Does your dental clinic provide a good customer service?

All the employees I talk to in the dental industry believe themselves they provide excellent customer service. My contention is that most deliver to an expected standard.

Sometimes they even underperform quite badly, without even knowing it.

It is certainly not because we, or our team, try to go out of our way to deliver a poor service. It's just no longer good customer service to provide lots of information in writing and in speech, to call patients on the phone, to hold their hand during a treatment, to be empathetic, nice, etc. That is all an expected standard.

Jesper Hatt customer service

Expected standard

The challenge with all good customer service is that over time it becomes an expected standard.

Once upon a time, a hotel was known for having fresh newspapers for the breakfast buffet. Today, it's the expected standard. So one hotel came up with putting a fresh newspaper in the door of guests' rooms in the morning. It got a lot of attention, because guests were happy with the service. So all the competitors quickly copied the method, and it became a new expected standard.

Challenges with expected standards

The challenge is that the services we design and implement in our companies will all become an expected standard. When they do, it's problematic if one forgets-or doesn't live up to-the expected standard at all.

So even if you "just" do what you did in the "good old days", you will be judged for delivering a worse service because you do not live up to today's expected standard.

You may recognize this when you have your car serviced. Today, cars are typically washed and vacuumed as part of the mandatory service inspection. Imagine if the garage forgot to vacuum the car and you noticed it...

When we're used to getting a certain experience, service or product for our money, we get disappointed when it doesn't live up to our expectations. Disappointment leads to dissatisfied customers and a damaged reputation.

What does the practice want to achieve?

If we insist on continuing to provide good customer service, I think it's important that the practice is clear about what it wants to achieve with that good service.