Customer Service Is About Flexibility

August is a windy month in the land Down Under.

The winds are especially noticeable when you live on the land; out in the country, on acreage, high on a hill and away from your neighbours.

Sometimes the winds can be ferocious.

You wonder how the trees can withstand these strong winds.

But they do….

When a wind blows a tree flexes with the wind. If the tree can’t flex, it will snap, and break, and die.

A tree cannot stay rigid in ferocious winds.

It’s the same in business.

Your business needs to flex and adapt to adverse conditions if it is to survive.

A business needs to adapt and change to suit the conditions.

For example, when a special event occurs that attracts large crowds,  the public transport network does not run on weekend timetables?

When there are concerts, test matches, grand finals, Royal Easter Shows, and the City2Surf…. … the government run transport network puts on extra trains and buses, to help the patrons get to the venue efficiently and also to get home from the event without undue delay.

In dentistry down under we are seeing similar situations, with regards to demand and supply.

Snap lockdowns due to COVID-19 in the community are causing dental practices to have to close and cancel appointments. Dental patients are not being permitted to travel far from their home during lockdown periods and stay-at-home orders.

And their dental appointments need to be rescheduled.

I had one dentist tell me this week that the hygiene appointments at his practice that they are unable to perform at the moment are not being able to be rescheduled for three to four months.

And these patients aren’t particularly happy about this.

And why wouldn’t they be unhappy?

Through no fault of their own, these patients who have made these appointments some three or six months prior, are now having “to go to the end of the line” because of a government imposed lockdown that is out of their control.

And these patients are concerned about the effect of this delay on their dental health.

And rightly so.

And so this dentist asked me what should he do?

And my answer was simple:

This dentist needed to work more hours and more days immediately post-lockdown to accommodate those valuable patients who had had their appointments cancelled as a result of the lockdown.

Simple.

It’s not rocket science.

He just can’t tell these patients to go to the back of the line.

This dentist needed to be able to show some FLEXIBILITY and needed to BE SEEN TO BE SHOWING flexibility in this time of need for his patients.

Because if he is not seen to be being flexible, and if he is seen to be not “bending over” to help these patients, then one thing is for certain:

Some of these patients will leave this practice and go elsewhere for their dentistry.

Because they value their dental health and they are feeling that their dentist does not.

I saw on social media that a dentist friend of mine was starting work earlier [like at 6:00am in the morning] to catch up on the backlog of patients caused by the COVID lockdown in his area.

He gets it.

Whereas the other dentist did not.

And I know it is not that dentist’s fault that COVID lockdowns have caused these restrictions.

But it is not your patients’ fault either that they have been restricted from coming to the dentist by these COVID shutdowns and lockdowns.

Imagine if there was a pilot strike and your flight was cancelled, and you couldn’t book another flight for three months because your original airline wasn’t going to put on any extra flights to clear the backlogs?

We all know that just wouldn’t happen.

Sometimes in business you just need to flex to adapt to the difficult conditions… and ride through the storms.

It will be worth it.

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Email me at david@theupe.com