Last December, KELOLAND asked you to nominate the remarkable woman in your life for some special recognition. They received dozens of incredible nominations from all over KELOLAND. They selected four finalists to share more of their stories on KELOLAND Living, presented by Davenport Evans Law Firm.
After our last segment, you already know that Lisa Smith’s story is pretty remarkable. And when you factor in the fact that her son Weston Smith was the person who nominated her as a Remarkable Woman, you know she’s got to be pretty amazing when you meet her in person.
“Good Afternoon, this is Lisa with Vance Thompson Vision in Sioux Falls,” Lisa Smith has spent nearly 30 years of her career as the helpful voice at the other end of the phone. “It’s always been customer service,” Smith said. She’s worked for many medical companies over the years, but is now a phone concierge for Vance Thompson. “And you just kind of take them under your wing when you’re talking with them because you can hear the concern in their voice, and you just want to make them feel a lot more comfortable.”
Lisa helps walk patients and their families through their upcoming appointments and procedures, but she’s giving callers much more than information. “Your tone of voice comes right through the phone and so does your smile, so it’s very important to answer the phone like it’s the only call you took that day. And you’ve got the time to speak to that patient or caller.”
She says people in customer service have the chance to make or break someone’s day. And she’s made it her mission to make sure her conversations are always a bright spot for patients. “We’re actually given an allowance,” Lisa said, “A daily allowance here to make someone’s day. So we can send flowers to the patients if they’ve been in the hospital, or they’ve broken something.” She’s always writing and sending notes to the patients she speaks with over the phone, making sure they know someone cares. “Just today I have a patient call in and he said he had to cancel his appointment for today. His wife was in the hospital. It just broke my heart, because you could hear it in his voice. So I went to the filing cabinet where we have cards and I picked out a “Thinking of You” card and I sent it in the mail so that he knows that there’s someone out there thinking of him.
“The attention to detail, for sure,” Weston Smith nominated his mom as a Remarkable Women who has always gone above and beyond to make people feel welcome. “That’s kind of what our family has always been about it is having a nice, comfortable place to come gather and have a good family experience.
Creating that welcoming environment is a skill Lisa and her family have mastered. A lot of building and selling and decorating. “Approximately 50 houses or more,” Lisa recalled. Lisa has been married to her high school sweetheart for 35 years. Together they have bought and remodeled dozens of houses all over Sioux Falls. “Personally, we have remodeled and lived in 11.” They have also owned and managed many more rental houses in the city. “We had 11 at one time. Plus full time jobs. So it was interesting,” she said. “Everyone knows that’s a huge part of my life and my mom’s life,” Weston added,” moving from house to house, and having projects going on at all times. And there’s a long-standing joke, ‘How long are they going to stay in this house?’”
Lisa recalled, “The longest we have ever stayed in a home, I believe, is four years.” Now the Smith family enjoys seeing first-hand the impact they have had on the Sioux Falls community, “I tend to drive by the old places and just remember what we did as far as remodeled.” Turning houses in bad shape into homes their tenants and future owners could be proud of. “We kind of look at it from, ‘Would we want to live here if that was still left like that? So it’s great to put yourself in that home.” A remarkable ability to put herself in other peoples’ shoes and care for others. From Sioux Falls, I’m Bridget Bennet, KELOLAND News.
Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith, LLP, located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is one of the State’s largest law firms. The firm’s attorneys provide business and litigation counsel to individuals and corporate clients in a variety of practice areas. For more information about Davenport Evans, visit www.dehs.com.