This weekend, I went to a well-known coffee house with a couple of friends. We ordered a bite to eat and drinks. As she was paying, my friend noticed a jar of marshmallows near the till, and asked if she could have one with her coffee. "You can have four for 50p," she was told. "OK, well I only want one - can I have one for 12p?" "No."
Why? Would it really have made such a big difference? In fact, couldn't the sales girl simply have given my friend a marshmallow as a gesture of good will, to improve the level of customer service? Not only were we all annoyed at this pettiness, we also decided that if that were the case, then we'd go elsewhere for our deserts.
This may seem a long way off from dentistry, but it's not. The fact of the matter is that customer service really does matter. Especially when people are paying for the privilege, be it in a less-than-cheap coffee house, or a private dental practice. And if your customer service falls short of expectations, you can expect to pay for it. At the very least you are likely to lose out on word-of-mouth recommendations, at worst you will lose your patient(s) to a different practice.
So - pay attention to every tiny little aspect of your customer service. The devil really is in the details....