Answering the phone properly – and a great customer service experience

The last 2 days I have been calling clients again – another round of our 15-minute telephone coaching meetings.
I am moved to mention that the majority of my clients do not have receptionists who answer the phone correctly.
I’m not criticising these receptionists – most of them are doing their best in the absence of a robust system/protocol/brand standard.
What’s concerning, however, is that these are clients of The Dental Business School – they are paying for our advice and not taking it.
All I’m asking for is very simple:
“Good afternoon, Stafford Street Dental Practice, Margaret speaking, how can I help you?”
It’s not rocket science is it?
But congratulations to Margaret (she is real) who won the prize for the best-answered phone yesterday.
There were a few others who managed the same:

  • Greeting
  • Name of practice
  • Personal name
  • Offer to help question

But many more would only include the first two:
“Good morning, Jones Dental.” Then silence.

  • Greeting
  • Name of Practice

It’s just not good enough in retail anymore.
And there were some that were completely emotionless and uncaring.
I like talking to the “Margarets” of this world – they make you feel special, welcome, appreciated.
I’ll pay extra if there is a “Margaret” on reception.
On customer service, I arrived at The Grand Hotel in Brighton at 10.30am this morning and everyone in their team – concierge, reception, lounge, bar, housekeeping – has been excellent.
I think they have heard my favourite phrase:
“No problem, leave it with me, I’ll get it sorted.”
I’d happily use this hotel for business or pleasure.
Take your dental team here for the weekend – and show them what you mean.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.