Most doctors never distinguish the difference between “customers” and “patients.” That’s why they have waiting rooms instead of reception areas. Walk into most any doctor’s office and you’ll see numerous chairs — typically full of people waiting to see the doctor — and signs that tell you what you can’t do or must do (e.g., you must wait 3 days for a referral, you must present co-pay before seeing the doctor). On top of that, doctors have the best gatekeeper’s in the world — not to keep salespeople away, but to keep the patients (customer’s) at bay.
What other business could not only survive but thrive by conducting themselves the way many doctor’s offices do? Not many if any at all. I certainly couldn’t keep my clients waiting outside my office for an hour when they have an appointment — I’d be out of business!
So what can your small business learn from this?
- If you have a reception area, make sure your clients or customers are made to feel like they are important to your business. This area should match the look and feel of what your company values.
- It’s a good thing to have policies and procedures, but don’t post it on signs all around your office for the world to see.
- Make sure the first person your customers find when they visit your office is the “Creator of Great First Impressions,” not the gatekeeper.
What do you think? Are there other lessons we can learn? Tell me by leaving a comment.