Friday, May 27, 2005

Always Treat Your Customers With Dignity

When I entered my ophthalmologist's office, I was nervous. This was the day they would show me how to insert my contact lenses, a totally new experience. I'm not sure how you react, but I get a bit jumpy when somebody wants to put a finger in my eye. Even though I was nervous, I felt the staff would be professional enough to usher me through the experience. After all, they had done that with hundreds of other patients.

"Bill," the receptionist said, "we are extra crowded today. Do you mind if we take you to a room that's not a regular examining room?"

"Sure, that's OK," I responded.

One of the assistants named Betty walked me down a hallway, and turned left into a small room. Motioning with her hand, she said "Sit there, please." I sat where she indicated. Suddenly, I realized that Betty had directed me to sit on a toilet. Gads--as if I didn't have enough to be upset about already.

Somehow Betty and the ophthalmologist taught me how to insert the lenses into my eyes, and how to blink and roll my eyes around until the contacts got in place. That part of their professional skill was sufficient.

Can you guess "the rest of the story"? I am sure you can. Within a week, I found a new ophthalmologist and had my medical records transferred there. Why? The answer is simple. The doctor and his staff had not respected my dignity.

Keep this in mind in dealing with customers. Even an angry customer will "come around" when you treat him or her decently. Yet the minute you disrepect them, they are gone--and justifiably so.

What about you? Have you had any horror stories like mine? If so, I would like to hear about them, and so would my blog readers. Thanks for your helpful response.

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