One of my pet peeves is hearing people working in customer-facing positions telling their customers how busy they are. I wonder what they think this accomplishes. Is it intended as an excuse, an explanation, or perhaps a way to manipulate the customer into backing down from making any demands?
In healthcare, where our customers are often sick, exhausted, and in pain, they don’t deserve to hear that someone is too busy for them. In fact, telling patients you are busy makes them lose confidence that their needs will be met. Some data even suggests that telling patients you’re busy can actually cause them to be more demanding.
On multiple occasions I have had patients or family members tell me they don’t want to ask for anything because the staff is busy. I’ll ask them how they know the staff is so busy and they say, “Oh, they tell me all the time.” What I’ve learned is that when patients hear that staff is busy, they feel they are a burden. How sad. I don’t think that is what is intended, but it has that impact.
Remember, your customers aren’t a burden. They’re the reason you have a job.