A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the dentist. I say pleasure because I can recall a time when people avoided the dentist at all costs. In those days, when you walked into the dental office, you felt like were stepping into a medieval dungeon with implements of torture lined up on a tray, ready to do extreme harm.
Therefore, I am simply amazed at how far the industry has come since those days.
When I walked into this office, the room was brightly lit, clean and the dental assistant had a big smile on her face.
She invited me to have a seat on the dental couch and as I sat down, I noticed the closed circuit TV high on the shelf. I asked her what the in-flight movie was going to be and she just laughed. She then said, “Sometimes we do camera work with our clients and the TV allows the client to see what we are doing.”
Somewhere off in another room, the dentist must have been listening. After he came in and greeted me, he said to his assistant, “fire up the camera because we are going to have a look.”
She clapped exuberantly and fired that puppy right up. The doctor scoped around in my mouth, took a picture, and then proceeded to show me what he was going to do, highlighting two very old metal fillings that were leaking and needed to be replaced.
So the doctor numbed me up with novocaine and proceeded to wait until I lost all control of the right side of my jaw before beginning his work.
Before I got to the point of not being able to talk, however, the assistant said, “We are going to trade glasses with you.” She then took my glasses and gave me a set of stylish looking sunglasses that triathletes typically wear. I was rather curious, so I asked the doctor, “What’s with the glasses?”
At this point, I was sounding like Daffy Duck, so I decided that this would be the last question of the day.
The doctor replied, “Well, we did a customer survey a little while ago. In that survey, we asked the question, ‘What can we do to make coming here a more pleasant experience for you?’ A few of our clients replied that the overhead lamp that we use hurts their eyes.”
“After seeing a few of those responses, we put ourselves in their shoes and had an epiphany: ‘Yeah, we can see how this would be uncomfortable to our clients. Not all of that squinting that our clients are doing is due to the sound of the drill.’”
“So we started giving our clients the sunglasses while they are on the couch. It allows us to work, and it keeps the client comfortable.” As if to underscore his point, he put the full force of that big halogen lamp in my face.
I didn’t even blink.
This small change works on so many levels. How many times have you gone to the dentist and closed your eyes during the procedure in anticipation of the pain in addition to preventing your corneas from being fried?
But what about after the procedure is over? I can just imagine two acquaintances engaging in a conversation at a networking meeting. It would probably sound something like this:
“Bob, how’s it going? I haven’t seen you in a while.”
“Hi Bill. I’ve been out of action of late. I’ve got a tooth that’s been giving me problems.”
“Bob, why don’t you go to the dentist and get it fixed?”
“Well Bill, I know it’s something that needs to be done, but I’ve been putting it off.”
“How come, Bob?”
“Well, every time I go to the dentist, I also end up going to my eye doctor because the light that the dentist uses scorches my retinas.”
“Bob, you should go to my dentist. He does good work, and he takes the extra step to insure my comfort. He provides sunglasses so the light won’t blind me while I’m in the chair. Check him out.”
“Wow, that’s kinda cool. Thanks Bill. I’ll check him out.”
A little ingenuity and some creative thinking on the part of the dentist and his team took care of a silent customer service issue that they can now leverage into a word-of-mouth marketing strategy. This is possible because the dentist decided to step outside of his own world and see things from his clients’ point of view. People will talk about the little things that make a big difference to them.
In the book, How To Win Friends And Influence People, Dale Carnegie’s 17th principle is, Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view. From my travels as an instructor, I’ve often heard that the examples and wording in the book are from a time long since passed.
While the wording of the book may be al little dated, the principles are just as relevant today as they were back in the time of Socrates, especially this principle.
Pick up any good marketing and sales book by Dan Kennedy or Jay Abraham and you will find the same thing. In order to sell to, market to or satisfy your clients, you’ll have to get out of your own head and see things from your clients’ point of view.
If you’re in marketing, sales, an entrepreneur, or own a professional practice, try honestly to see things from your client’s point of view. You’ll end up with a huge return on your investments of time and money, and you’ll capture your clients’ appreciation.