A hospital that is busy dealing with coronavirus patients finds that it is running out of pulse oximeters, the little gadgets that clip onto the end of your finger to allow them to measure the oxygen levels in your blood.
Noticing their dwindling supplies, they scour their supplier network to try and source new supplies. But, all of their efforts are to no avail.
Then, one member of the hospital team who has heard about a Customer Service for Anything hotline wonders if they might be able to help. He considers it a long shot but decides that he has nothing to lose and gives them a call to see if they can help.
That team member was Dr. Putrino, Director of Rehabilitation Innovation for the Mount Sinai Health System.
The company that he called was Zappos, who at the beginning of April set up a Customer Service for Anything hotline to help people find answers or solutions to anything that they need help with.
Now, that could be questions about anything from Netflix recommendations to checking if grocery stores have certain items in stock. However, they’re also happy to chat if you just want to speak to a friendly voice. You don’t have to make a purchase either. Just call and ask.
According to Brian Kalma, Entrepreneur in Residence at Zappos, the idea emerged from their new internal operating system that they call Market Based Dynamics. This is something that they have set up to leverage their culture and talent, enable more entrepreneurial thinking and allow ideas to surface that can solve some of the real and material problems that exist in the world.
So, after Dr. Putrino got in touch with Zappos, the Customer Loyalty Team got to work and were able, through their research and network, to locate 300 pulse oximeters. These were then procured and immediately shipped to Dr. Putrino and his team.
Now, the 300 pulse oximeters didn’t wholly solve Dr. Putrino’s problem as they were looking for nearer a thousand. Still, the ones that Zappos were able to find are helping Dr. Putrino, and his colleagues provide crucial remote monitoring to 300 discharged patients that have suspected positive diagnoses of COVID-19.
This is just one example of the kind of things that the Zappos Customer Loyalty Team have been able to help with as a result of setting up their Customer Service for Anything hotline.
Seeing such an initiative from a company that has previously described itself as a customer service company that just happens to sell shoes…..is a surprise but not a shock.
However, it shows us all what is possible even in trying times.
Give the hotline a call. In fact, you can now get in touch with the hotline via email, twitter and text message.
Even if you don’t then do tell others about it.
You never know you might just help another Dr. Putrino.
This post was originally published on Forbes here.
Thanks to Needpix for the image.