Good customer service is a big part of a small business’s success.
Add to that a little bit of laughter and you have a winning combination for Warner Chiropractor at 2726 Johnson Street. There you will meet Carol Worwa , a very friendly and happy receptionist, who greets patients each day with a warm, genuine smile along with a little bit of wit .
Carol started working for Leanne Warner in the fall of 1996 when her children were still small. She came into the clinic one day with a bad back to see her chiropractor, Dr. Nowicki. However, Dr. Nowicki had recently passed away and Leanne had taken over his practice. Shortly after their first meeting, Leanne asked Carol if she was interested in a job.
With her husband back at school, it was a perfect opportunity for Carol and she accepted.
“We kind of hit it off right away,” Carol said
Carol grew into her job gradually over the years. She said the clinic was busy back then but not to the extent it is today. Approximately 75% of patients live in the northeast area and a higher percentage come from within 10 miles to see Leanne and her associate Mark Lampman.
Carol’s job duties expanded into billing insurance companies, learning the steps as she went. It was only a few years ago that the business became computerized. They now do billing electronically and 95% of insurance goes smoothly.
“The typewriter has only been gone for about a year and a half,” she said laughing.
But the patient contact is where Carol excels.
“I love the people. I like to yap,” she said. “My whole family is like that. Talking to people comes easy.”
Carol usually knows something about most of the established patients and often calls them by their first name. New patients are not excluded.
“I say all kinds of gooney things to get a smile out of them like, ‘welcome to Carol’s Crackhouse.’”
“It’s her mission to make a new patient laugh,” Leanne said.
“You want them to feel welcome. Not all places are like that and it seems to work,” Carol said. She added, “I manage to bring up something just to make them feel better. But it gets tricky. I am not as sharp as I used to be,” she said.
Carol and her husband, Mike (an Edison graduate) live in Waite Park and have two kids in college: Stefanie (22) goes to UM and Andrew (19) attends UMD.
“I have a gopher and a bulldog at home,” she said laughing.
Often patients are in a lot of pain but Carol still tries to find a way to make them feel better.
“I know you are really, really, really, hurting but don’t you just want to laugh at my joke?” she once said.
Another time she started dancing to a patient’s Rolling Stones ringtone that went off in the waiting room.
Leanne is the first to credit Carol with her exceptional customer-service skills.
“Carol knows what people need. She knows if they need to be left alone or if they need a hug and she is not afraid to do it,” she said.
But even a people-person like Carol needs a break once in a while. After a long day, she will inform her family that, “I’m kind of talked out. I have been talking all day.“ This gives just a slight hint to her family that she may need some quiet time before heading back to do her job the next day. Although, knowing Carol, she probably doesn’t need much of a break before she’s back at it again.
“I can’t retire until Leanne does, that’s what she told me,” Carol said pointing to her boss with a smile.
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