Customer Service at Dental Office

Customer Service Stories: Getting to the Root of Customer Service

Customer Service Stories Header

 

Business and Life Coach Kaarina DillaboughGuest Poster: Kaarina Dillabough

It is my pleasure to introduce Kaarina Dillabough, former Olympic coach and current make-your-life-and-business-better coach, as our first guest poster. Kaarina is the perfect person to launch the Customer Service Stories series, because she has an engaging way of telling a story while still being able to analyze the systems and actions behind a customer experience. Kaarina brings an incredible energy to everything she does, and you owe it to yourself to check out her website and blog when you are done here.

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Getting to the Root of Customer Service

I recently had the pleasure (cough) of being referred to an endodontist in the “big city”, for the even more extreme pleasure of having a root canal done.

Ever heard the expression, “That was as much fun as a root canal”…yeah, that’s how much I was looking forward to it.

I figured that, since this endodontist’s practice was in a swanky metropolitan section of a big city, I was in for not only a painful procedure, but a hoity toity reception. After all, preconceived notions are often how we, as consumers, first judge a business.

I did the math in my head…8 years of training, post-graduate work, high rent district…yikes! Will I have to mortgage the house and give up my first-born to afford this? And surely they won’t give a sweet rat’s patootie about me.

Here’s what actually happened:

My driver and I (I’d already been given all the applicable instructions for the day, including having a driver for post-op) pulled into the parking lot and were pleasantly surprised to discover that the first 2 hours of parking were free. Good start.

A friendly janitor and clear signage continued the positive experience. But when I reached the huge double oak doors with gleaming brass doorknobs I thought: “Oh oh, here comes the money pit and the hoity toity.

Boy was I wrong!

From the moment I opened that door, the customer service and customer experience were unsurpassed.

I entered the office and absorbed the ambiance and physical space. Pale green walls. Softly hued artwork. Comfortable seating in the waiting room. A flat screen TV (volume on low), a specialty coffee maker and current magazines were all perfectly positioned…hey, I could move in here!

The staff took the experience to another level. Each one contributed to an atmosphere that was serene and controlled. From the receptionist who greeted me, to the professional demeanor of each and every staff person, the atmosphere was one of quiet competence. Smiles were abundant. Good manners prevalent.

It was the perfect tone to set apprehensive clients’ minds at ease.

Customer Service at Dental OfficeI filled out paperwork (with a beautiful pen they told me to keep: bonus) and sat down. I felt like I was in someone’s welcoming home.

When the Dr’s assistant came to get me, I’d just tucked into the most recent issue of the Harvard Business Review (OK…I confess…it was People magazine), and thought…OK, the party’s over.

But it wasn’t. It just kept getting better. And imagine: I’m in for a root canal!

I was provided a cozy blanket to ward off any chill; the Dr. came in, outlined the procedure in a calm, comforting voice, and in 10…9…8…

When I awoke, I still had my cozy blanket and, when asked by the smiling assistant if I was ready to leave, I was tempted to say I’d like to stay and nap a bit more (I’m sure they would have let me), but I nodded and we proceeded to the reception area, where I received my post-op instructions.

The next day the receptionist called to check in and see how I was feeling. I was beginning to wonder if they could adopt me.

 

The Impact of Great Customer Service

Why did this customer service experience have such an impact on me?

First, I’d already had a preconceived notion as to what I’d encounter, and that preconception wasn’t a positive one. They say a first impression is made in the first 10 seconds, 90% of it visual. And a first impression is very hard to change.

My first 10 seconds were excellent. Ease of parking: check. 2 hours free parking: bonus. Prompt and clean elevator: check. Kind and friendly janitor: bonus. Great way finding signage: check. Oh, and I almost forgot: a clean and accessible washroom, with flowers and luxurious hand soap, conveniently located just beyond the elevator doors.

The ambiance and physical office space were clearly planned to give a sense of calm. Within 10 seconds inside the door, all fears and apprehension were abated.

The staff: The facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, appearance and movements of everyone in the office didn’t happen by accident. It was evident that specific training had been provided, and each person was contributing to a vision, mission and culture that had been clearly articulated and conveyed. There was a behavior and performance expectation, and every staff person lived up to it.

The systems: From the sign-in sheet (and complimentary pen) to the paperwork to the “processing” of patients, it was like clockwork…an almost lyrical dance of people moving effortlessly through their tasks. This had an obvious impact on those in the waiting room. People spoke in hushed tones. People smiled at one another. There was no sense of urgency, apprehension, fear or agitation in the room.

The procedure: I have no idea. I just know that when I woke up I had a cozy blanket and a smiling assistant at my side.

The follow-up: Superb. How nice to get an unexpected call to see how I was doing, with genuine interest in the receptionist’s voice, and an open invitation to call back (on a toll free number, I might add) should I have any questions.

When we talk about “Customer Service”, part of what we remember is the service part (how well/efficiently/effectively a product or service is delivered and followed up upon). But perhaps more important is the experience: what we felt…the sounds, sights, smells, tastes we encountered…the first impressions, both in ambiance and physical space… the emotions and feelings it created…the mental picture we form and maintain. ..the lasting impression that sticks with us.

 

So… How do you think the ambiance and feel of a business affects your experience? How much does it set the stage, either positively or negatively, for what comes next? What are the most important factors in creating a great first and lasting impression?

 

Kaarina is a business consultant, coach and strategist who helps you set and attain your goals, to be the best you can be, in business and in life.  If you want to create more success in your life, grow your business and become an even more extraordinary entrepreneur join her at kaarinadillabough.com and subscribe to her content here.
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Guest Post Disclaimer: Guest Posts on the Customers That Stick blog are submitted by individual guest posters and in no way represent the opinions or endorsement of CTS Service Solutions, its owners or employees. CTS Service Solutions does not represent or guarantee the truthfulness, accuracy, or reliability of statements or facts posted by Guest Posters on this blog.

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62 replies
  1. Tony Maxwell
    Tony Maxwell says:

    Great post Kaarina, although I hope I don’t have to replicate the experience (root canal)! I like how you observe the specific details of your experience…it makes it tangible and real. Thanks. Tony Maxwell | Headwaters Media | Orangeville, Ontario | headwatersmedia.com | twitter.com/headwaters

    Reply
    • Kaarina Dillabough
      Kaarina Dillabough says:

      Thanks so much, Tony, for dropping by: I really appreciate it! And I love your comment…definitely hope you won’t have to have a root canal to experience superb customer service:)

      It was great to meet with you the other day, and I look forward to our continued connection. Cheers! Kaarina

      Reply
  2. Hajra
    Hajra says:

    I just had a root canal done last week and it still hurts! Yes, the first session was awesome but the next one was horrible and my dentist is this very serious guy who doesn’t talk at all… really where are you getting it done. I am thinking of flying all the way there just to get done my third session done 🙂

    Great customer service is always a pleasure to experience. My dad works for this oil company and we get family trips to different resorts. Over the years, we have visited many but there is this particular one which I really enjoyed. While we were staying at their hotel, my lil brother caught a cold; they actually pampered him and send him get well soon cards and a bouquet! All for no extra cost, and after we left, we got a follow up call about three days later to check in on how my lil brother was doing… very thoughtful!

    A personal touch always helps and that is what makes the whole difference!

    Reply
    • Kaarina Dillabough
      Kaarina Dillabough says:

      Hajra, I’m so sorry to hear about your root canal gone awry: hope you feel better soon!

      You are so right about the “personal touch”. Every time we can do that little something special…that little something extra to delight our customer…well, that’s what creates customer experience. And when we take that extra moment (like the get well card and bouquet), we never know where that will lead.

      I’ve always said, every single person we meet is one (or perhaps several) of these:
      A customer/ client
      Champion
      Ambassador
      Connector
      Supplier

      When we fail to realize that every single person we meet, interact with, ignore, or offend is one of the above, we miss opportunity. And opportunities missed add up to business unrealized, friendships unencountered and possibilities that vaporize.

      Customer service shouldn’t be lip service: customer service needs to be proactive. And any time we can exceed expectation, we should do so. That’s what keeps people talking about our business, championing our business, recommending our business and coming back for more. (although in this case, I’ll be the former 3. But if I ever do need another root canal, this is the only place I’d go!)

      Sending well wishes your way:) Cheers! Kaarina

      Reply
  3. Renee
    Renee says:

    The seamless delivery of service created by this dental practice teaches us that we can never do enough to enhance the client experience, while still staying within the scope of the environment. It appears that they have thought of absolutely every area of engagement to make the experience effortless for their clients. And really, that’s what exceptional customer service is all about, total and complete focus on the customer! I am going to use your story in a training session with my team. Finding the WOW in unexpected places genuinely builds relationships and creates lasting impressions. Thanks Kaarina!

    Reply
    • Kaarina Dillabough
      Kaarina Dillabough says:

      Great comment Renee:)

      I’d love to know what type of business you have, and what kind of training you provide. I’m delighted that you found this story to demonstrate the types of things that make “customer service” and “customer experience” truly exceptional, and I’m honored that you will use this as an example of exactly that.

      I love your final sentence: “Finding the WOW in unexpected places genuinely builds relationships and creates lasting impressions”. So, so true!

      And Renee, if you care to leave a link to your website, I’d love to drop over for a visit. Cheers! Kaarina

      Reply
  4. Erica Allison
    Erica Allison says:

    Kaarina, I think you and I had our root canals at the same time, but oh what a difference! Mine was actually quite easy, although no gas to knock me out. I was awake and observing the entire time. My dentist did the procedure and was all about making sure I held my mouth open in just the right way to make it easier for HIM.
    Not at all like your procedure. I’ve yet to go back for my crown because I’ve been too busy and well, don’t have the 2 hours to invest in the follow up and be made to feel like I’m part of their team in the process! I even asked if I could read a magazine during the procedure :)…um, no, they replied. “We need you focused on what we’re doing!”

    I love your analysis of Customer Service and am a stickler for it with others. I want to also make sure it’s a MAJOR part of what I provide for my clients as well! Thanks for the reminder!

    Reply
    • Kaarina Dillabough
      Kaarina Dillabough says:

      Erica, thanks so much for dropping by, and for your very kind post on FB and tweet: You, my friend, are sooo appreciated.

      I, too, am a stickler for customer service: so much so that it becomes a bit of an “occupational hazard” as I just can’t help myself from offering constructive comments in places where it’s sorely lacking.

      Oh, and I vote with my wallet too. If customer service is non-existent, I take my business elsewhere. If more people did that, we’d all encourage (cough, force) business owners to smarten up. Cheers! Kaarina

      Reply
    • Adam Toporek
      Adam Toporek says:

      Erica, certainly that can be understood. Whenever someone drills into one of my nerve endings, I know how important it is to focus on it! 🙂

      We’ll have to send you to Canada for the crown!

      Reply
  5. Bill Dorman
    Bill Dorman says:

    They are doing the little things right first which makes the big thing not that big of a deal. If more businesses who have walk in traffic would put themselves in the customers shoes, they might figure it out better. Instead, most of the time is their preconceived notion of what is best; and sometimes the two don’t match.

    I know you were apprehensive and glad to hear things worked out to create a ‘wow’ experience for you.

    Great start to this series; you did a great job and I like the look and feel of Adam’s place.

    Hope your weekend is going well.

    Reply
    • Kaarina Dillabough
      Kaarina Dillabough says:

      Thanks for dropping by Bill: it’s been a pleasure to be a “ghost” for you and a “phantom” for Adam, haha!

      Yes, the whole root canal process caused some apprehension and some follow-up challenges, but the customer experience was top drawer. Doing the little things right, exceeding expectation and treating customers as you’d wish to be treated are essential ingredients to superior customer service. Cheers! Kaarina

      Reply
  6. Adam Toporek
    Adam Toporek says:

    Kaarina, thanks for holding down the fort while I was away. What a great story and excellent lesson in customer service! As we can see from the experiences of the commenters, your preconceived notions about root canals seemed to have been justified.

    The team at your endodontist’s office understood that competently performing the procedure was only part of the process — making you feel at ease and making your experience as seamless as possible was also key.

    Those first impressions of environment and behavior were obviously carefully crafted to make the patients feel at ease. It is a true service mindset in an industry where it does not seem to be the norm.

    This was a great post and a great launch to the series Kaarina!!! The depth of the discussion shows how much your story resonated. I am truly appreciative that you shared it here!

    Kudos!

    Reply
    • Kaarina Dillabough
      Kaarina Dillabough says:

      Adam, it was my pleasure to be your first Guest (or is that ghost…or I believe phantom:) Poster in your new series. I have no doubt that your focus on Customer Service and Customer Experience, and your new Series will attract lots of interest, and provide great value to your readers and your community.

      I’m honored to have been asked, and delighted to have been of service, my friend. Welcome back! Cheers! Kaarina

      Reply
  7. Marianne Worley
    Marianne Worley says:

    Hi Adam – I’m one of your new blog subscribers. This is my first comment. I’m sure I’ll be back because customer service is a topic I LOVE reading about.

    Kaarina – This is such a great post. The way you told the story of your experience made a real connection with me. Although I’ve never had a root canal (I’m one of the lucky few who had never had a cavity), I have a client who has a dental practice that offers the same level of service you received. When I work on his projects, I start with the idea that he’s not selling dental procedures–he’s selling trust. And you build trust by delivering a consistently excellent customer experience.

    You’ve really shown that the fine details (the pen, blanket, parking, etc.) are just important as the quality of care.

    Reply
    • Adam Toporek
      Adam Toporek says:

      Marianne,

      Thanks so much for subscribing! I’m very happy to have you here and glad you are a fan of the new topic.

      Also, I love your comment about selling trust — that’s a great way to put it! I’m sure Kaarina will have some thoughts on that.

      I appreciate you taking the time to comment and look forward to talking with you more in the future. Thanks!

      Reply
    • Kaarina Dillabough
      Kaarina Dillabough says:

      Marianne, so great to see you here, and thanks for the lovely comment.

      Never had a cavity? I should have known, with that beautiful smile of yours!

      Awesome starting point…selling trust. That would be a blog post in itself, my friend. And yes…it’s in the details that businesses can differentiate and separate themselves from the pack.

      I’m sure Adam’s focus on customer service and his new series will be a big hit: glad you were able to stop by and subscribe. See you in the neighbourhood:) Cheers! Kaarina

      Reply
  8. Shonali Burke
    Shonali Burke says:

    I think the feelings make a huge difference, Kaarina. It is especially interesting for those of us who run businesses that don’t have a storefront as such… how do we make clients, and potential clients, feel valued, or that they will be valued if they sign on? I guess it’s in the attention to detail, responsiveness, etc.

    I’m so glad this experience of yours went well. Btw – so you’ve been a “ghost” for Bill and a “phantom” for Adam… what are you going to be for me? :p

    Reply
    • Kaarina Dillabough
      Kaarina Dillabough says:

      Ah, my dear Shonali, what indeed shall I be? We must cook some moniker up for that! What comes after a ghost and a phantom?

      I, too, don’t have a storefront, so I believe that it’s the little extra sumthin’sumthin’ that can make a difference…a hand-written note, that unexpected follow-up…I like to keep tabs on clients and potential clients by paying attention to their websites, press, etc. I like to know what hobbies they have, if they have kids and what they’re doing, I pay attention to the clothes and accessories they wear, the vehicle they drive. I let my senses take in as much as possible. This “absorption” of them allows me to follow up with things like:

      And how are the kids’ horseback riding lessons going?

      I was in a shop recently and I saw some purple earrings that I thought would have gone beautifully with that dress you wore at our meeting.

      I saw that you just hired new staff, and I hope that’s going well.

      How’s that new Lexus (cough Pinto…just kidding!)

      We know that people do business with people, not businesses, so the more I can personalize, and show that I paid (and pay) genuine attention, the more the relationship is forged.

      Now we just have to figure out what I’ll be when I post for you Shonali: ghost, phantom, ______ Cheers! Kaarina

      Reply
    • Adam Toporek
      Adam Toporek says:

      I think you nailed it with “attention to detail” Shonali. The more technology fractures our collective attention, the more the details get lost. I think this makes attention to detail a great source of competitive advantage for those who embrace it.

      Perhaps Kaarina can be an “apparition” for you! 🙂

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Reply
  9. Michelle Quillin
    Michelle Quillin says:

    Kaarina, I’ve been so looking forward to this series! What a great way to kick it off — with a customer service story about a place most of us dread: the dentist’s office!

    You said this in a comment:

    “…every single person we meet is one (or perhaps several) of these:
    A customer/ client
    Champion
    Ambassador
    Connector
    Supplier”

    We’d all do well to remember that, and see every single interaction as a customer service opportunity, even when the person we’re interacting with isn’t a customer!

    Reply
    • Adam Toporek
      Adam Toporek says:

      Thanks so much Michelle — Kaarina did a great job, didn’t she?

      Your comment is so spot on: “see every single interaction as a customer service opportunity” If you can keep that in mind, it goes a long way.

      I appreciate you stopping by!

      Reply
    • Kaarina Dillabough
      Kaarina Dillabough says:

      Michelle, thanks for the comment and the tweet: how nice of you!

      You are so right…every single interaction is an opportunity. I find it perplexing as well as annoying to watch people turn it “on and off” in terms of behavior when they don’t think someone merits their attention, good manners or care. I’ve watched when a store owner has lit up when a person, by way of dress, looks like a “prospect”, but then not paid an iota of attention to someone who might look, by way of dress, to not be worth the time of day.

      I use the line from the movie Pretty Woman whenever I see that: “Big mistake. Big. Huge.” :)))

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting Michelle. And I agree: I’m looking forward to Adam’s series! Cheers! Kaarina

      Reply
  10. Jack
    Jack says:

    People always remember how things/people/experiences made them feel. Great customer service needs to capitalize upon that. Make people feel important, special and needed and good things happen.

    Reply
  11. Jk Allen
    Jk Allen says:

    Hi Kaarina,

    Customer service is often the difference between a one-time customer compared to a life-time customer. It really makes a huge difference; raising or lowering the overall experience.

    I’m the type of person that appreciates great customer service so much that I write letters of appreciation, or the opposite depending on my experience.

    Great post. I hate the dentist!!

    Hello Adam – hope you’re well.

    Reply
    • Kaarina Dillabough
      Kaarina Dillabough says:

      Hi Jk, so great to see you here. I see and admire the comments you make all over the blogosphere, and your site is so good:)

      You couldn’t be more spot on: customer loyalty often depends upon the experience. All things being equal in terms of product, it’s how the customer “feels” that will make the difference. And if more people took the time to vote with their wallets, and do as you do…write letters, express their concerns or pleasure, we could affect change…to the better.

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I know Adam’s new series is going to rock it! Cheers! Kaarina

      Reply
    • Adam Toporek
      Adam Toporek says:

      Hey JK — good to see you. Hope you are well also.

      I will just say that I respect that you take the time to write letters of appreciation. I do it too; but not as much as I should. People are so hurried nowadays that those letters have inevitably become more rare. But they are always gold to any service provider!

      All the best.

      Reply
  12. Shakirah Dawud
    Shakirah Dawud says:

    As you said, that experience was not a fluke–he knows somehow (trained in customer service?) that every part of his staff contributes to the pleasure or pain of your experience, whether it’s a simple cleaning or oral surgery. Sounds like there’s a reason this dentist can handle the rent!

    Reply
    • Kaarina Dillabough
      Kaarina Dillabough says:

      Shakirah, that’s the best take on my experience: “Sounds like there’s a reason this dentist can handle the rent!” Touche (and I’d put the correct dash over the “e” in touche (toushay) if I could figure that out. Anyone know how?)

      No, this experience was not a fluke. Clearly this endodontist had clear expectations of his staff and his space, and they were adhered to to a “t”. Thanks for dropping by and commenting, Shakirah. I know Adam’s new Customer Service Series is going to be a hit! Cheers! Kaarina

      Reply
  13. John Falchetto
    John Falchetto says:

    Hi Kaarina,
    Customer service is what a business is all about. The product or service we sell only matters if we treat our clients the right way.
    I love great customer service, for me it can mean the difference between buying a product or not. I am often amazed how huge brands really don’t get it.
    Great to read you here, thanks Adam for sharing your platform with my favorite Olympian 🙂

    Reply
    • Kaarina Dillabough
      Kaarina Dillabough says:

      Aw, you have me blushing John: thanks for your kind words.

      Ditto what you said: “Customer service is what business is all about.” I always encourage people to vote with their wallets…to take their business elsewhere if they are not being “served”.

      I’m constantly amazed, in this day and age, when I walk into one of those “huge brand” stores and see, among employees, apathy, ignorance and arrogance. They just don’t care. It’s unfortunate that, in my experience, superior customer service is the exception, not the norm. Thanks for dropping by, my favourite expat life coach! Cheers! Kaarina

      Reply
  14. Lori Gosselin
    Lori Gosselin says:

    Hi Kaarina, Hi Adam!
    This was an amazing story! I particularly liked the part where you slept right through the procedure (did I read that right!?!) It brought to mind a story my daughter told me about a diner in Ottawa called Mellos
    http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/250/1436694/restaurant/ByWard-Market-Lower-Town/Mellos-Ottawa
    The experience she had in there was amazing! I’d try to tell you about it but that would only spoil the experience.
    Do you think your experience was made better by the fact that your expectations were so low? If you’d expected a lot, would you have been as impressed with the service?

    Reply
    • Kaarina Dillabough
      Kaarina Dillabough says:

      Great question, Lori. If my expectation had been high, I would have been pleasantly surprised that the experience matched the expectation, and still been “wow’d” with the little extra touches (like blanket/pen)

      As it was, because my expectation was low, I was overwhelmingly surprised at the experience.

      I think when someone can tell a story about a customer experience, good or bad, that identifies all the big things and small things that were or were not done, the story speaks volumes. And since we think in pictures, not words, storytelling about customer experience is worth gold. I’m going to click on that link now: I love a good story! Cheers! Kaarina

      Reply
      • Lori Gosselin
        Lori Gosselin says:

        Hi Kaarina,
        I believe there is a psychological theory that says we are happier with something when we are surprised by a jump from not so good to good. Maybe Hajra can supply the detail, but it could apply to your experience. Maybe it has to do with the opposite – of being disappointed when we expected something good. Sorry I’m not clear in my memory of it. But it could explain why your experience was so refreshing.
        I do like the gift of the pen (I love pens!). That’s thinking outside the box! Free advertising for them as well – impressive!
        Lori
        P.S. The link won’t tell you much more than where the Diner is. The experience comes with going there for breakfast! 😉 The next time I’m in Ottawa – I’m gong!

        Reply
        • Kaarina Dillabough
          Kaarina Dillabough says:

          I think that, whenever we set expectation, we set ourselves up…to either be delighted or disappointed. I think it can be tough to live without expectation: we seem to be wired to have preconceived notions and expectations. But the better we are at accepting “it is what it is”, the less disappointment, the more delight, I believe.

          I will look into that psychological theory, and get to Hajra to find out more. Thanks as always Lori: your posts and your comments are not only packed full of information, they always cause me to pause and think about the great questions you ask. Cheers! Kaarina

          Reply
        • Adam Toporek
          Adam Toporek says:

          Hi Lori,

          We’re both having a great time with guest posts this week — maybe we should retire! 🙂

          I don’t know the name of the principle you’re referring to; however, I do know there is some evidence in the literature that consistency is most important. In other words, better to meet expectations consistently than exceed them one time and fail the next.

          Great seeing you here Lori! Thanks for taking time to comment.

          Reply
  15. Bryce Christiansen
    Bryce Christiansen says:

    Great application. I’ve been lucky enough to not have to experience a root canal, but I could feel every bit of tension as you described it.

    Customer service definitely has the power to do amazing things. If it can make a root canal a more pleasant experience, imagine what else is possible.

    Reply
    • Kaarina Dillabough
      Kaarina Dillabough says:

      Exactly! Imagine what we all can do to provide excellent customer service if someone can make a root canal a pleasant experience.

      Thanks for dropping by Bryce: great to see you here! I know Adam’s new customer service series is going to be great, so hope to see you here, and in my “neighbourhood” too! Cheers! Kaarina

      Reply
  16. Alicia M. Jay (
    Alicia M. Jay ( says:

    Hi Kaarina and Adam!

    Kaarina, I love your description of the experience. Customer service is my background and also part of what makes me who I am as a business person. One of my jobs in the past was working in a busy print shop. At one point we hired a new printer who was making a lot of newbie mistakes. It just so happened that there was one particular customer’s job who he just kept screwing up. They kept happily returning to us anyway. As the customer service rep/ office manager, I asked their representative about it one day (of course I worded it a bit differently). She told me that she loved coming to our shop. Everyone was so very friendly and personable. They took the time to understand what she wanted and she felt we really knew her as a person. She knew we had hired someone new and was not deterred as she felt that everyone had to start somewhere. She couldn’t see herself going anywhere else as she was treated like family. That was hardly the answer I expected from a woman who just received two botched jobs in a row! I decided to take that info to heart and really utilize that in my own online business. So here I am trying to give people that same experience–minus the botched work, of course;)

    Reply
    • Adam Toporek
      Adam Toporek says:

      Hi Alicia, That’s one of the great parts about customer service — it establishes a base of goodwill so that, hopefully, when a mistake is made you are given the chance to correct it. It looks like you had established that trust well at your print shop.

      Thanks so much for the great comment!

      Reply
    • Kaarina Dillabough
      Kaarina Dillabough says:

      Ah, Alicia, you made me smile with your sentence “minus the botched work, of course”:)

      People really do have loyalty to places i.e. PEOPLE who provide excellent service, show that they care and are genuinely aiming to please. Good for you to have provided that in your previous employment, and bringing that forward into your online business. Cheers! Kaarina

      Reply
  17. Lola
    Lola says:

    It is hard to service customers. It pains sometimes to hear complaints. When I work, I always pray that I did my best to entertain customers as best as I could. And a constant smile is a definitely a PLUS!
    🙂

    Reply
    • Kaarina Dillabough
      Kaarina Dillabough says:

      Yes, Lola, sometimes it’s challenging to deal with “difficult” customers. When someone has a complaint, I think it’s often helpful to ask them “What can I do to resolve your problem?” Most of the time, that eases the tension…and funny enough, people usually ask for far less than you were willing to give in order to solve their problem.

      The real problem is that employers often don’t empower their employees: they don’t give them sufficient authority to solve a customer’s problem. I like the Nordstrom’s policy: “Always exercise best judgement”.

      Keep that smile on your face and remember…it’s our job, in business, to listen effectively, remove any “yes but” objections and work to resolve a customer’s problem to their satisfaction, as best we can. Cheers! Kaarina

      Reply
      • Lola
        Lola says:

        Hi,
        Thanks for replying. I agree on you also on this. Most employers would just let the employees to handle such customers. It is our job, it is challenging but sometimes annoying and an instance I just kept cool. It is sad the customers don’t experienced this ( most people) they tend to neglect the persons they are complaining are humans. But even so, I just smiled whenever I could, help them in a friendly and professional way.
        Thanks so much Ms. Kaarina!
        I do love my job, I dedicate my heart to it.

        Best Regards,
        Lola

        Reply
        • Kaarina Dillabough
          Kaarina Dillabough says:

          Lola, your last sentence speaks volumes when you say you dedicate your heart to it. Good for you! Even when times are challenging, it’s important that we be the best we can be, and provide excellent service, even to the most difficult customers.

          Keep smiling: keep professional. We need people like you in business. Cheers! Kaarina

          Reply
  18. Kim Davies
    Kim Davies says:

    Hi, Kaarina.

    Customer experience is definitely something that we couldn’t sneeze at. It is something that always make us come back for more.

    Like for me, there is a huge difference between an ob-gyne that gives you her cellphone number for whatever concerns you might have and one that asks you to contact her receptionist if you have any questions.

    I am really glad that you got a very positive experience with your root canal procedure, Kaarina. I know how you have been suffering because of that. To have that problem resolved wonderfully is a blessing indeed. 🙂

    I know I am late to your party, but I have nothing but warm wishes for you. Hope you are doing well and hope to talk to you soon. I may have blurted out a piece of news to Bill on Lori’s site and I don’t want you to be the last to know. (Ssshhh, don’t tell anyone yet, but I am pregnant!)

    Hugs and kisses to you, Kaarina, and to you, too, Adam, for having her over. 🙂

    Reply
    • Kaarina Dillabough
      Kaarina Dillabough says:

      CONGRATULATIONS! Oh my goodness Kim, I couldn’t be happier for you. I don’t know how I missed that over at Lori’s site, so I’m glad you mentioned it here. What a wonderful piece of news. I’m smiling ear to ear.

      You can be late to the party any time Kim: I’m always just so happy to see you. And I couldn’t agree more: good customer service is what keeps us coming back for more.

      I hope your family is all well and healthy now, and I’m sure with your good news, everyone there is smiling brightly. Hugs and kisses to you, my soul-sister friend. Cheers! Kaarina

      Reply
  19. Adam Clarkson
    Adam Clarkson says:

    Good customer service can create an amazing brand image, such as acomplished by Zappos.
    But bad customer service can have just as bad of an effect!

    Small, personal, touches may not seem great at Return On Investment but can give a boost of confidence in many customers for a small initial outlay 🙂

    Reply
    • Adam Toporek
      Adam Toporek says:

      You’re right Adam. You might not be able to quantify the direct ROI of those small touches. But most cost very little and have a fairly obvious positive result.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

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