4 The record articles

You Want the Tooth?!….You Can’t Handle the Tooth!!…But You Can Handle Good Customer Service

Posted: October 24th, 2017

Authors: Kevin H. 

So I had to get a wisdom tooth pulled this past Monday. Yeah, I bet that conjures up some not so fun thoughts in your head. I am not exactly sure why they are called “wisdom” teeth (I know, I could just Google it). However, I think the process of having one taken out may have actually provided me with a ton of wisdom (which I am in short supply) around how to do customer service right. But before I connect the dots (or teeth) to how having my tooth pulled taught me a few things about customer service, let me share a little background first. Having just turned 50 a couple months ago, I saw this as another in a small series of milestones that will mark my inevitable journey into old age; along with getting up to pee in the middle of the night, being nearsighted AND farsighted at the same time, and losing 10+ yards off my driver. I don’t think any of us would go skipping into the oral surgeon’s office without a decent amount of trepidation over such an event. In my case, the mere thought of having a tooth pulled took me back to several near-death experiences having cavities drilled without Novocain as a child in the chair of the “Butcher of West Chester” otherwise known as my Great Uncle Nick, the family dentist/medieval torturer. Needless to say, I was more than a little nervous and scared as I walked into the office. The first thing that I noticed as I walked in was a “Happy Or Not” customer feedback system (www.happy-or-not.com) stationed in the lobby where you could simply tap a button with an emoji and it would register any one of four ratings. I thought to myself, “wow, that is a pretty gutsy move for an oral surgeon, there can’t be too many people raving about customer service while walking out of this place”. Boy was I wrong (again).

The oral surgery center (for anyone that is local to our Kimberton, PA office and cares, it was Brandywine Oral Surgery – I highly recommend them for all of your tooth pulling needs) made this process unbelievably seamless, and dare I say, pleasant? I will spare you the gory details but suffice it to say that I arrived at 1:30 for a 1:45 PM appointment and I was skipping out of there by 2:15. Dr. Chun did the deed and when she arrived she was extremely positive, confident, and pleasant. We chatted very briefly about my medical history, she asked me a few questions, some personal, some about what I expected, and she asked if I had any questions (which I did by the way, the first one being is there any way I could just get knocked out completely instead of local? Uh, that was a no, too late for that). She then proceeded to provide a very clear, direct explanation of what she was about to do, how long it would take, what I should see, hear, and feel or not feel. As she started the procedure she was in constant communication with me (although I don’t know how she could interpret what I was gargling and slobbering back to her) explaining what was happening and getting feedback from me. She removed the tooth in less than 2 minutes and sent me on my way. One would think that the story ends there, what is the big epiphany? Well, the next day, as I was on my way back from a meeting, I noticed that the oral surgery center was calling me. Immediately the mind started….”Why the heck would they be calling? Did I leave something there? Maybe they pulled the wrong tooth? Did I not pay the correct co-pay?” It was Dr. Chun. She was calling to SEE HOW I WAS DOING? Seriously?!? It wasn’t her assistant, it wasn’t the receptionist that handled my insurance it was the Oral Surgeon, herself! Wow, how many surgeries does she do in a day and how many patients does she have? She calls them all back to JUST TO SEE HOW THEY ARE DOING.

So why does any of this matter to you and/or to All4’s clients, partners, and employees? Well I learned several things about customer service through this experience, some things we already do well, some we don’t, and a few that we can incorporate. I think we all might agree that a Doctor who PULLS TEETH FOR LIVING is really swimming upstream when it comes to her ability to garner high marks in “customer service”; so how did they do it and what can we learn?

  • Personal follow up. Everybody is busy. Nobody has TIME. We are all IMPORTANT. Yet, somehow she MADE TIME to do a PERSONAL follow up. And she actually CALLED ME. Not an email. Not a survey. Not a text. Not a tweet. A real personal phone call. Now that I think about it, I am kind of surprised she didn’t stop by my house.
  • She was RESPONSIVE. Called me the next day.
  • There was clearly a culture of service present in their office. First thing I saw as I walked in was a means to provide feedback on their service and it was creative and novel.
  • All of their customer service feedback touch points were SIMPLE and DIRECT. I could hit a button and provide feedback. When she called she simply asked how I was feeling and if I had any questions.
  • She communicated clear expectations. In fact, she told me the candid truth about how bad it could be. She said this might take 20 minutes, I might hear some gross stuff, there might be tooth chips flying around. She didn’t sugar coat it. I was prepared.
  • She kept on communicating as the work was being performed. She asked for REAL TIME FEEDBACK and I slobbered it to her. She was in tune with how her customer was reacting and she adjusted accordingly.
  • She treated me with respect and she asked me questions about my concerns and about me personally. She created a connection in a short period of time.
  • She was upbeat but firm. She was able to give off a “DON’T WORRY, I’VE GOT THIS” vibe.

Next week stay tuned for my blog about what I learned about accountability from my vasectomy.


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