling me I shouldn’t give up. After trying the superintendent and management office without success, I was able to get the attention of someone in the hall who let me in when I explained the situation. I went up to the man’s apartment and knocked – no reply. Something told me to try the door in case it was unlocked, and it was. I opened the door and called the man’s name, and then I heard a very faint voice calling ‘help me’. It turned out the man had fallen out of bed during the night and had been lying helpless for about ten hours. I called 911 and waited with him until the ambulance arrived to take him to the hospital.
“I’m a true believer that, at Lifeline, we save lives every day,” says Stefanie, “and that’s a big part of why my job is so rewarding.
“I had one customer who told me ‘At first I thought Lifeline would be a waste of money. I got it to give peace of mind to my children. But I’ve had to use it twice in the past year and now I don’t see it as my peace of mind, I see it as my saviour’ ”, recalls Stefanie.