Be Willing to Bend

Posted on January 29, 2018 in Healthcare Marketing

Too often in both my personal and professional business experiences, I see inflexibility — staff members who are so focused on the rules and procedures, that customer service suffers. 

Rather then bending just a tad to meet a customer’s needs (especially a loyal, long-time one), they will stand their ground, pointing to a policy or sign. I’m not talking about customers who take advantage of the system — I know they exist. These are customers who have a one-time need or request due to a special or unforeseen circumstance:

  • Maybe they left work early to pick something up from your office before it closed and because of unexpected traffic, they arrived as you are locking the door for the day.
  • Maybe they had to cancel an appointment with less than the required 24 hours notice because a family member woke up sick and needs their care or attention.
  • Maybe they are standing outside your locked door because they arrived 10 minutes early for their 1 pm appointment not realizing you closed for lunch.

How can you turn these into opportunities to serve? 

  • By taking the extra five minutes, even if it is the end of the day, to let them in and get the report they need.
  • By waiving the cancellation fee and helping them reschedule in a timely manner.
  • By inviting them to come in and have a seat even though you aren’t technically open yet.

Do all that AND express empathy, warmth and an extravagant welcome as you are doing it, and not only will you brighten that customer’s day, they will remember that you went the extra mile when they needed it. This is relationship building. And strong relationships create thriving practices.

Better yet, what if you reschedule your staff so that someone is there 30 minutes early, someone is available during lunch, and someone stays 30 minutes late to help accommodate patients?

The world can be rigid. Those who are willing to bend will stand out from the pack. We all need a kind smile and a helping hand now and then.


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