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Customer Service in Unlikely Places
_by June Van Klaveren
My most recent sighting of exemplary customer service took place in my dentist's office. As I reflect on the way Dr. G. conducts his business, I realized that customer service techniques I've observed in his office can be applied to any business. Here's what I learned from Dr. G. and some tips for applying these rules in your own business.
Rule #1. Be concerned with your customer's comfort.Despite the natural discomfort of dental procedures, Dr. G. continually stops to ask, "You doing OK? Let me know if it hurts."
Do you regularly check on your customer's comfort in doing business with you? Do you make it easy and painless?
Rule #2. Have a pleasant place to work.What's outstanding is the fact that Dr. G's office seems like a pleasant place to work with nice background music (though we differ on our musical tastes), occasional laughter and no raised voices.
Is your office a pleasant environment or do you hear raised voices and other indications of a "not too happy" workplace?Rule
#3. Use up-to-date technology.Dr. G loves technology and incorporates many of the newest equipment and technology.
Do you seek new technologies and learn how to use them well? Or do you rely on the "old ways?"
Rule #4. Treat your employees well and they'll pass it on to your customers.I overheard Dr. G. talking to his staff, kindly and positively. This kindness trickles down to his patients through the staff.
Do you make a special effort to treat your employees as you'd like to be treated?
Rule #5. Develop relationships with your customers.Through the years of cleanings and other procedures, Dr. G. has shared enough about himself that I feel I know him.
Do you make an effort to get to know your customers to be able to have a friendly conversation?
In his own words, here are Dr. G's tips for customer service: "I realized long ago that complacency is the killer of any good business....Getting too comfortable in the 'routine' allows one to stop looking for new ways to improve....Never take customers for granted... be thankful every time they walk through your door, and let them know it, either by telling them directly or indirectly by always looking for ways to improve the customer's comfort zone or warm fuzzy appeal... You must be diligent and never get lazy about customer service."
So there you have it - five principles and tips to incorporate into customer service at your company. (And if you're in St. Louis and are looking for the best dentist ever, email me at June@compelcom.com and I'll share his name and number with you.)
June Van Klaveren, owner of Compelling Communications, helps her clients attract and keep customers. To contact her, call 800-779-0067 or email email@example.com.