A few years ago we sponsored a speaker at one of the conferences; the topic was customer service. He said that there was a new standard of service….the Golden Rule was supplanted by the Platinum Rule. Well we all know the Golden Rule from our elementary school days, “do unto others…or treat people the way you want to be treated.” But the Platinum Rule was a new one for me. The speaker elaborated on his new concept by explaining that the Platinum Rule exceeds the Golden Rule. The Platinum Rule is something like “do unto others as they want to be done unto.” Maybe the modern translation would be to “treat people the way that THEY prefer to be treated.”
So while the Golden Rule may have you bringing a chocolate shake home to your wife since you like chocolate; the Platinum Rule would require that you bring home strawberry since that is what SHE likes. You see the difference?
I recently saw an advertisement by one of our local hospitals that probably trumps my Platinum Rule example. They actually claim that they can match medicine to the DNA of the individual patient. This could be the ultimate example of the Platinum Rule. Just imagine receiving an IV based on your specific DNA. I always thought that our internal anatomy was just as different as our appearance and that not all livers, hearts, gall bladders were the same. Nor is our rate of absorption for medicines….so now they are doing something about it…amazing! But I digress.
Now as with physiology, customers are not all alike. To treat an entire demographic the same is like bringing a chocolate shake to a diabetic. How about that for a mixed metaphor?
In the business world this translates into knowing your customers. Understanding their preferences regarding any phase of their business from products, design, delivery, repair, service…you name it. What does the customer want?
Long ago we learned that the healthcare meal delivery business is not a one size fits all kind of business. Our direct business model supports this customized approach.
Learning what keeps you up at night, keeps us up at night. Understanding your needs now and anticipating them tomorrow is our adherence to the Platinum Rule; even before we knew there was a Platinum Rule. We think that our latest innovation Heat on Demand Advantage is an example of listening, anticipating and responding.
Just as you are attentive to your patients and residents in ways to meet their needs, we try to meet your needs in such a way that you will see a marked improvement. It’s in our DNA.
Maybe the “better by degrees” philosophy could be considered a first principle of the Platinum Rule. What do you think? Make mine a mocha almond fudge.
Martin A. Rothshchild, President