The customer service bar is so low these days…
My 3-year-old could hop over it on one foot.
Surely I’m not the only one seeing this. Have you noticed how great customer service just… isn’t really a thing anymore? Or at least it’s not common.
My family of 6 (did you know I have 4 kids age 9 and under?) are season pass holders at a local water park. On one particular visit a few weeks ago, we forgot our season pass cards at home.
Should be a simple enough solution, yeah? Check the computer, see that we’re members, thank us for being loyal customers, and let us in.
Nothing crazy. Not even bending over backwards. Just an opportunity to provide solid customer service.
Nope. They tried to make us buy replacement passes. Wasteful. Didn’t need em. Didn’t want em. Weren’t necessary.
But neither the employees NOR the manager could fathom the idea of just letting us in. (And we’re not talking about some giant corporate theme park with tons of moving parts. It’s a locally owned, small-time operation with a couple dozen employees).
We spend significant amounts of money there each summer – on season passes, food, birthday parties for the kids, buying tickets for friends.
And when they had the opportunity to deliver solid customer service and show us they appreciate our business…
They totally flunked.
So that’s one example of bad customer service. But what’s even more common is mediocre customer service you find everywhere else.
All examples from my life in the last 2 weeks:
>>> Servers at nice restaurants who are just going through the motions, have no attention to detail and don’t seem the least bit concerned about providing a great date night experience.
>>> The cable company receptionist who acts like it’s the biggest inconvenience of her day to talk to me (after she’s kept me on hold for 17 minutes).
>>> The sprinkler repair man who says he’ll come Monday and just… ghosts me.
“C’mon, Troy. People are stressed. Businesses are short-handed. Don’t be an old curmudgeon about bad customer service.”
Hey, I’m not saying anything about WHY it’s happening or even if it’s justified (actually I will comment on that: bad customer service is never justified). All I’m saying is that customer service these days is SO WEAK… that it gives you a massive opportunity.
If you just give solid customer service, you’ll be so much further ahead than so many other businesses trying to take your prospects’ attention and money.
I’m not even saying you have to be amazing. I mean you should be, but even that’s not necessary to be leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else.
You don’t have to be Ritz-Carlton level (though that would serve you quite well). You don’t have to be Zappos (although you should strive to mimic their customer service in many ways).
Start by SETTING and MEETING expectations, and you’ll be ahead of 98% of the businesses out there, including all the other practices in your area.
SALES is my usual topic of discussion. Why are we talking Customer Service?
Because when you give good old, fundamental customer service – being responsive, clear communication, smiles, anticipating needs – this goes a LONG way in creating the value you need to close high ticket surgeries at higher-than-commodity pricing.
What we’re talking about is critical to growing your volume. There’s no way around it.
Take Customer Service out of the Patient Journey, and you’re left with a helluva bumpy ride.
Can you still off-road your way to your destination? Sometimes. But why not give your prospects a freshly paved fast lane to the results that they want?
Which is why we dig into these customer service concepts in all of our training programs. Heck, we have new modules coming out focused just on the front desk team members. How they can create a great first impression for patients coming into the office.
Are you giving good, consistent customer service? It’s one of the easiest ways (right now) to set yourself apart as a world-class practice.
The bar is low. Just step over it and prosper.
We’ll talk about what Solid or even GOOD customer service looks like. My dude Carlos at Gloria’s is a great example.
“A guy slingin’ the world’s best house margaritas can help me book more patients in my elective surgery practice?”
YUP. More tomorrow…
– Troy “Serve” Cole