Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Self Centered vs Customer Centered

Last week I visited my dentist for a cleaning and check-up. Everything was fine, as usual. Last year I had my first cavity in 20 years, which is pretty good.

As a kid, we had our cleanings every 6 months and at the conclusion of each appointment, they'd schedule my next visit and give me a reminder card to stick on the refrigerator along with a new toothbrush.

But as schedules have become busier, and working moms are the norm, my dentist has stepped up the reminder process.

A week before my appointment I got a post card, which jogged my memory to keep Tuesday afternoon open at 3:30. I don't recall getting a post card in the past. Usually the day before my appointment, I would get a phone call as a reminder, and sure enough, I got a message Monday in my voice mail about my cleaning the next day.

Now my dentist was doing something different. His office asked if I preferred Text Message or E-mail reminders too. They assured me that they were going to continue with the phone calls, because that works best for some folks, but they were expanding to these other reminder services too "as a service to our patients".

I know that it's also a service for themselves, because if someone forgets an appointment, it's money lost forever, since for a doctor, time is money.

So, are you asking the right questions about communication with your customers? Are you offering either enough choices or at least the choices that your customers want?

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