A while back, I read this blog post by Glenn Ross (no relation) which profiled a superior customer service experience – a waitress in a coffee house.
Since reading this, I have starting looking for customer service qualities in ordinary situations everywhere I go and taking mental notes. Sadly, I haven’t found too many worth mentioning until last week when I went to the dentist. It was the usual dental center I go to, but this time I looked at it from a customer service perspective.
Surely there can’t be too many environments that are more hostile to superior customer service than a dental center? Nearly everyone that walks in the door is already an unhappy customer before they even arrive. Do you know anyone that enjoys going to the dentist? I don’t. What do the people working at a dental center do to provide excellent customer service under these conditions?
The people at this particular dental center were obviously well-trained in anxiety management, but their customer service scope went far beyond that. They were able to translate the problem with one of my teeth into in plain English that I could easily understand. They were able to tell me how many visits I should expect to get the problem fully resolved. They were able to detail for me what work would be performed at each visit and how much time I should expect to spend at each visit. And they were not only able to detail the costs, but tell me what portion my insurance would pay so that I could plan accordingly.
All this was done in the context of respect for me – the customer. It was not one person in particular, but instead there was a pervasive attitude of customer respect throughout the organization. I left feeling like this is a place I will want to return to.
Now if a dental center can overcome the challenges of an adverse customer service environment and create lasting customer relationships, why can’t the rest of the business world?