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All in a day’s work

Erickson Living takes customer service to a higher level

Created date

December 21st, 2010

Do you know how many decisions you make in your life? asks Merv Norton. I tell everyone I know that, for me, there are only two that count marrying my lady and moving to Greenspring. I wouldn t move out of here for a million bucks. Such words are powerful in a society currently facing a decline in customer service. The idea that the customer is always right is a concept that is quickly becoming a punch line. Hope has replaced expectation when it comes to excellent customer service. Fortunately for Erickson Living community members, unbeatable service and attention is as certain as the rising sun. Not only do we enjoy amazing services, but the staff seem to be perfectly matched with the people who live here, says Ashby Ponds Sue Vitale.

The little things

It s the little things that I believe really make a difference in the lives of our residents, says Amy Grossman, assistant executive director at Ashby Ponds. Just the other day one of the members of our security staff helped a resident s son change the resident s flat tire. Then, a little while later, he called to remind the resident not to drive fast on the donut tire. The customer service at Riderwood is superb, says community member Jim Feldman. For instance, one hot Sunday afternoon in August our air conditioning went out. I called the front desk to find out if I could get any help. I was assured that help would be forthcoming. In less than two hours a technician appeared and changed the fuse that had caused the trouble. Outside of Riderwood it would cost a fortune to get something like that done, especially on a Sunday. For Greenspring s Kathleen Henry, the assistant chief of election officers in Fairfax County, Va., staff came to her aid this past November during the mid-term elections. Seventy five percent of our population voted, says Henry. That s the highest percentage in Fairfax County and possibly the state. Greenspring staff really backed up our efforts. They were accommodating about room setup; fed us breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Election Day; and even helped residents get to the polls. No other precinct gets that kind of care and I know because I ve worked a lot of precincts! I am impressed by dining services in the Overlook restaurant, says Riderwood s T.C. Tso. There are so many good servers as well as capable managers. Sally, the dining services supervisor, is exceptional. She is always smiling, efficient, and attends to the needs or requests of the customers. At the same time she enjoys the respect of the servers who work under her guidance. To most residents Sally is a good friend.

In times of need

In addition to the day-to-day service and attention, Erickson Living staff respond heroically in times of need. After last February s record snowfall dumped almost four feet of snow on the Washington, D.C., area, staff members at Riderwood, Ashby Ponds, and Greenspring went the extra mile to provide for the needs of the residents. During the blizzard many staff members were committed to our residents by staying here in the community, says Ashby Ponds Community Resource Manager Joseph Barrows. We had staff sleeping in offices. Our General Services team took turns sleeping in shifts to ensure that they could keep up with the storm and maintain clear and safe passage through the Ashby Ponds streets and sidewalks. The remainder of our team pitched in preparing and serving meals in both the caf and the dining room. Similar service was experienced at Riderwood and Greenspring, each of which began their preparation hours before the first snows fell. Throughout the weekend storm, many employees, most of whom had the time off, volunteered to come and help out serving meals and shoveling snow. I am originally from northern Illinois, so snow removal has always been second nature for me, says Greenspring Senior Facilities Manager Joe Schimpf. My team performed great and did not even blink when asked to stay over to make sure residents would be okay. I am very fortunate to work with such dedicated people who really care about the residents. Riderwood Executive Chef Victor Cirrincione has similar praise for his coworkers. Throughout the storm Riderwood people did their jobs and they did them well and without complaint. I was amazed how the Riderwood staff dealt with all of the snow removal, says community member Hannah Spalding. During the blizzard, my husband, Wade, who used to plow out our house and help all our neighbors, was finally able to sit back and relax, says Greenspring s Dora Doe Tysinger. Everyone working here is exceptional, says Ashby Ponds Joan Foote. We talk often about how blessed we are to have such a dedicated, competent, and caring group on our team.