03 Oct Everything is about service – even dentistry
A search on indeed.com for ‘customer service jobs in Calgary’ will give you over 600 results. Customer care agents, customer support agents, customer engagement specialists, guest service agents, customer care representatives are all positions in organizations that focus solely on caring for their customers.
You’ve heard Walt Disney talk about service. Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos have all talked about it.
We hear everyone talking about service…why are so few people successful at it? Why does it potentially stop the moment you enter a health care setting?
What level of service do you provide in your dental office?
Going to visit the dentist likely does not generate the same excitement in most people as going on a vacation or purchasing the latest iPhone, which is why it is so important to create and succeed in giving your patients an outstanding experience! Patients often enter a medical or dental clinic expecting a negative experience!
Customer Service is not a title for one person in your office; it should represent your entire company.
Our Dental Consultant’s Top 10 Rules on Service
- It is not about dentistry.
You may be the best dentist in the city but how you make patients feel is the most important thing. Remember of course that courtesy is not a substitute for competency and skill.
- The customer is the most important person in the room.
The customer guides our actions and our attitudes. Without the customer, we would not have a job. They deserve our full and undivided attention from the moment they walk through the door.
- Make your patients feel good about themselves.
People may feel embarrassed at the dental office. They hear they ‘don’t floss enough, they don’t come regularly enough’, etc. A lecture from a dental professional can feel similar to how as children we were scolded by our parents. No one wants to feel this way. ALWAYS find a way to compliment people.
- Anticipate and identify any needs.
Don’t wait for your patient to ask for something. Be unexpected in your offerings. A warm blanket on a cold day. Their favourite channel on the television.
- Help customers understand your systems.
This is especially important in dentistry. Your office may have the world’s best systems for getting things done, but if customers don’t understand them, they can get confused, impatient and angry. Take time to explain how your systems work and how they simplify transactions. Be careful that your systems don’t reduce the human element of your organization. The best way to explain your office policies and systems is to not use the words ‘policy’ or ‘systems’.
- Be organized!
Such a simple idea, but if you have not left enough time in your schedule and you run behind, you are giving a clear signal to the patient that their time is not valuable. Don’t be late.
- Know how to apologize.
Things can go wrong, and things will go wrong. A sincere apology goes a long way. Deal with problems immediately and let customers know what you have done to fix the problem. If you cannot fix the problem, find someone who can.
- Ask and the listen.
This is not a new idea. Dale Carnegie talks about it in his book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” that was published in 1936! If you listen closely to your patient you will find out exactly what they want and how they want to be treated. Learn about their life and this will allow you to build relationships with them. Next time they visit your office they will be happy to be asked how their family vacation was.
- Get regular feedback.
This is simple. Ask your clients if they are happy. Could you have offered more? What would make them happier, more comfortable?
Be happy, enjoy your work, be positive, treat your employees well and lead by example. Customers know when employees enjoy their job. If you want to be there, your team wants to be there and it is more likely your customer will want to be there.
Customer service feels like common sense, so where does the work come in? Think of opportunities throughout your workday where you can do something, say something, or ask something that will elevate the level of customer service you are providing.
Dentistry brings a new patient in and service brings them back.
Do you question the level of service you and your team provide to your patients? Our team of Dental Consultants, at Tayden Consulting Inc., specialize in providing, hands-on, on-site coaching on how to create the optimal customer experience for your dental patients.
Contact us today for a free consultation!
We look forward to meeting you.