It was the best part of the meeting. Say what you will about Disney – and there are plenty of critics – their customer service approach is legendary. Daniel Gross, a business writer for Newsweek and other publications, wrote this piece in SLATE on Saturday. The emphasis in Disney is on attitude – control as much as you can, smile endlessly, think through things that are valued by the customer, then underpromise and overdeliver. For example, Gross cites signs at rides that estimated the wait time at 20 minutes, but the actual wait time was less than half that. These signs also divert some people from getting on line in the first place. Disney has studied lines extensively – I remember their observation that people tend to go to the left on lines to try to get ahead faster (think of a passing lane), so the faster route is often to go to the right.
I recently went to an oral surgeon whose staff had waited until the day before the appointment to ask for certain records from the dentist. The staff claimed that they had called several times. Maybe – but why were they waiting so long? What if the dentist was on vacation, or closed for some reason? The attitude of the surgeon? “I only work on referrals, and everyone has the forms and knows what I need.” Oh really. Guess what – I picked him – he was not the first choice of our dentist. I was very turned off by his arrogance – there are other people in town, and after throwing out $60 on the screening appointment, I’m inclined to go somewhere else. He did work on me several years ago with good results, which is why I went back. Not again, though.
You set the example. Look for ways to “de-stress” the atmosphere in your office. No TV in the waiting room – classical music has a calming effect on everyone. Soften the look – plants are a good starting point. And smile and say “thank you” – it will surprise everyone at first, but it means a lot more than we may think.