Never Underestimate the Power of Unexpected, Minute Beneficence

From @alexismadrigal's tweet stream today:

"Virgin america guy just ran a gate game, giving away a free stuff to the person who brought up the oldest penny. Dozens digging for change."

Nice contest, sweet metaphor. Even if all you give away is an extra cookie on the plane you've just scored +20 for consumer engagement.

Can you imagine if the patient advocate/registrar running pre-op or the ED triage process pulled a similar stunt?

Hospitals - would someone suggesting this be hired or fired?

Think hard before you answer.

Never underestimate the power of unexpected beneficence, especially in healthcare.

1 comment:

Ted Eytan said...


I am so glad you picked up on this. I immediately noticed when I flew VirginAmerica for the first time that they supported their staff in being "in front of the counter," and even photographed one of their gate games. When the pilot on my very first flight came in front of the counter and said "Hi, my name is Dave, I am your pilot. I am sorry for the delay. I want to get to Washington as much as you do," I was amazed.

What a great way to show your customers that you are experiencing things as they are.

I don't know if an ER should have a counter game, but the same philosophy - "be in front of the counter" - physically, emotionally, or otherwise, fits perfectly in health care, and you and I know that the health care organizations we are drawn to spend time thinking about how they can be "in front of the counter."

I wonder if we could have a brunch with some people at VirginAmerica to talk about how they do what they do....will they listen to our tweets?