I often write about the shocking and somewhat comical ways that businesses lack in their delivery or who are lackluster in some other way, but today I wanted to share a positive story with you about my daughter-in-law’s great experience at the dentist recently. No, that is not a typo! I know what you’re thinking: No one has ever had an experience at a dentist’s office that they would call “great”. Of course no one enjoys the poking and prodding and foul tasting goo they put in your mouth. Great customer experiences occur when a staff, acting on behalf of the business, lives up to or exceeds the brand promise.
My son and daughter-in-law recently moved across the country. While they were still unpacking into their new place, they came home from running errands to find my daughter-in-law’s custom-molded mouth guard chewed to pieces by their anxiety-ridden dog. She called her old dentist on the other side of the country to order a new one, but it had been so long since it was made that they no longer had a record of her imprint. They informed her that it would be $400 to get it replaced. Since they now live near to me, I referred her to my dentist to get the imprint of her teeth done. When she called them to set up an appointment, they quoted her at $250 for the whole process, nearly 40% less than her previous dentist, and won her business.
On the day of the appointment, the staff was very welcoming and friendly and made her feel right at home. The dentist was warm, gracious, and gentle and did his work quickly and ably. After he had taken the mold, he suggested something unexpected:
“I would be more than happy to submit this information and order a new mouth guard, but, since it has been so long since you’ve had your braces, you might want to try buying a do-it-yourself mouth guard from a sporting goods store. Those are usually only about $35 and should work just as well. If you’re not satisfied with that option, I will keep your molds on record so that you can order them at any time.”
She could hardly believe it! First, the price had dropped from $400 to $250. Now she was going to walk out without dropping a dime and get something elsewhere at the suggestion of her dentist.
Does this make any sense at all from a business perspective? Why would the dentist refer his business, and therefore his profit, elsewhere?
The look on my daughter-in-law’s face when she came home is the answer. She was elated! Not only did he save her money, but he did the right thing for his customer. Do you think that my son and his wife will be going to see any other dentist for as long as they live here? Not a chance. This dentist, through doing the right thing, has won himself two loyal customers, established trust, and will almost certainly be the recipient of multiple referrals from them before too long.
Like so many other industries, the dental industry is built on referrals. How much is a good referral worth? Statistics tell us that when we are unhappy with a service experience, we tell ten people. When we are happy, we only tell two. Everyone in any service industry should know just how important it is to create happy customers and let them refer other customers to you.
The reason this particular experience was so positive is that all the elements came together so well. The referral from me and the reasonability of the price ensured that my daughter-in-law would be coming through their door and not their competitor’s. The friendly staff helped her feel welcome in their office. The doctor’s manner and desire to do the right thing were just the finishing touches on the masterpiece.
Doing the right thing for your customer is always in your own best interest. Doing the right thing never leads to scandal or unhappy customers or lawsuits or bad reviews. It leads to loyalty and referrals and a good reputation.
There may be a small cost to doing the right thing – but the rewards that are reaped are countless. The question is, “can you see the value of investing in your company’s future by winning fans today?”
So thank you Dr. Quinter in Cocoa Beach, Florida for doing the right thing for your clients. You have my appreciation, respect, and loyalty!