I've been in dental hell for the last two months, having undergone two emergency root canals and needed a third. I've been in extreme stress, and pain. My recent experience at the endodontist office of Dr. Vladimir Shuster, demonstrated to me that you don't have to spend thousands of dollars on huge initiatives, that don't get implemented, in order to provide distinct customer service experiences. You can make your customers, guests, and patients feel included and empowered, in any type of business.
Let me describe my experience. WI couldn't find parking in their lot, so the women at the front desk, gave me a bag full of change to park at the meter for two hours. How often does that happen? They greeted me like a long lost friend, although they had never met me. I could feel my neck and jaw muscles relax in seconds. The receptionist actually asked me how I was, and told me that they were going to get me out of pain. They let me know how much they value every patient. I felt like I was included in the "happy patient club." Before I even went into the dentist's room, he came out and introduced himself to me.
As soon as I sat in the chair, one of his assistants, asked me what type of music I liked, so she could find me a the right music station on Pandora. She even gave me suggestions.
Dr. Shuster asked me what I needed to feel comfortable, made eye contact, spoke directly to me, and actually listened to my concerns. Just feeling that connection made a difference in my comfort level, and I knew I would be ok.
The whole time I was there, I was made to feel like I was their most important and only patient.
The process took longer than I expected, and when I told them I needed to put more money in my meter, they told me to relax, and fed the meter for me.
Besides being out of pain when I left, I almost felt like I'd taken a short vacation. I was home for just a few hours when my phone rang. It was one of the dental assistants calling to find out how I was feeling. She called again the next day to make sure I was ok.
A few weeks later, another tooth cracked, and the pain was excruciating. I called Dr. Shuster on his cell phone at 6:30 AM and at 9:30 AM I was sitting in his chair getting shot full of Novacain, relaxed and calm, feeling like I was almost home.
When customers do business with you, do you make them feel like they're in your club, or are you waiting for the right time to roll-out your customer service initiative?
Simma Lieberman is the author of Putting Diversity to Work and a member of The Million Dollar Consultant® Hall of Fame. Simma Lieberman Associates works to create workplace cultures where people love to do their best work and customers love to do business. Read the Inclusionist blog. Follow her on twitter:@theinclusionist. Subscribe to her newsletter.