CommunicationCustomer service

Good customer service isn’t like pulling teeth

By December 22, 2015December 10th, 2019No Comments

Do you sometimes think providing great customer service is like pulling teeth, so why bother trying so hard? It’s true, it does take some effort and know-how, but the results are happy, returning, loyal clients who tell others all about you and your services. Good customer service helps grow your business and your reputation.

If I asked your clients right now what type of customer service do you provide, what would they say?

Now, you might be thinking, “Wait a sec, Marion. I don’t have clients. I work for an organization where I deal only with colleagues, employees or my boss”. Think again. Those people ARE your clients — they’re your internal ones. These peers, bosses, employees are asking you for certain things, to get tasks done, reports finished, trips booked or for your expert opinion. You’re offering a service. The question is, is it a good one?

Providing great customer service, whether for internal or external clients, doesn’t need to be like pulling teeth. Once you know the secrets and how to build a system, it’s easy. I share with my clients a 7-point checklist they use to check the health of their client service All 7 points are critical and I must admit, I use them as a checklist for service I receive. While I notice bad service and what they’re missing (it’s so easy to fix, once you know the 7-step formula), I also notice great service.

My dentist does customer service right.

Dr. Sharma at North Town Dentistry in Niagara Falls, Ontario has a great bedside manner. She calmly offers and walks through options, patiently explains everything she’s going to do both before and as she does it, and she is sure to let you know what you’re about to feel so you know it’s normal and nothing to be worried about.

… she avoids the cardinal service sin of treating new clients better than loyal, current ones

Another great thing she does is treat loyal clients well. Unlike some businesses that focus all their marketing efforts on offering sexy packages to attract new clients, Dr. Sharma makes sure to thank her existing ones. She hosts client open houses with fund drives for the local food shelter. She offers flexible payment arrangements. She confirms with your insurance plans what’s covered or not so you can make informed decisions. And she avoids the cardinal service sin of treating new clients better than loyal, current ones. In other words, she rewards and thanks loyalty.

POINT: express thanks to existing clients and reward loyalty.

We’ve been patients of Dr. Sharma for 3 years. Recently, a couple we know were looking for a new dentist, so we suggested they try North Town Dentistry. They did and are now patients of Dr. Sharma too.

We were delighted to know that our referral worked for both parties. The fact that the couple we referred were happy with the dental service and that they were a good “fit” for this practice was satisfaction enough. We expected nothing in return, so were especially surprised when in the mail came a Tim Hortons coffee shop gift card from North Town Dentistry along with a note saying “thanks for the referral”. As it happens, this is one of our favorite coffee spots. We were tickled pink. We felt valued, appreciated and recognized. We believed that our effort of referring others was noted and appreciated as much as were their new clients.

Now, THAT’s how customer service is done.

Whether you provide a service to internal clients (your colleagues, your boss, your employees) or to external ones (your customers), part of excellent performance means providing great client service. Providing it helps you to build relationships with your clients, allows you to contribute to corporate goals and bottom lines, and gives you innate satisfaction in meeting the needs of your client. For your client, receiving great service builds loyalty, makes them want to buy more and tell others about the wonderful client experience you offer.

Just say thanks.

Great customer service means applying a principle your mother likely taught you years ago — just say thanks.

PS: Please feel free to forward this email to the decision-makers in your organization who want to offer great customer service. Or bring me into your office to present an “At Your Service” workshop where you will learn how to avoid the 7 Service Sins.

PPS: I’d love to hear about YOUR wonderful client service story — service you gave or received. Share it in a post below.

Until next time,
here’s to Better communication, Better business, Better life,

Marion Grobb Finkelstein
Keynote Speaker / Corporate Trainer / Author

©2015 Marion Grobb Finkelstein

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Communication consultant, author, professional speaker Marion Grobb Finkelstein teaches individuals and organizations across Canada how to improve morale, confidence, and productivity by changing how they communicate. Chat with her at or and sign up for her FREE “Marion’s Communication Tips” at

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Marion Grobb Finkelstein

Marion Grobb Finkelstein helps leaders use their natural communication strengths to build resilient teams that talk.

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