Thinking On the Run
by Erez Lirov
Stretching expectations to find an ideal solution
Can Shannon find a credit card processing system that will meet her definition of excellence?
Mike and Shannon rounded the bend of the track through the park. The weather had kept them from running for a couple of weeks, and Shannon was enjoying the feeling of getting out in the fresh air and moving through the beautiful scenery.
â€œIsnâ€™t this great?â€ Mike asked, puffing a bit. â€œI love getting into the moment and not thinking for a while.â€
â€œHow can you do that?â€ Shannon asked, slowing to a walk. â€œI think even more when Iâ€™m running. In fact, thatâ€™s one of the benefits. I can think more deeply as I run.â€
â€œWhatâ€™s on your mind?â€ Mike asked, slowing to match her pace.
â€œCredit card processing,â€ Shannon answered quickly. â€œI know I need to do some research to find the best system for the center, so Iâ€™ve been organizing my thoughts. Can I try it out on you?â€
â€œSure.â€ Mike plopped down on a bench that gave a view of the park.
â€œStretch out first!â€ Shannon urged him. â€œCool down!â€
Mike stretched out flat on the bench with his arms and legs hanging down. â€œThis is the only kind of stretching I plan to do. Now tell me your credit card processing ideas.â€
â€œOkay,â€ Shannon agreed, pulling her nose to one knee. Her hair fell down to the ground, but Mike could still hear her as she continued, â€œI figure the least a system would have to do for it to be worth the trouble of changing would be to help us catch errors.â€ She drew her nose to her other knee. â€œIf it would post the payments automatically to the patient accounts, charge the accounts back if the payment got declined, and send us a report at the end of the day, that would make it worthwhile. I figure it takes a full day over the course of a month for us to take care of those things, and I donâ€™t see why a computer couldnâ€™t do it.â€
Mike nodded. â€œIt sounds like that would help quite a bit.â€
â€œRight, and it should also let us charge products to the patient accounts. That seems completely realistic.â€ Shannon pulled her arms behind her, stretching out her chest. â€œNext level up, if it would notice when recurring payment information we keep on file is about to expire, and maybe alert patients about expirations and if a payment is declined so they can take care of it. It would have to alert us, too. And it could alert us when someone is getting behind, too. That would not only prevent a lot of the errors we face, but it would also improve customer service.â€
Mike sat up and swiveled to look over the park. â€œOkay, Thatâ€™s the fair-to-middling solution. What does it take to reach excellence?â€
â€œIf the payment system would send out invoices automatically and let us accept payments electronically, weâ€™d shorten the billing cycle and save a lot of time.â€
â€œPeople prefer to pay bills electronically, anyway,â€ Mike pointed out. â€œMost of us are used to paying our bills that way by now.â€
Shannon pulled Mike up from the bench and they headed back toward their car.
â€œSo this paragon of a payment system,â€ Mike asked, â€œwhatâ€™s it going to cost?â€
â€œThatâ€™s part two,â€ Shannon laughed. â€œIf I can find a system that meets my definition of excellence, then Iâ€™ll just have to see whether I can afford it. But I think that a system like that could result in some real savings just because of the efficiency, so itâ€™s worth spending some time in research.â€