Newton’s Third Law Of Customer Service…

One of the things I’m starting to hear more of when I call dental offices and when I listen to recorded calls at dental offices is that as a phone call is ending, but before the call has actually ended, I am hearing the dental receptionist begin or resume a conversation with someone nearby to them in the dental office.

In the old days this would mean that the dental team member starts talking to someone nearby before the phone receiver has been placed in the cradle.

For millennials, this is what we mean when we talk about “hanging up the phone”.

[If you don’t understand, go and ask your parents.]

If the phone at the dental office does not have a cradle but simply has an “End Call” button, then a conversation is being begun in the office before that “End Call” button is being activated.

This may not seem relevant or important to the dental receptionist, but to the caller, this action of beginning or resuming a conversation before the caller on the phone has been disengaged can send a message to the caller that the dental  practice may actually not want to be conveying.

When something like this happens, the caller may feel as though their call could have well been only an interruption to something else more important going on at the dental practice?

Or worse still, the caller may be left feeling undervalued and disrespected, by the speed at which the dental receptionist has moved on from the conversation with the caller, as if the caller’s phone call had been simply been taken for granted.

There’s no need for this sort of action.

There’s no need for this sort of action in the dental practice, where the person on the phone is left feeling taken for granted and undervalued because of the dental receptionist’s haste to engage or re-engage in conversation with someone that the caller cannot see.

Years ago…

I’ve written before about a job interview that I attended in 1983.

The owner of the practice needed a dentist to work Wednesdays and Thursdays. I had been offered another job elsewhere for three days per week, that would have allowed me availability to work at this practice on Wednesdays and Fridays, and so I asked the owner whether that might be a possibility.

The owner told me emphatically that a switch in days would not be possible.

At the end of the interview as I stood up and then walked to the door, I turned at the doorway to address the dentist owner, and as I looked, he was tossing my CV in the waste bin right there in front of me…

I thought to myself:

“At least the little sheet could have waited until I had left the building…”

The good news was…

The good news was that the other job [the three day job] ended up beginning [and staying as] a 4.5 days per week job that I worked at for three years before purchasing my own practice, and so I never actually needed any additional employment ….

As for the other dentist with the Wednesday and Thursday job, he used to run ultramarathons and mail out to the dental profession to ask them to make donations to his charitable causes… every time I received one of those letters in the mail from him it gave me great pleasure to celebrate its arrival at my practice by ceremoniously tossing the letter across the room and into the circular wastepaper basket….


It’s really just science…

It’s really just Newton’s Third Law of Action & Reaction

And that law states that for every action (force) in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction.

If object A exerts a force on object B, object B also exerts an equal and opposite force on object A.

In other words, forces result from interactions….

And that includes the forces of attraction…

And the forces of repulsion…


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