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 dungeon with medieval 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 to be more customer friendly.

When I walked into this office, the room was brightly lit, clean and the dental assistant had a big smile on her face – I think they call that advertising!

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. She laughed and 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.”

After the assistant fired up the camera, the doctor scoped around in my mouth. He took a couple of pictures, and showed me his concerns, highlighting two very old metal fillings that were leaking and needed to be replaced.

So the doctor numbed me up with Novocaine and waited until I lost all control of the right side of my jaw before getting to work.

A New Customer Experience

As the Novocaine started to work, 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 wear. I was curious, so I asked the doctor, “What’s with the glasses?”

At this point, my jaw was feeling like a large lead weight , 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 number of our clients mentioned that the overhead lamp was hard on their eyes.”

“After seeing a few of those responses, we put ourselves in their shoes and had an epiphany. Yeah, that light is bright. And while that may benefit the dental crew, it doesn’t make for a happy customer experience. Not all of client’s squinting was due to the sound of the drill.”

“So we started giving our clients these sunglasses while they are on the couch. It allows us to work, and it keeps the client comfortable.”

To underscore his point, he put the full force of that big halogen lamp in my face.

I didn’t even blink.

A Good Customer Experience is an Excellent Marketing Tool

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 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. That light 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 from the dental team took care of a silent customer service issue.  It led to a customer experience they can now leverage into a word-of-mouth marketing strategy. This is all 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.

Dale Carnegie’s Principles At Work for a Good Customer Experience

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, people have often told me that the examples in the book are from a time long since passed.

While the wording of the book may be a 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.