I was at the optometrist last week getting some new lenses in five pairs of glasses.
Well one of the new sets of lenses involved new frames.
It was a significant transaction.
The optometrist that I go to is very modern and very customer service oriented.
It’s almost as if you need to make an appointment just to buy your spectacles.
Well, actually, that’s what you do there…
The process of buying spectacles there is almost akin to the process of buying a new wardrobe [not the furniture, I mean the new season of clothes] by appointment.
Where a tailor or outfitter spends time with you and fits you out with everything you need from head to toe.
You understand the idea?
New suits. New slacks and trousers. New shirts. New ties. New shoes. New belts. New cuff links… the whole nine yards.
And that’s the feeling that I’m given at this optometrist.
So on this visit, while I’m being fitted and measured, there are other clients waiting for the same service process.
And they’re happy to wait.
And to be waited upon.
And to be fitted correctly.
And to be made to feel important.
And to be made to feel valued.
So what happens when the phone rings?
What happens when the phone rings when there are customers being served and customers waiting to be served?
Should one of the staff leave the customer they are with to attend to the ringing phone?
After all, a ringing phone usually is bringing new business.
But a ringing phone takes time to be answered correctly, so that the caller feels valued, and wants to come in for their appointment….
There certainly is a skill required to be able to satisfy the live customer in front of you as well as the customer calling in on the phone wanting world class service, at exactly the same time.
So what’s the answer?
The answer is simple.
We need a mathematics lesson.
The same principle that applies here at the optical dispenser also applies in dental practices.
What do you do when you have a live patient in front of you checking in or checking out, and then the phone rings?
Do you let the phone go unanswered?
And go through to your service, hoping that the caller is happy enough to leave a message and wait for a call back?
[What if they aren’t happy to leave a message, and call another dental office to get an appointment right then and there?]
Do you excuse yourself from the live patient in front of you and answer the ringing phone, hoping you can serve that caller very quickly and return back to your live patient as if there never was any interruption at all?
How does that make your live patient feel? Do they feel important and valued?
How about the patient you just had on the phone and rushed away from? Do they feel important and valued?
I know some dental practices where dental chairside assistants and dental steri-assistants are answering the ringing phone when the front office staff are stretched…
But the chairside staff and the steri-staff aren’t trained up to be proficient phone answerers…
They are proficient at clinical and steri- duties.
Having under-trained back office staff jumping in and answering ringing phones is kind of like calling a park footballer up into first grade when a regular seasoned first grader is injured and unavailable…. You know there will be no happy ending…
So back to the mathematics…
At the optometrist, my purchase of new lenses and frames was worth over $4000.00.
If you assume that maybe I spent double what the average customer spends, then let’s say that a customer [new or repeat] is spending $2000.00 each visit.
It doesn’t take long to figure out that at $25.00 per hour, one new customer would cover the salaries for the day of ten additional employees.
So with that much margin in employment costs vs the customer value, or spend, why wouldn’t it be a no brainer that with one or two or three extra trained staff, no existing live customers would ever feel unimportant, and no customer who phoned in would ever be made to feel hurried or rushed on a phone call?
Yet so many dental practices, retail stores, and service industries try to cut costs on staff, and then attempt to perform the customer service dance without sufficient staff numbers to provide that necessary THRESHOLD LEVEL required for the provision of the world class service.
The mathematics is simple.
The more service that your business provides, the busier your business will be.
That’s the no brainer…
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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.
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