9 Killer Customer Service Lessons From My Dentist

INSERT ALTYesterday was my 6-month cleaning at Foothill Dental (It was also Eva’s 6-month birthday). I’ve blogged about my love for my dentist before. Today was no exception.

It all started with a friendly email reminder a week my appointment. I received a similar email 2 days before as well. I’ve also written how Foothill Dental effectively uses email marketing over on MarketingProfs (You may need to be a pro member to see the full article. If you can’t read it for some reason, send me an email & I’ll forward you a copy). The day before my appointment, Nicole called me. She wanted to not only remind me of my appointment, but also tell me about their temporary location. Her directions were perfect and given in a friendly tone. I could almost see Nicole smiling through the phone.

9 Killer Customer Service Lessons From My Dentist

Instead of simply reiterating what I wrote in my previous posts/articles about Foothill Dental, I figured I’d look at this from a Customer Service angle. Foothill Dental nailed it. Note that these lessons can be applied to nearly every service business.

  1. Use a friendly greeting: The very moment I walked in the door I was greeted with a friendly hello from Nicole – the same woman who called to remind me of my appointment and provide detailed directions to the temporary office location.
  2. Smile: Nicole smiled. She was clearly happy to be there. In fact, everyone in the office was smiling.
  3. Instigate genuine small talk: Nicole and I had a really nice conversation. We didn’t talk about teeth, gums, flossing or anything dental-related. We just chatted. She made me fell right at home.
  4. Use client’s preferred first name: When Tabitha – the dental hygienist – greeted me, she called me DJ. I know that sounds pretty basic, but my legal name is David. I can’t tell you how often I get called David because it’s what’s on the piece of paper.
  5. Be prompt: My appointment was set for noon. I walked in the door at 11:59. By 12:03 I was in the dental chair.
  6. Ask questions: Similar to what you are taught to do on a date, Tabitha asked me questions. She made me feel at ease right away.
  7. Remember key events: Tabitha asked about Eva. Specifically, she remembered that the last time I was in the office (6 months ago), my wife was due “any day.” In fact, my last appointment was the day before Eva was born. She asked. She remembered.
  8. Learn about your client: When Dr. Matt Stohl checked my teeth, he asked questions about me (see #6 above). Not all of these questions revolved around teeth either. We talked college football, living in Utah, etc. Dr. Stohl even remembered this blog. He commented how they were just looking at “Lessons from Eva.”
  9. Hire Happy, Positive People: Tabitha and Nicole – the two woman I interacted with – loved what they did (or they faked it really well). They smiled, laughed and were positive and welcoming the entire time.

Nothing above is rocket science. None of it is earth shattering. They are just reminders about how to run a business – how to treat clients (the ones that pay the bills) like they are the most important people on planet Earth. Dr. Matt Stohl, Tabitha, & Nicole made my 48 minutes in the dentists office not only enjoyable, but left enough of an impression that I took time to share on this blog.

Take a look at the 9 lessons above again. Read through the bolded parts one more time. What other companies nail all 9? How does your organization compare?

DJ Waldow

*By the way, that picture above is of Dr. Matt Stohl and Britnie from my first visit.