Last Friday night, my dog, Rico Suave, needed to be rushed to the 24-hour vet clinic. It was 10pm and the start of Labor Day Weekend. I won’t give you the details, but it wasn’t pretty getting him there.
Now I could go on a rant about how awful my experience was, but instead I wanted to provide lessons learned and tools for other businesses and professionals to use:
1) Communicate among your team – I brought in a sample and handed it along with my dog to a nurse, who I never saw again. One mention from this person would have saved us 2+ hours of wait time.
2) Communicate the process to the customer – I was told to fill paperwork and then we waited and waited and waited until we were taken to a back room with a doctor. This is a great opportunity for the front-line of your business to set the tone and expectation of their experience at your establishment.
3) Be confident – The doctor we met with had slumped shoulders, rocked back and forth in his chair, and used “maybe” at the start of every statement. Perception is everything and if you look and sound unsure, it’s next to impossible to get people to respect and trust what you’re saying.
4) Come with a proposed plan – If you’re in a service industry, people don’t want guess work, they want options. Give your best opinion and explain why and then leave it to the customer to make the decision. (no one wants a passive OR pushy interaction)
5) Be proactive – If you notice someone is waiting for a long time, check in with them and let them know what is going on so they can shift their plans as needed. Don’t wait for them to come to you, it usually means they’re annoyed.
6) Be professional – This is super important for front-facing team members. Customers don’t want to hear about your weekend or the office drama. They want to feel taken care of and in good hands. The casual conversation can make the office feel like amateur hour. If you’re feeling bored at the front desk, check in with the people waiting and see if they need anything or want to engage in conversation.
7) Provide an explanation – When we were given our prescription, it was left to the front desk person to give us instructions. No one let us know about potential side effects or what to expect. I had to Google it when I got home.
Ultimately as a business owner or team member you want to be seen as the expert and authority and all of these items will help you to be seen as such. It’s up to you to be the positive example and set the tone for positive experiences for future customers.
This episode is sponsored by Acuity Scheduling.