Experiencing Great Service

by Shawn Catsimanes - Date: 2006-11-28 - Word Count: 697 Share This!

Last winter, I had a skin condition that baffled my regular doctor and she had to refer me to a specialist.

Until then, my familiarity with dermatologists was limited to high school acne. I remember the experience being pleasant. He checked my face, gave me a handful of horse pills and finished with dry ice treatments. Okay, I know, they sounds painful or at least uncomfortable, but they were neither. In fact, for me, they were the best part of the visits.

That was then, this is now...

As always upon meeting a new doctor, I was a little anxious as I rode the elevator to his office. When I followed the nurse back to the exam room, I didn't know quite what to expect. Right away, she put me at ease.

For five or six minutes, she questioned me extensively about my malady. It struck me how different it was from my primary physician's office. There was no rush. There was no feeling of being a number. This woman had time for me. She gave me the sense she'd take all the time necessary to take down the information needed for a proper diagnosis. Maybe she had four or five other patients waiting for her, but her attention remained on me. I felt important.

But the best was yet to come...

I have a childish fear of needles. It's a legitimate phobia -- even has a name -- two in fact: Aichmophobia and Belonephobia. I appreciate how silly it is for a grown woman to be afraid of a little old inoculation, but I am. I mentioned it to the nurse. Probably a good thing too, because after the first shot and biopsy, I reacted badly. I began shaking uncontrollably and apparently went white.

Now I realize any doctor's office will jump into action when a patient doesn't respond normally to a procedure. While my caretakers maintained the expected sense of urgency, there was the unexpected addition of care. Not in the traditional meaning of "health care," but a step beyond. Was I comfortable? Could she get me anything? (She brought me apple juice.) Don't get up until you're sure you're ready. The doctor returned briefly to check my vitals. The nurse even covered me with my coat and sweater when I complained of being cold. I stayed in that room for a full half hour. And never once did I feel like I was taking up space or time unnecessarily.

The preferential treatment wasn't by accident...

Once to the doctor and once to the nurse, I commented, "You're so nice." Each responded, "We try to be," with a smile that said they meant it.

Most of us go to the doctor expecting to be treated like just another patient. We don't fault doctors because know they're busy. That's what makes my encounter with the dermatologist so exceptional.

Being a specialist means he probably has fewer patients and can devote more time to each one's needs. He doesn't have to hurry through his day. But on my second visit they were running behind because he was performing surgery. My point? He has the same pressures of other doctors, but he and his partner have built their practice through offering superior service. It distinguishes them from the adequacy meted out elsewhere.

Setting yourself apart from the crowd...

The key is differentiation. These doctors understood that. They coddled me, sympathized with me, and showed me genuine concern. At my next appointment, the nurses even remembered my name, without having to look at my chart. They work at providing great service. And doing so compelled me to brag about it to my husband, send a Thank You card, and tell others.

In this world of bad, mediocre or satisfactory service, it's easy to stand out by simply being especially nice. Consumers remember their horrific experiences, but they'll recall the outstanding ones even more, because they are so rare.

Being a cut above doesn't have to be hard. Performing one act of extraordinary kindness can set you apart from your competition. And practicing thoughtfulness might mean the difference between just another burger joint and the place everyone's talking about. Strive to stand out and I bet you'll have your customers bragging about you all over the Web.

Related Tags: good service, customer care

Shawn and her husband, Andy, help entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level. Find out how at: www.quicksilvercopywriters.com. While you're there, be sure to sign up for their newsletter, The Corporate Muse. Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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