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High End Customer Service – First Impressions

It’s time.  You’ve attracted a new patient to your office.  They actually showed up for their appointment (probably 15 minutes early or 15 minutes late depending on which is more inconvenient for you).  They are ready to be called into the back so you can begin the hearing test.  How do you provide “High End Customer Service” at this point in the visit?
We’ve gotten past the décor (it should go without saying that your back rooms should be as appealing as the waiting room).  The staff in the back should be as courteous as the staff in the front.  What’s different now is that the patient is probably meeting the healthcare professional for the first time.
According to Malcolm Gladwell, author of “Blink , your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions.  Those conclusions are important and occasionally spot on, but more importantly we all make them.  Sub-consciously, your patient has already made a series of conclusions about you before you open your mouth.
Without knowing it, this is often a make or break moment.  The first two seconds can set the tone for the entire visit.  What you are trying to accomplish is to let the patient, who is at this point feeling very vulnerable, know that they can trust you.
Here are 5 things you can do to establish trust.

  1. Do not be late.  Being on time conveys reliability and if people know you’re reliable, they are more willing to trust you.
  2. Make eye contact.  This takes practice for some people.  Too little can be just as bad as too much.
  3. Monitor how you feel.  If you’re anxious about a personal matter, your patient will pick up on the anxiety.  They have no idea why you’re anxious but they assume it relates to them.
  4. Dress appropriately – this should be a no brainer, but we ‘ll include it anyway.  A lab coat may be cliché, but if you’re fresh out of graduate school and look 18 years old, you could use all the help you can get to not look any younger than you already are.  Remember, if you are 26 years old you are decades to a half a century or more, younger than your demographic.
  5. Watch your body language.  Smile.  Smiling forces you to relax which in turn should help your patient to relax.  Do not cross your arms in front of you or hold a patient’s chart in front of you.  Everyone has nervous habits when meeting someone for the first time.  Know what yours are and learn to control them.

What is the point of all this? You are trying to sell a hearing aid.  The cliché, you never get a second chance to make a first impression is accurate.  Overcoming objections is difficult enough.  Don’t make it worse but needing to overcome both the patients reasons why they don’t need or want a hearing aid and their bad first impression of you!!!