SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — In December, we asked you to nominate the remarkable women in your life for some special recognition. We received many incredible nominations from all over KELOLAND. Now we’ve selected four finalists and will be sharing their stories with you every Tuesday this March.
Our next 2021 Remarkable Women nominee is Lisa Smith.
Lisa has spent nearly 30 years of her career as the helpful voice on the other end of the phone.
“It’s always been customer service,” Lisa said.
She’s worked for several medical companies over the years but is now a phone concierge for Vance Thompson Vision.
“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 said.
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 that phone like it’s the only call you took that day and that you’ve got the time to speak to that caller,” Lisa said.
She says people in customer service have a chance to make or break someone’s day and she has made it her mission to make sure her conversations are always a bright spot for patients.
“We’re actually given an allowance, a daily allowance here, to make someone’s day. So we can send flowers to the patient if they’ve been in the hospital or they’ve broken something,” Lisa said.
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 had a patient call in and say he had to cancel his appointment today because his wife was in the hospital, and that just broke my heart because you can hear it in his voice,” Lisa said. “So I went to the filing cabinet where we have cards and picked up a thinking of you card so that he knows there’s someone out there thinking of him.”
“Attention to detail for sure,” Weston Smith said.
Weston Smith nominated his mom as a remarkable woman who has always gone above and beyond to make people feel welcome.
“That’s what our family has always been about is having a nice, comforting place for people to come and gather and have a nice comforting experience,” Weston said.
Creating that welcoming environment is a skill Lisa and her family have mastered.
“A lot of building and selling and decorating, approximately about 50 homes or more,” Lisa said.
Lisa has been married to her high school sweetheart for 35 years; together they’ve bought and remodeled dozens of houses all over Sioux Falls.
“Personally, we’ve remodeled and lived in probably about 11,” Lisa said.
They’ve also owned and managed many more rental homes across the city.
“We had 11 at one time, plus full-time jobs, it was interesting,” she said.
“Everyone knows that that’s a huge part of my life and my mom’s life, moving from house to house, having projects going at all times, there’s a long-standing joke of how long they are going to stay in this house,” Weston said.
“The longest we’ve ever stayed in a home I believe is four years,” Lisa said.
Now the Smith family enjoys seeing firsthand the impact they’ve had on the Sioux Falls community.
“We tend to drive by the old places and remember what we did as far as remodeling,” Lisa said.
Finding joy in turning a house in bad shape into a home 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? It’s great to put yourself in that home,” Lisa said.
A remarkable ability to put herself in someone else’s shoes and truly care for others.