Making Customer Service a Priority

September 20, 2019

Excellent care for residents begins well before admission day to The Barry Robinson Center (BRC). Families quickly learn BRC places a high priority on customer service before, during and after a child’s placement.

“I want to thank you specifically, and everyone at BRC, for making this as comfortable as possible for us. We are incredibly grateful for the phenomenal support we have received. This is a very difficult time for our entire family and the burden of this decision has weighed very heavily on us. Thanks to all of you for making the entire process as seamless and painless as possible,” one grateful parent recently wrote to Laura Chaney, BRC’s director of customer relations.

A representative from a military installation had this to say: “While many of our parents are impressed with BRC, one family presented significant challenges. During a conversation, the mother mentioned to me how ‘wonderful’ Laura is. She provided nothing less than excellent care to this mother. I have come to value my relationship with all BRC employees and appreciate everything you do for us.”

Laura Chaney
Laura Chaney, Director of Customer Relations

Chaney, a 30-year veteran of BRC, is often the first person a parent or provider talks with. When someone asks for more information or refers a child, Chaney and other representatives respond quickly. During that initial conversation, they begin to build a rapport while finding out more about the child’s situation.

“I work to make everyone feel special,” Chaney said.

Everyone on the admissions team and throughout BRC shows this same attitude. BRC employs representatives who serve in several regions across Virginia and North Carolina. Chaney and another representative handle inquiries from other states and overseas. The team works closely together to support families.

Admission Process

After screening to determine if a child will benefit from BRC’s treatment, Chaney begins to gather clinical documentation and medical releases.

Some families ask to tour BRC as part of their decision-making. BRC staff understand parents’ concerns about leaving a child in someone else’s care for several months. When Chaney or other staff conduct tours, they provide as full an experience as possible. They take parents into dorms, classrooms, activity areas and cafeteria, answering questions and introducing them to other staff along the way.

“We’re very transparent here,” Chaney explained. “Generally, parents seem very pleased with our campus and the atmosphere. They appreciate that we don’t have an ‘institutional’ feel.”

Another distinguishing BRC service involves children not accepted for admission. BRC staff will help the family by recommending another facility that might be more appropriate to meet the needs of their child.

From Admission to Discharge

Chaney coordinates the admission day process, meeting families, finalizing paperwork and working with other staff involved in the process. In some cases, BRC helps families with transportation and lodging, using services from other nonprofit partners such as Mercy Medical Angels and The Ronald McDonald House.

“We give people a ‘red carpet’ experience,” she said. “I enjoy chatting with families and making them feel comfortable. We’ve streamlined the process as much as possible for them.”

During a child’s time in treatment, parents often call Chaney to check in or ask questions. She helps when she can and makes sure to connect them with other members of the treatment team as needed.

Coming full circle, Chaney meets families again on the day of discharge. She gives each child a BRC “challenge coin,” to recognize their achievement of successfully completing treatment.

BRC Challenge Coin
BRC Challenge Coin

And before families leave campus, the child rings the BRC bell, a longstanding campus tradition. A couple years ago, Chaney recommended a campus-wide announcement, inviting staff and residents to join the family at the bell to help mark the successful discharge.

“Once in a while, we’ve had an admission and discharge at the same time. It’s pretty special when the family with the admission sees the celebration of a child’s successful discharge. It really gives them hope for their own child.”


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