The customer’s perception is your reality.-Kate Zabriskie
The other day I went to visit my eye doctor for my annual eye exam. The experience was so impeccable that I felt the need to share it.
Last year during my annual visit, I thought they were nice enough, but this time, I saw some very clear signs that they were intentionally creating a seamless and delightful customer experience. Here were some of the highlights of my visit:
1. Greet By Name and With a Smile
This one might seem elementary, but I have seen time and time again that employees who are supposed to be service-focused fail to smile and greet their customers by name. The young lady who was assisting me prior to my contact with the doctor came out, called me by name, extended her arm to shake my hand and used my name with a smile.
2. Show and Tell With Grace.
She escorted me to the first room where I would be doing a few initial eye measurement test. The testing equipment was lined up in a row so that I would only need to move my stool to each one and not get up and down. She immediately asked me permission to place the blood pressure device on my arm without making an assumption that it was okay. Not only that, but this was not the traditional blood pressure mechanism that squeezes your arm until you feel like it might explode. I could barely feel a thing. I mentioned to her that I visited their offices a couple weeks before with my son, and she immediately said, “Well, since you were just here, we will give you $10 off your exam co-pay today.” I was impressed!
As I sat in front of the first piece of equipment, she proceeded to tell me what it was for and what it might feel like. One after the other, she guided me through the process. I felt taken care of like I never have before in a medical setting. After our stint in that room, she explained that they would want me to do another test that could get a better view of the health of my eye and would relieve me of the need to dilate my pupils. I was more than happy not to do that not-so-delightful activity on this trip.
3. Designs a smooth hand-off
In a very calm voice, she walked me through the steps of that test and then took me to the room where I would meet the doctor. She entered some things in a computer before he arrived and then asked me if I wanted a bottle of water. I answered in the affirmative. Then, she told me who would be helping me next and made a smooth hand-of when that young lady entered the room. Then, the doctor arrived. He had great people skills and recalled seeing my son just two weeks before. He performed the standard test, went over the results and then recommended certain glasses to correct by eye issues. Then, he shook my hand and another staff member appeared at the door to guide me to my next part of the journey to select glasses. He introduced her. She shook my hand and took me to her work station to discuss my options. Of course, she shook my hand and said, “Hello, Ms. Younger.”
You are probably thinking, “Wow!” I was pretty speechless.
I can guarantee you that the rest of my time with the final representative was nothing less than amazing! At one point in the eye glass search, she asked me permission to serve another customer while I looked around. She didn’t assume I would be alright with it. She was absolutely delightful!
4. Organization invests in its front line
It was very clear from the beginning that this practice was intentional in delivering on a delightful customer experience. Because the visit was so perfect, I decided to ask the last young lady who helped me choose my glasses if they went through any type of customer service training. She answered in the affirmative. She said that at every weekly meeting, they have some sort of customer service training, whether it be via video or a training organization that comes in, the practice owners make sure that a customer first culture is firmly in place.
5. Put the Cherry on Top!
Two days after my visit, I received automated email message from their office. Even in their email, they didn’t immediately ask me to fill out a survey, but made sure to thank me for trusting them with my eye care.
Customer experience transformation is less a destination and more an evolution in the way organizational leaders understand their customer’s needs and seek to meet them. The thing that compelled me to write about this experience is that this type of effort was taken on by a small business. We usually read and talk about the customer experience successes of large organizations like Zappos, Southwest and Starbucks. This small optometrist practice illustrated that no organization is too small to make the shift toward excellence.
For a related article read this.
(Image from Darren Hardy-Success Magazine)