Details Matter

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died. ~Erma Bombeck


You know when you’re staying at a fine hotel. From the moment you check in at the front desk you know. You can tell while you’re brushing your teeth, ordering your breakfast and reading the paper. You can tell when you set your clock and lay your head down to go to sleep. You may not know how you know, but you know.

Fine hotels, restaurants, theaters, cruise lines, resorts and just about everyone else in the service industry are painfully aware of this simple truth. Details matter.


“Coffee stains on the flip tray suggest to the customer that we do not service our engines properly.” 

                                    – Jan Carlzon, SAS Airlines 


Little things suggest big things.

Like it or not, dirty ambulance floors suggest to the patient that we don’t take care of our equipment. The stain on your shirt suggests to the patient that you don’t keep up on the knowledge that your job requires. Your unpolished boots suggest that you don’t care about your skills. The layer of dust on your equipment bag suggests that you don’t train as often as you should.

None of that may be true, but patients don’t care about what’s true and what’s made up. They don’t notice when they’re jumping to conclusions and when their being accurate. But they do notice the details.

Big or small, details matter.


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  1. […] the click of my laptop’s keyboard. Lucky you. In November we kicked off with the idea that details matter. We discussed the importance of determination and I reminded you to ask the patient. I also pointed […]