Three Bad Attitudes Towards Customer Service That Are Holding Your Business Back

When I’m hired by Dentists to help grow their practices, sometimes, yes sometimes, there is Dental Office Employee *resistance* towards me.

“I’ve been working in Dentistry for X Number of Years and I know what I’m doing. I don’t need you to tell me what to do”

This is an “attitude” I receive from time to time when it is first announced that I’ll joining an Office to help improve the way it operates.

“Things are just fine round here.”

We don’t need you to come in here.

“We’re doing alright, all things considered.”

The reason this office is like this is due to external issues beyond our control.

And so, the list goes on….

To me, there’s always a better way.

For me, the state of improvement, of wanting improvement, is a constant journey.

How can I do things better today than I did yesterday?

How can I make Mrs. Smith’s visit to our Office today more memorable than it was last week when she was in?

Q. How tall does a tree grow?

A. As tall as it can!

A tree does not say to itself I’m going to stop growing once I reach fifteen feet?

A tree does not say to itself, “it’s windy up there, time to stop growing”, and do just that?

So if a tree can keep challenging itself to be taller than it was yesterday, why can’t your team members?

Wouldn’t it be nice for your Dental Office to be known in the town, in the city, in the district, in the province, as the Office that is always *Going the Extra Mile*?

Or would you rather people talk about your office as:

“They’re O.K…..”

Or worse still:

“They’re cheap, but….”

When I’m engaged to offer my coaching services, I need to be able to demonstrate and show the benefits of using my services versus the process of “going it alone”, or maintaining the status quo.

And that’s not difficult.

The reason I’ve been asked to help is because someone in the Dental Office knows that things aren’t quite right and that things could be done in a better way.

They know, that in bringing me in, that there’ll be benefits to the patients, benefits to the practice, and benefits to all who work in the practice.

And that should be the outcome sought from each and every idea or suggestion taken on board.

“How will this be better for the patient?”

“How will this be better for the practice?”

“How will this be better for each of us?”

All change can be uncomfortable.

When we begin an exercise programme, there is discomfort and considerable pain to body parts and muscles that are now being put to a different use.

And it’s the same in a work environment…

When we begin to learn new knowledge, be it at class, university, or just for our own peace of mind, our brain often throws back out to us a “difficulty” question, as to why do we need to know this, because it is a mental stretch.

And that’s because it is something extra.

When Ray Kroch transformed a local hamburger joint into a global Fast Food Franchise model, he saw the vision of what was possible, both in the short term and in the long term, of doing things in a better way.

He saw that if things were done in a better way then more people would want that product.

With things being done in a better way, then customers would be more satisfied, and would want to keep returning more often and more frequently.

When things are done in a better way, happy customers would be happy referring the business to their family and friends.

New business, and new demand for that business’s services, creates a benefit of employment security for all those who work there.

A healthy business creates the long-term benefit of certainty of employment for Team members, and rewards share holders and owners with Dividends.

And that creates a very happy work place environment.

The flip side is not a desirable place to work.

A place where only bare minimum is done to please the customer.

A place where there is little or no loyalty from the customer to the business because the service is forgettable at best, or memorable for its complete lack of courtesy.

And employees wonder, from day to day, hour by hour, minute by minute, whether the business is even going to survive?

That cannot be a happy place to work?

That cannot be a happy place to be a customer?

In fitness, hiring a personal trainer is a great way of making sure that the short-term discomfort is overcome and we are kept accountable for our long-term goals.

Goals of feeling better, looking better, and having people notice and say WOW, they are better.

The hours of disciplined study pay off when we use that acquired knowledge to gain a better job, or receive a greater acknowledgement.

I’m brought in because there is a better way than what you were doing yesterday.

And the benefits of change, in the short term, and in the long term, are huge, and far outweigh any perceived discomfort of the moment in changing.

In Dentistry, patients and clients love to be surprised and delighted.

And WOWed!


Mary Kay Ash said it all those years ago:


She said everyone out there is wearing a large invisible sign around their necks that reads:


And that’s all that is required.

When we consistently make our clients and patients feel important, when we consistently make our team members and doctors feel important, then great things happen.

Great things happen. To our business, to ourselves, and to our customers.

And isn’t that what we truly want…


My One-Day Workshop in May covers in greater depth how to address simple changes that create BIG RESULTS.
For more details about my Australian workshops in May, CLICK HERE.

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at

Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is a customer service expert, hall-of-fame speaker and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. He works with organizations to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. He is also the creator of The Customer Focus, a customer service training program that helps organizations develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset.  For more information contact (314) 692-2200 or


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