I was the lucky recipient of a root canal this past week. What was my first cavity a few weeks ago, became my first filling, which after some intense pain quickly became my first root canal. As my dentist put it, when I do something, I want to go all the way!
How my appointment came about, however, is a demonstration of what not to do as it pertains to retaining customers.
You see for years I’ve been going to a dentist that’s about a 45-minute drive from my home. Since I travel weekly, the drive was becoming increasingly difficult to accommodate. So in June, when my next appointment was due, I decided to change to a local dentist 5 minutes from my house.
After a quick check-up my new dentist found a cavity and we booked an appointment for the filling. With the filling wrapped up my dentist advised that I may be susceptive to sensitivity to cold and in fact the tooth may die in the long term as the cavity was deeper than he anticipated.
After two weeks of steadily increasing pain up the side of my face, I returned and the dentist quickly became defensive. He asked why I had returned and I told him of the increasing pain, to which he pointed out, that he had told me I would be susceptible to sensitivity to cold. After reassuring him that the pain was beyond sensitive teeth, he then suggested my tooth might be dying, “remember I told you this might happen.”
An x-ray showed nothing other than the filling was deep and likely impacting the nerve, so after a few phone calls he arranged for me to meet with another dentist nearly 3 hours away to review and do a root canal.
Upon leaving the office I called my old dentist (a mere 45 minutes away) who advised they could see me in an hour to provide a second opinion. Unfortunately they confirmed I did need a root canal and offered to start right then and there.
Due to some pending appointments I scheduled for Thursday and upon return to my car only to find two voice messages from my new dentist advising they could now do my root canal. Apparently a cancellation in their schedule now allowed me to become a priority.
Long story short, I’m here and my tooth is fixed. But some powerful lessons in how to deal with customers, wouldn’t you say?
My old dentist never brought up that I had left, and didn’t care about the other dentist. Their focus was on helping me fix my problem. My new dentist (who is no longer my dentist by the way) seemed to be more concerned about being “right” in the diagnosis, and helping me only when it was convenient.
Customers often come and go, and in some instances – for reasons we might not understand.
[Tweet “The best way to win customers back is to focus on their needs.”]
Consider employees who represent your product or service and are customer facing today.
Do they have your customers’ best interests at heart?
Have you trained them to think and act in this manner?
When was the last time you reached out to your customers to understand how you might improve their experience with your product or service?
It’s time to stop putting your business agenda before your customer’s agenda.
Learn more about increasing customer value with latest book.
© Shawn Casemore 2015. All rights reserved.
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