A year ago I had a less than desirable personal service performed. What I was told was a very small, routine dental procedure, that according to the computer would take 18 minutes turned into a situation where I lost all confidence and trust in my dental provider. The issues presented and takeaways really apply to all types of projects and businesses.
The first dental issue arose when my procedure started and I realized the dentist hadn’t provided adequate time for numbing or adequate medication before starting the procedure. The second issue came while I was in the dental chair with the assistant and dentist performing their work. The dental assistant didn’t have the tools necessary to perform the procedure and the dentist became very agitated and demanding of the tools. She ended up practically yelling for an assistant in another office to provide the tools. Meanwhile the dentist instructed me to hold the suction in a particular way and how important my job would be. My job? This was a first for me and I left the situation annoyed and frustrated on how this occurred, completely depleting my trust and confidence in this service provider.
I was never provided an update during the unnecessarily lengthy and painful procedure (poor quality on the numbing task), which only made matters worse. I commented to the dentist that the experience was unnecessarily stressful and that they should inform clients of all possible options and the advantages and disadvantages. This experience left me questioning all aspects of the work performed, billed and the capabilities of this dentist.
The moral of the story is that no matter what line of business you are in, you must strive to:
- Prepare for the situation: Have the knowledge, tools and processes in place to efficiently and effectively perform the task at hand.
- Communicate the necessary information: Regularly communicate what to expect, what is needed and provide timely updates if things change.
- Provide professional interactions and clear expectations: Ensure there is a constant focus on delivering with confidence and customer satisfaction.
- Provide quality services: Be thorough, prepared and the best in your field.
- Protect your client: Treat each customer as your only customer and never put undue pressure and requirements on them.
I couldn’t escape from this provider fast enough. The poor experience made me reflect on what went wrong so that I could use it to better my own professional work. What have you learned from negative personal experiences?
~ Ann E. Drinkwater