I’m not a firm believer in the saying:
“It looks like it’s going to be one of those days….”
when the person saying this has the ability to change the direction of their destiny….
And most people do have the ability to do that…
But there are times when you know that the circumstances that you are experiencing are totally out of your control, and that all that you can do is “survive” the moment, and then regroup and move on…
And often in these sort of situations when things are out of your control, despite your best intentions, which are always honourable, sometimes you are simply just the victims of inadequacy and stupidity of people who JUST DON’T GET IT.
You know it, right?
Last night, Jayne and I dined out in Sydney and the signs and the signals we were getting from the restaurant, and staff, was that we had entered a TWILIGHT ZONE of a group of people who just DID NOT GET IT.
Here’s how the evening began….
We sat down, reviewed the menus, and placed our order with the waitress.
“We’d like to begin our meal with a dozen oysters, which we will share, and then following that we’d like to have these two entree dishes, followed by these two main course dishes…”
That shouldn’t be too difficult?
“We’d like to begin our evening with two margaritas, and following that, we’d immediately like this bottle of wine to be served, but not too early and not too late. Is that okay?”
Again, not too difficult.
We knew we were in for some difficulties….
We knew we were in for some difficulties when we asked the waitress serving up the dozen oysters where these Sydney Rock Oysters were from… and she replied, with conviction:
“They’re from Sydney.”
For those who don’t know, Sydney Rock Oysters is a STYLE of oyster, and not a location. They are grown along 1500km of Australian coastline from Hervey Bay in southern Queensland down to Wingan Inlet in Victoria.
Her answer was about as unqualified as that line from the Blues Brothers movie when Elwood asks:
“What kind of music do you usually have here?”
And Claire says:
“Oh, we got both kinds. We got country AND western.”
It was obvious to us that this server was underprepared in her education about what it was that she was indeed serving up to her customers….
And so the evening progressed…
Sadly, our entreés arrived before our wine.
Or should I say our wine did not arrive before our entreés, as we had requested….
Two simple requests that for some reason seemed very difficult for this restaurant to fulfil.
And it didn’t get any better… the entreés were both very confused when it came to flavours and one of the mains was actually quite flavourless while the other main was inedible.
All in all a very disappointing dining experience was had.
But after our oysters….
After our oysters were eaten, a male waiter appeared to remove our serving centre plate as well as our dining plates which were stacked with our empty oyster shells.
The young waiter took the centre plate, and then took Jayne’s oyster shell plate, scraped the shells onto the empty centre plate, and then asked Jayne if she was having an entree and then returned the “used” plate right in front of her.
When we told him that we had both ordered entreés, he removed Jayne’s “cleared” oyster plate and my “uncleared” oyster plate, and then returned very quickly with clean plates.
Following this, our regular waitress Stacy came and removed both empty plates and our entreés were soon delivered to us as per our specific menu….
I’m not sure what planet this male waiter had been living on? To me it seemed like he was following a whole pile of red tape and protocol about not much at all, that was unnecessary to us….
How does this relate to dental?
In any service organisation, or really, in any organisation, all team members need to be working in unison striving towards a common goal.
The systems and protocols for those team members need to be easy to put in place and also be easily understood by the team members so that there are no system breakdowns in the delivery of service to the customer.
Customers recognise and appreciate good service.
Customers also recognise and dislike poor service.
Poor service can be either accidental or it can be because of poor processes.
Poor processes would include weak systems, and having undertrained staff or inadequate staff numbers. Hiring inappropriate staff is also a poor process.
Customers will accept accidental failures in the delivery of service, provided there is an attempt at service recovery from the organisation. What customers will not tolerate is businesses that ignore the fact that they have poor processes that need urgent attention.
Not employing enough staff in your dental practice is a poor process.
Employing staff who avoid conversations of meaning with their paying customers is a poor process.
Your customers and patients will eventually take their business elsewhere if they continually perceive poor processes are not being attended to at your dental practice.
Jayne and I left no tip at that restaurant.
We won’t be going back there and we won’t be leaving them a glowing review.
Nor will we be recommending that restaurant…
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