World Class Customer Service! Three Lessons From Four Seasons.

I read a great article yesterday in Forbes Magazine discussing the Customer Service Systems used by Four Seasons.

The article discussed the simple process of how a hotel room door should sound on closing, and the Customer Service Systems employed by Four Seasons in the delivery of the best feeling ever for their clients and customers.

It was interesting looking at this article and applying the findings back to the owning and running of a Dental Office providing World Class Customer Service.

Here are those findings:

Firstly, it was interesting to see that Four Seasons actually has a standard for the correct sound that a door should make on closing.

As the article points out, the fact that they actually *do have* a standard for this sound indicates that the Four Seasons is more about the experience that the customer feels rather than just being the service that the hotel provides.

How is it in your Dental office?

Are you providing an *experience* for your customers, clients and patients? An experience that they will remember? One that differentiates your office from any other dental office that they have ever visited before? An experience that no other business that they’ve been to before provides?

Are you looking for ways of adding *experiences* to the stages of your Customer Experience Cycles?

Are you looking out for the little nuances that your office can provide, like the unique way that each team member greets your client, or the warm moist towel following every treatment appointment, or simply how each team member assists each patient in putting on their jackets or carrying any of their bags or packages for them through the dental office?

The second point that the article raised about Four Seasons and the hotel room door was their reporting standards provided by and expected from all of their employees.

The writer highlighted that at Four Seasons the employees were trained to be aware of *all* company standards, not just those relating to their own duties, so that if they saw or experienced a “not quite right” or incorrect situation, then the team member could take immediate action to have that situation corrected and remedied as quickly as possible.

Utilisation of this principle is so easy in the World Class Dental Office.

Having Dental Office employees sticking only to their trained duties is such a disservice to your valued customers as well as being an insult almost to the human potential of your employees.

For example, a Dental Assistant can be the gatherer and collector of so much valuable information about the patient while they sit with the patient and “visit” with them while waiting in the operatory for the Doctor to arrive and begin treatment.

The opportunity is always there for the Dental Assistant to update patient information, medical histories, or just simply gather Customer Intelligence about the patient.

[Customer Intelligence is any information that can be collected about the patient that can be used by the team or the Office at a later date to provide a Wow Experience for the patient that leaves the client saying, “How did they think of/ come up with/ remember that??”]

Remember, we’ve discussed in previous blogs, the importance of utilizing this valuable time in the Dental Operatory for the gathering of this Customer Intelligence. This time should never be wasted on topics of fluff.

The weather, speed or pace of time [“I can’t believe how fast the year has gone”, etc.], and the need for coffee, along with anything personal about the Dental Assistant, are not topics for discussion. These are fluff. Time wasting.

This time can be used much more wisely.

The third and final point the author of the article made was the point that Four Seasons made in scheduling the hotel room door maintenance in a time that did not disrupt the guest’s stay. The door lock was repaired while the guest was away from their room.

In a similar vein, I have stayed in a hotel where room service and bed making was “secretly” scheduled and did take place while we were away from our room having breakfast.

The author compares this process of valuing the hotel guest’s time to the clumsy over servicing that now goes on routinely at restaurants, where wait staff seem to not only be forever filling up water glasses and wine glasses, but are also happy to announce and ask and herald the process. Or when wait staff repeatedly interrupt dinner conversation and consumption to ask how the dish just served is?

In the Dental Office, the theft of customer or patient time can be serious. And needs to be taken seriously.

In World Class Dental Offices, the customer’s time is paramount and sacrosanct.

When the patient is being treated, and when the patient is at the front office, every interruption is kept to a minimum if at all.

After all, the patient is paying for that time, their time.

In my Dental Office, any necessary interruption is always begun with, “Excuse me Dr Moffet. Excuse me, Mrs. Patient” and is timed and waited for. It is not a bold inconsiderate announcement.

Similarly too, like in the restaurant, and we have discussed this before, the premature putting away of materials and instruments during the patient’s appointment sends negative signals and creates unnecessary clutter noises that only detract from the World Class Dental Experience we are trying to provide.

I cringe when I see dental staff clicking off and removing handpieces and dental instrument trays at the end of appointments instead of taking time and attending to clients who are reorienting themselves to the vertical after being horizontal, or are struggling with water cups and spittoons.

The instruments and the trays can wait!!

The Customer comes first, always!

The Four Seasons experience didn’t just happen.

It is a well thought out Customer Experience that has evolved over time.

And it is a system. A repeatable, doable series of well crafted and rehearsed and delivered experiences that create something totally unique to Four Seasons.

In your Dental Office, are you creating and crafting and delivering a World Class Customer Service Experience for your clients and patients?

The benefits of developing and delivering such an experience to your customers creates a product differentiation for your Dental Office in the Marketplace.

And that’s the power of it…


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.

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