Providing excellent customer service can be a tricky thing for a business. Most of the time, I feel we want to perform customer service on our terms, based on our, “program.” I witnessed something entirely different this morning.
I was in the waiting room of Benicia Family Dentistry while my wife was in the chair undergoing a crown prep. An elderly woman shows up at 9:00 a.m., a full hour and ten minutes early for her appointment! Don’t know about you, but I barely make it on time to the Dentist. I sometimes have to drive around the block a few times to get my courage up. But I digress.
Receptionist says to the early bird, “You’re early, your appointment isn’t until 10:10″ (I was afraid they were going to send her away). But then she says, “Don’t worry, let me see what I can do to get you in.” Sure enough, they were able to fit her in within 20 minutes. Hmmm… I thought, there’s a lesson in customer service here.
How do I treat clients who don’t seem to follow my process? How does your business treat customers who don’t exactly adhere to your schedule…your rules? Is it your way or the highway? Or, do you accommodate serving the outliers’ even if it means you need to do a little extra work, or go outside your routines/program?
Clearly, the slightly embarrassed patient had no expectation of being accommodated. But she deserved to be treated with respect, dignity and kindness. The receptionist did all of that and more: She delivered excellent customer service when it was least expected.