In Dentistry, those offices that are truly delineating themselves as World Class when it comes to delivering great Service to their clients, customers, and patients are doing so by offering Anticipatory Customer Service rather than reactionary Customer Services.
Reactionary Customer Service occurs when the Customer asks for something, and the service is provided, the item is delivered. The service is courteous and polite and pleasant, and the client is appreciative of you helping them.
Proactive Customer Service occurs before the customer asks for help. It’s often simultaneous. The Customer or Patient is pleasantly surprised that your team member is ready, as they need something.
This new term, Anticipatory Customer Service, was brought to my attention in this week’s issue of The Shepard Letter, a great weekly newsletter from Customer Service Guru and Authority Shep Hyken.
“Being proactive raises the perceived value of what you offer. Your customers feel you’ve really are paying attention and focused on them and their needs.
Anticipatory customer service is a step above proactive customer service. It’s noticing something and responding to it. It’s about being one step ahead. It’s intuitive. It’s not just noticing something. It’s anticipating something.”
Shep goes on:
“Anticipating your customer’s needs is like a game of chess. The best players don’t just think of the very next move they have to make. They visualize what the next four or five moves are going to be, anticipating how their opponent will react to each move. Similarly, you should always try to be at least one or two moves ahead of your customers, anticipating what they might want or need.
Anticipatory customer service is about being in tune with your customer, getting them what they need before they ask for it – or even before they know to ask for it. It shows that you are customer-focused and strive to deliver an amazing customer experience.”
In dentistry there are many opportunities to provide our Clients with Anticipatory Customer Service.
Anticipating our Customers’ needs is what differentiates an Ultimate Patient Experience Practice from those other Dental Offices around it.
Are you anticipating the arrival of a New Patient to your Office?
Do you have systems in place to greet the New Patient in a manner that they’ve never been greeted before at any other Dentist, let alone at any other Health Care Provider?
When it’s time to bring the Patient down to the treatment room, do you have Anticipatory Systems in place that totally WOW the patient?
Once the patient is in the Dental Chair, what protocols do you have in place that Anticipate the Patients next moves?
When the chair comes up at the end of the visit are your team members waiting there to greet the patient with a warm towel and a smile?
And the patient’s spectacles?
Are your team members waiting with the patient’s bags, and coats following treatment, *EVERY TIME*, or does the patient have to ask for these?
When the treated patient is brought to the Front Office following treatment, is the Front Office person waiting, in anticipation, ready to serve that Patient, or are they feeling that the Patient now in front of them is an interruption to the *other* things they think need to do?
At the end of the patients’ visits to your Office, is the Concierge waiting, in anticipation, with the door open, farewelling the patient warmly?
The use and collection of Secret Service Information about the patient at each visit can allow your team members to truly WOW your patients who aren’t anticipating conversation about things they may have discussed at previous visits.
When this happens, when you really capitalise on the detail, and you start Anticipating, your Patients will know that what they are experiencing is not just some occasional act of kindness or goodwill. They will realise that they are truly at a Different Place.
They will know that this is a well thought out and systemised approach to their every requirement and want during their visit.
They’ll know, that what they are experiencing, is indeed, an Ultimate Patient Experience.
My One-Day Workshop in May covers in greater depth how to address simple changes that create BIG RESULTS. For more details on the Philadelphia workshop CLICK HERE.
For more details on my Australian workshops CLICK HERE.
The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.
Email me at email@example.com
Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is a customer service expert, hall-of-fame speaker and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. He works with organizations to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. He is also the creator of The Customer Focus, a customer service training program that helps organizations develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset. For more information contact (314) 692-2200 or www.Hyken.com
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