5 Tips for Improving Customer Service
This week I had the pleasure of speaking with the Central District Dental Association meeting of the Louisiana Dental Association in Alexandria, Louisiana. We’re proud to be a Louisiana Dental Services endorsed vendor for telephone answering service. This distinction left us with the unique opportunity to spend time with this dedicated group of professionals. I shared dinner with about twenty dentists where I had the opportunity to introduce them to Dexcomm and more specifically focus on the importance of monitoring and training for excellent customer service within their own offices.
I always love to share my five favorite tips for improving customer service in any office. The best thing about these tips is that implementation is free! After sharing them with some of our friends at the LDA this week I decide that I’d also like to share them with our Dexcomm.com/blog readers.
Always introduce yourself
How often have you walked in to a place of business (doctor’s office, corporate office, anywhere there’s a receptionist) and been greeted with “Who are you here to see” or “Sign in please?” When someone walks into your office make sure your receptionist welcomes visitors with an introduction. For instance, “Thank you for coming to see us, I’m Karl, what’s your name please?” A statement like this or some variation of it will help to make the people who visit your office feel welcome. They’ll be comfortable and at ease with your staff and they’ll want to come back.
Use your manners
Please and thank you are words our parents teach us at a very young age, but many people have forgotten how to use them in professional situations. If you deal with the public or have staff around who deal with the public, make sure they know what manners are and how to use them. Make no mistake an absence of manners is indeed rude. People will remember those who thank them and make polite request. Emily Post breaks it down into something you can print and leave on your receptionist’s desk if you ever feel like they may have forgotten just how important the magic words are.
Refer to people by their name
People love to hear their names spoken. When you are speaking to customers, patients, clients or anyone else who might walk into the office, make sure to refer to them by their name liberally. It literally makes the brain fire in unique ways to hear your name aloud.
Get rid of all the cell phones
If you have a receptionist or other staff members responsible for assisting customers encourage them to leave the cell phones (and any other personal mobile devices) in purses or pockets while they’re up in the front of your office. The only message someone with their eyes down typing furiously on their phone sends is that anyone who walks in the door isn’t important to the business. Eliminate this behavior from your office and you’ll have a better atmosphere for it.
Smile all the time!
Smiling makes everyone feel better. Give them to new visitors, to returning clients, and to fellow staff members. Also remember to give them to people when you answer the phone. Callers on the other end of the line can hear a smile. Literally.
I left them with another tip too. If you’re not in the front office very much to see how front line staff are interacting with customers, patients, or even your visitors you may not have a true perception on how your practice is doing at customer service. Make it a point to ask people when they get to you how the rest of the company has made them welcome. You can get a lot of great feedback from people if you just ask them honestly how they feel about your business.