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October 3, 2005
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GRAND RAPIDS — Treating kids with cancer and serving deli sandwiches couldn’t be more different in terms of career skills. But the pediatric oncology and hematology staff at DeVos Children’s Hospital learned a few things about customer service from the crew of Zingerman’s Delicatessen during an August training event.

Kari Nehro and Jenny Tubbs of ZingTrain, the landmark Ann Arbor deli’s training program, worked to energize the hospital staff and teach the importance of excellence in serving the customer, even if they’re known as “patients.”

The group at DeVos was thoroughly engaged and bought into the concept of building a culture of great customer service throughout their organization,” said Nehro. “They were doing a great job before we came, and I truly believe they are on a mission to be known in their field for their exceptional customer service.”

Dr. Jim Fahner, chief of the pediatric hematology and oncology division, agreed.

“We kind of wanted to magnify the lessons we were already working on and really focus on the customer service angle,” he said.

In the training, the staff used role-playing to better understand the needs of patients and families, as well as how to react when real-life situations arise.    

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