In a recent post we discussed how paying attention to detail and doing those little things right (especially those your competitors don’t do) can set you apart from the crowd and make the big difference in your business.
I was reminded of this last month when arriving at a doctor’s office in West Palm Beach. It was my first visit there and I mistakenly showed up an hour early. When the two receptionists told me this I was a bit upset at myself as that was an hour that could have used to work.
I uttered a self-annoyed, “I can’t believe I did that.”
Then, “Well, that was an hour I could have made better use of” and shook my head.
Now, as silly as this sounds, I think I wanted one of them to tell me they understood how I felt and were so sorry that happened.
But, they didn’t. They just looked at me and waited. Don’t get me wrong. They were very nice. They just had nothing to say and so, they didn’t. As soon as I left the office I found there were several coffee shops very close and across the street was a strip mall with numerous restaurants. Always having a book on hand, I had lunch and caught up on some reading. Turned into a nice extra hour.
But, here is where the doctor’s team could have shined big in my eyes. Actually, here is how any office could:
Be Prepared: realizing that Bob Burg is probably not the only klutz whose mind goes on absent, be ready when such a patient arrives.
Communicate Empathy: Let them know you feel for them. Suggested language might be, “I’m so sorry that happened. I hope that didn’t cause you too big an inconvenience. Believe me, you’re not the only one who’s done that.” (And, if you’ve done something similar, let them know that, too.)
Provide Suggestions: What amenities are in your area that could be taken advantage of? In this case, a simple, “Fortunately, and if you’re interested, we have both a Dunkin’ Donuts and a Starbucks within three blocks in either direction. There’s also a wonderful strip mall across the street with your choice of restaurants (and name the restaurants).”
Wow — what a difference! Again, please don’t get me wrong. They were very nice. They just didn’t go that extra step. And, it’s leadership’s responsibility to be sure they are equipped to take that step.
At least, that’s what I think. What say you?