4 Ways to Improve Customer Service During COVID
My husband recently took his Jeep to Percy’s Tire & Auto Repair, a local tire and auto repair shop, for its regular maintenance and state inspection.
I drove him to the appointment and on our ride home, he mentioned how clean the office was and how the lady at the counter was very pleasant.
This was a refreshing change to some of the other locations we have taken our vehicles to in the past.
The lady at the counter told my husband they would call when his Jeep was ready and if there were any concerns, they would call before doing any unplanned maintenance.
Later that morning, he got a call from Percy’s.
The Jeep’s tires needed to be replaced as they all had various levels of excessive wear and some dry rot that would not pass state inspection.
They recommended options for my husband to choose from and invited him back to the shop to do his own visual inspection if he wanted to.
That was a refreshing change as well.
My husband talked with the mechanic for a while and decided on a mutually agreeable option.
His Jeep maintenance was completed and it got a set of new “sneakers.”
He brought home the Jeep and that should have been the end of the story.
Yet, two days later, he received a beautifully embossed thank you card from Percy’s that was personally signed by the owner.
Talk about a WOW factor!
Never have either of us received a thank you card from any mechanic that we’ve taken our vehicles to.
Do you think my husband will continue to go to Percy’s for his maintenance and auto care?
Do you think he has spoken to a few people about how great they took care of him and his Jeep?
The answer to both of these questions is YES!
Let’s take a step back and look at our dental practices.
What was your customer service like before COVID-19 changed the planet?
Have you found yourself hiding behind the masks and face shields just hoping to get through tough days and make it home to your family?
Or, have you found new ways to personalize your patient experience for both new and existing patients?
What can we do to make each patient feel like they are the only patient that matters during this challenging time?
How to improve dental customer service
Here are a few ideas that comply with COVID guidelines and will WOW your patients.
1. Offer comfort items.
What can we get for you to make your visit more comfortable?
- Blanket (we have two 6lb weighted blankets with numerous washable covers and fleece throws that get laundered after each use)
- Pillow (we use small travel size pillows that are covered with disposable 4 gallon scented bags)
- Knee support for lower back pain (covered with disposable bag)
- Neck pillow (covered with disposable bag)
- Earplugs (single-use disposable)
- Assorted music
- Aromatherapy with essential oils (place a drop or two on a couple of 2×2 gauze pads and clip to the patient bib)
2. Send a personally signed “WELCOME” card to every new patient after their new patient experience visit.
Have the team and doctors sign the cards.
3. Send a personally signed “Thank you for your referral” card to each referring patient with a gift card to a local business.
It could be as little as $10 and will make a huge impact.
If you have a patient who has referred many new patients your way, how about wowing them with a $100 gift card to a nice restaurant or a cool local shop in your area!
Helping our local businesses during COVID is an added bonus!
4. Send a thank you card.
Each day have every team member choose one patient in their schedule to send a thank you card to. I like to call these “warm fuzzies!”
A simple blank notecard with a handwritten note will make a lasting impression on your patient.
“Hi Suzie, It was great to see you today. I wanted to let you know that you did a wonderful job during your visit. I hope you have a nice summer. See you at your next oral hygiene appointment.”
Or how about:
- “It was great to hear all about your family. Hope everyone stays healthy.”
- “Have fun on your vacation. Looking forward to hearing about it at your next visit.”
Be sure to make a note regarding these cards in a centrally seen area of the patient record so all team members know who received cards as to not repeatedly send them to the same patient.
We have multiple opportunities to make a great impression on patients every day.
Making eye contact and providing sincere and authentic customer service can still be alive and well during COVID.
As we emerge from the past year, we’ll look to the future and the return to some normalcy.
What will you do to raise the level of customer service in your dental practice, and show your patients how lucky they are to be part of our dental home?
Meet the Author
Kelly Lynch, FAADOM is an office manager, published author, practice growth specialist, and team cross-training guru!
She has supervised dental offices for over 25 years and spent over a decade in retail and hospital management.
She is a lifetime AADOM Member and is a past a winner of the Practice Administrator of Distinction award.
Kelly is also a member of the Speaking Consulting Network and the Golden Girls of Dentistry.