DENTAL PRACTICE ARTICLES
Turn Your Customer Service Experience into Memorable Moments
Everyone can make a difference and create memories for your patients to keep them coming back. Put your personal signature on everything that you do. Today, think about something that you can do for your patients to make them feel special to keep them coming back.
Here is the story of Johnny the Bagger. Johnny is a nineteen year old grocery store bagger who has Down’s Syndrome. He wanted to do something special for his customers, but didn’t think he could do anything special. Every night when he came home he would try to find a ‘thought for the day’. If he couldn’t find a saying that he liked, he would just make one up. When Johnny had a good idea for the thought for the day, his father would print multiple copies off the computer and cut out each quote and signed his name on the back. When customers were finished shopping, Johnny would bag their groceries and put his thought of the day and say “Thanks for shopping with us”. This young man who had a job that most people would not think is important, he made it important by creating a special memory for his customers.
One month later the store manager noticed that Johnny’s line was 3 times longer than anyone else’s The store manager quickly announced that they needed more cashiers and to open more lanes. When more lanes were open nobody would move to the other line. They said, “that’s ok, we want to stay to wait for Johnny’s thought for the day” One woman said, “I used to shop at your store once a week, but now I stop in every time I go by because I want to get Johnny’s thought for the day. It was a joy to watch Johnny delight the customers. Johnny transformed the store. Whenever the flower department would have a broken flower they would pin in on an elderly person as they came by. Now everyone is talking about their store and their customers are coming back and bringing their friends.
A wonderful spirit of service spread throughout the store, all because Johnny chose to make a difference. Johnny’s idea wasn’t as innovative as it was loving. It came from the heart – it was genuine. Great customer service comes from the heart.
Remember that “walk the talk” service starts with the first few seconds of the first contact. You only have one change to make a good first impression. So, greet your patients warmly. Talk less, listen more. Make it your goal to understand your patient’s needs and expectations rather than merely talking your way into a sale. Listen to everything the patient says as if there was a test at the end. Set a personal goal to become an expert on the services you offer. The more you know, the better your service will be.
Eliminate the negatives. Make a conscious effort to minimize the use of negative words and phrases in your service interactions. Patients do not appreciate words like: can’t, won’t, don’t, not, no, and sorry. You need to look for every opportunity to say: can, will, do, yes, you bet, and absolutely! Always, always, ALWAYS thank customers for their business. Tell them how much you appreciate their choosing your office for their dental services they need. Remember, it’s the patient who’s paying your salary.
Great patient service is selfless act and not a tactical decision.
What can you do today to make your patient experience memorable?
Author: Sandie Baillargeon, courtesy of the Simple Truths Publishing