Most people, when you ask them, will be able to tell you the difference between hearing and listening - ie the physical process of sound going into your ear, and the mental process of actually paying attention to that sound and its meaning.
Virtually everyone feels more valued when they know their thoughts and opinions are being listened to, and yet listening is still something of an under-used skill.
So it was lovely to be told by a client this week that Blue Horizons have perfected the art of listening. He was very clear about this - he said that the way in which we listen and learn is what sets us apart from most other companies.
Then we looked at comments from other happy clients, and saw that the same theme appeared over and over again - we listen.
Yes, you're right, we are blowing our own trumpet - and why not, we're proud of this achievement. But it is also worth noting by anyone who is working in a customer-facing environment, including dentists.
To make your clients happy, you have to show that you are listening to them. That means taking their thoughts and ideas into account when you present them with a solution (or in your case, a treatment plan), rather than just doing things the way you think they should be done. Or, as our client so succinctly put it, listen, learn, research, provide ideas, and then listen again. Only then can you effectively deliver the service your clients want.