Arriving on time is a very big deal! As much as we try to stand out for our as quality, ethical and knowledgeable professionals, some insurance companies will still see our service as a commodity. Some are more likely to use our service because of our reputation for dependable, on-time service.
In fact, recently a patient became very upset when the transport company failed to pick him up. He made it clear to the insurance company that he didn’t want to see that company again. The problem is that most workers comp transport companies have that same problem on a regular basis.
The case manager explained to the adjuster that she knew a local company with an impeccable reputation for dependability. They were a small regional company and not on the vendor list. Based on the circumstance, the adjuster made the exception and approved using our service.
This is what I did with the already distrustful client.
- I called him to introduce myself and to tell him I will call again as soon as I have the transport date time and location.
- I called him back with the date, time, location, and the pickup time. I also asked him if he was comfortable with the pickup time, or if he wanted me to come a little earlier just to be safe. He was fine with the time.
- Insurance companies typically expect me to arrive 15 minutes early. If I must travel more than an hour, I give myself a half hour.
- So, the time of pickup should in this case allow me to arrive to the appointment 30 minutes early. Therefore, I arrive to his house 15 minutes earlier than that. I let him know I arrived and will wait until he is ready.
- He came out right away. We ended up arriving about 50 minutes early. I happen to know that the case manager hates when I get there too early because they sometime let the patient in and see him before she even arrives. Therefore, we wait in the car. I explain to the patient that it is better to arrive early than to have a problem or get stuck in traffic. He agrees and is very happy.
- Twenty minutes before the appointment he leisurely checks in.
The patient is happy and at ease, and we maintain our great reputation.
That is what I do for transport. For interpreting, I typically enter the appointment 30 minutes early. I often already find the patient there. They are usually very relieved and happy to see me arrive so early. It instantly builds trust and confidence in my professionalism.
I happen to know a guy which will remain nameless. If it takes him 15 minutes to arrive somewhere, he gives himself exactly 15 minutes. He is always under stress and running late. He sometimes comes in running and looks like a hot mess!
I once got a flat tire while going to an appointment. I got out of the car and changed the tire and still arrived ten minutes early. For me, ten minutes early is late! However, imagine what would have happened if I were my nameless friend!
There is nothing worse than an interpreter rushing in late! A bumbling interpreter is not professional and does not inspire confidence! A professional interpreter or transport company for that matter should arrive early and know what they are doing.
Really talented interpreters can develop a bad reputation if they are chronically late. So, what time is on-time? You make that call, but I can tell you that on-time is already late!