Friday, April 10, 2009

speaking of more human

Illus: Yearbook Project: Excelsior 1968 by John Martz

When there is a picture, your attitude and approach changes — the human aspect is inserted.

Dr. Jonathan Halevy, the director of Shaare Zedek Medical Center, commenting in Tuesday's New York Times on a study kicked off by Dr. Yehonatan N. Turner -- who found that attaching a photograph of the subject to an x-ray file resulted in the delivery of "longer, more meticulous reports" by radiologists.

When my dad went down in red rock canyon country and wound up wired and intubated and in a coma at St. Mary's trauma center for an infection that none of us immediately understood, maybe six hours elapsed from the time I got the telephone call to the moment I boarded a flight to Grand Junction from O'Hare. I packed badly and regretted it for the next -- was it two weeks? -- that I stayed in Colorado, right there, doing whatever needed to be done, along with the rest of my immediate family.

The one thing I packed right was his photograph: a picture of him playing his Gibson, smiling like he does when he sings, which I posted next to his bloated and prone and unrecognizable form in Critical Care.

More than one nurse asked me: "Is that him?" Surprised. Amazed. And informed, I hoped.

Related: A study conducted by Marketing Sherpa, based on initial research by Stanford's Persuasive Technology Lab, showed that a more "personable" About Us page -- including a photograph of customer service folk -- elevated the conversion rate (that is, the rate at which visitors actually buy something from the site) by up to 30% for the people who visited that screen.

That's a remarkable statistic in ecommerce, and it's further evidence that technology is just a conduit.

It's people -- knowing them, loving them, digging them -- who are the prize.

1 comment:

I, Rodius said...

Good to remember and hard to remember: there are real people on the other end of all our transactions.

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