Don’t let policy be a hindrance to customer satisfaction

Waking up every day feeling like something good is going to happen.

It’s what everyone wants, right? Our Lady of the Wayside’s success is predicated on making sure our customers — the children and adults with developmental disabilities we support — know we’re fully committed to making them feel like every day is a good day.

Looking to achieve this kind of personal attention for each of the 750 individuals in our care can seem like a simple premise, but it’s exactly what puts us into entrepreneurial overdrive.

Yes, our businesses are different. However, the fundamental importance of applying effective creativity to even the most red-tape, hamstrung system will ultimately enable you to give your customers what they really want: your attention. It’s our privilege to give the agency’s customers the attention they should have and Wayside has advanced its thinking on any number of fronts in order to be at our best:

Upgrading our technology ensures we get Angela and her housemates to their favorite movies. You see, the people we care for get varying monthly stipends from their funding. Various software overseeing billing, pending transfers, accounts receivable, bank balances, spending money and receipts are like so many instruments conducted by our finance department who then utilize the data to answer rightful and rigorous inquiries by state, county and private auditors.

Disrupting ineffective systems literally brought Emery and his mom out of the cold. I got the call out of nowhere a few Christmas Eves ago: Emery and his mom, both of whom had developmental disabilities, had no paperwork in place and nowhere else to go. We welcomed them and worked out the details later. Our industry has incredibly important rules in place to bring order from chaos. However, when extenuating circumstances occur, systems must be thoughtfully challenged to accomplish the next right thing.

Defining the need and filling it gets our guys where they need and want to be. Adaptive transportation is vital to giving people with developmental disabilities the access to their community they deserve. In answer to that, Wayside has established a fleet of over 130 specialized vehicles to safely transport even the most fragile individuals to all the great places life can take them.

Creating professional partnerships gave Gino a chance to throw out the first pitch at a Tribe game. Like you, the people Wayside supports are diehard superfans. So it only makes sense to advertise and work with Progressive Field, WKNR or Smart Business to let potential individual and corporate donors know about the good work being done by our agency.

At the same time, it educates the community about us; so organizations can reach out with fan experiences and other activities the folks at Wayside might enjoy.

“The more things change, the more they stay the same,” is cliché for a reason. More than ever, businesses have an array of tools that, applied entrepreneurially, get us all exactly where we want to be as consumers: with the attention on us.

Terry Davis is president and CEO at Our Lady of the Wayside