“Mom, She Talked to ME!”

Patient Care Requires Rapport

This morning I took my seven year old daughter to the oral surgeon for a frenectomy. While it is a relatively easy and painless outpatient procedure, the fact that it involved a needle was enough to get my daughter a little nervous. It didn’t help that her big brother did his brotherly duties of scaring her about the laser that would be used. Needless to say, she was a bit apprehensive about the whole procedure.

All of my fears were immediately alleviated when we checked in at the front desk. The receptionist greeted me, then stood up so she could see my daughter and looked her in the eye and welcomed her to the office and told her how nice she looked. I then took the necessary paperwork and we both sat down in the waiting room. My daughter looked at me and whispered “Mom, she talked to ME, not just you! They have very good customer service!” It really was pretty cute, but it resounded with me that people notice everything. Even kids have a perception of being treated well or not.

Throughout the visit, all of the assistants were very kind to us and explained everything in layperson’s language to me and then again in “kid friendly” terms to be sure that we both understood what would happen.  The best part was when they made it fun to wear the goggles and the bib, turning her into a superhero.

The point of this anecdotal post is that customer service, patient care, whatever you want to call it is about connecting with the customer.  It’s about building rapport, trust, and relationships to make the experience beneficial, if not enjoyable at the same time.  In this case, it was all about making my daughter feel comfortable and important.  This particular oral surgeon’s office did that successfully. When considering the areas for improvement in your business, make sure you consider things from the perspective of the customer and what will make the biggest impact for them.  Often, you’ll find that it is the little things like goggles and a cape turning a small child into a superhero that will turn an patient visit, or customer transaction, into one of the highlights of the day.

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