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9 Ways to Provide Great Customer Service

Most dentists know good customer service

Customer service is in my blood.  Even in high school when I worked at a fast food restaurant, I was committed to every customer having a great experience.  My training was elevated to an entirely new level when I worked at Nordstrom in college.  This was great preparation for my life in dentistry.  I’m not sure when it happened, but most dental offices are committed to making the patient happy.  I don’t know if it’s us trying to fight our lingering reputation for being suicidal or masochistic, but we bend over backwards for people to leave the office smiling and pain free.  I’m pretty sure all of this background has made me hyperaware of customer service – especially when it goes wrong.

I think what inspired this post is the fact that we are on the tail end of a construction project.  My frustration developed to this list of characteristics about good customer service.  Whether you are a doctor or a garbage collector, these qualities should be universal (at least in my world)

1.  Take pride in a job well done.  Even if you don’t get paid more or even get recognition, your work is a reflection of you.

2.  Exceed expectations.  Go above and beyond.  Don’t just do the minimum required.

3.  The customer is always right – even when they’re wrong.  It’s hard to swallow your pride, especially when someone is treating you poorly.  Arguing gets you nowhere.

4.  Don’t let them see you sweat.  It’s hard not to get upset and angry in tense situations, but if you stay calm and accommodating the situation tends to diffuse more easily.

5.  Follow the golden rule.  Treat others as you would like to be treated.

6.  Do it right the first time.  Be meticulous, not sloppy.  If it isn’t right, fix it and apologize.  Take responsibility for your actions.  Do not make excuses and don’t blame others – it just makes you look bad.

7.  Leave personal problems at home.  Work is not the place to discuss your lying, cheating spouse and personal issues should never affect how customers are treated at work.  Nobody’s should ever know you are having a bad day.

8.  Be true to your word.  Deliver what you promise.  If you know you can’t do more or can’t make a deadline – be honest.  It’s worse to overpromise and underdeliver.

9.  Run on time – every time.  Having a reputation for being dependable is invaluable.

Hopefully my contractor reads this carefully.  Did I miss any?

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