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[Customer Service] Knowledge + Action = Power


I was in the office of a new client this week.  I looked at the shelf over his desk and saw dozens of books, CD/DVD programs and training binders neatly stacked and most still in shrink-wrap. When I saw that, I instantly understood that he goes from book to book, article to article, constantly hunting for the secrets that will take his practice from good to great.

His current mission: discovering the elusive key to “great customer service.”

As we spoke, he took out his notepad and showed me all the notes he had taken from his research. I was impressed, until I asked him, “Which of these strategies and tactics have you implemented?”  He responded, “Well, none yet. I'm still getting ideas but I have to get buy-in from my staff before I implement them.” Wow!

I told him that there are tons of great books that offer advice on the customer service experience. One of my favorites is Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard (author of the “One Minute Manager”) and Sheldon Bowles. The foundational principles in this book are solid. It’s a very easy read and I give a copy of it to everyone (doctors and team members) with whom I do business.

I also told him that if he were to take this information (or actually, any of the materials he’s already read) embrace it, study it and build a philosophy around it, he would have half the equation to solving the customer service puzzle. However, when it comes to building a successful practice around outrageous customer service (or any other aspect of the practice – clinical or administrative), it’s not just about “getting” ideas, it’s about implementation.

You Don’t Need another New Idea, Implement the One You Got

So many people today are out there just going through the motions. Instead of committing themselves to the study and practice of excellence, they’re winging their goals, their business practices, and even their personal relationships. But, if you’re going to be great at anything, you have to practice and you have to implement the skills.

We recently created a video on ‘The Art Of Asking For Referrals. One of the best comments I got was from a doctor who watched it once on his own and then again with his entire team. He said, “My biggest ‘Aha!’ moment from the whole presentation was when you said to practice, practice, practice.

That line made him realize that people tend to simply listen when they should be studying. They’ll tell you they “got it,” when what they really mean is they “heard it.” There’s a big difference. When we study and practice, we’re forced to take the information and actually develop a system, become excellent at the task, and achieve a predictable result.  The next day he got out a video camera and he and his team practiced asking for referrals at an extended team meeting. By the end of the week they were successfully using their new skill with their patients.

Starting Today, Make the Shift to Be Intentional

Take a look at your business today and identify one area where you’d like to see massive growth within the next 60-90 days. Now start implementation:

1) Choose a horse and ride it! In other words, choose a strategy. If you are working on the customer experience, get a copy of raving fans for everyone on your team and make it a reading assignment.
2) Make it a priority. Schedule a meeting to discuss with your team today. You will never “find” time in your schedule; you have to “make” time.
3) Put your plan in writing. Get a flip chart or dry erase board.  Assign tasks and deadline dates to all team members.  Post the plan in a public place where all team members can monitor the progress and hold themselves and each other accountable.
4) Schedule follow-up meetings to practice your new skills.
5) Get your new skills on the court. Implement!

Whether it’s referrals, customer service or improved chair-side communications, get after it, begin implementation and practice that one thing with deliberateness and intention and it will be a game changer for you.

So, in which area would you like to see massive growth in the next 60-90 days? Share your goal in the comments area, below.

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