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Build loyal customer

Review the below case study.

Answer the questions at the end of case.

The Loyalty Builder - Issue #45 ~ February 2003
Author: Debra J. Schmidt a.k.a.
"The Loyalty Builder" Weekly Newsletter

I have had the same dentist for twenty years. Due to a bicycle accident many years ago, I've needed extensive dental work including lots of porcelain crowns. Conservatively, I estimate that I have spent over $10,000 with this dentist and have referred many new patients.

During the past few years I'd begun to notice that his equipment and techniques were becoming a little outdated. His office is also ten miles from our home, so I began searching for a new dentist. I finally settled on one that had come highly recommended by some friends. After one visit, it was clear to me that this new dentist had abilities that were better suited to my needs. The professionalism of his staff was exceptional, so I decided to make the switch.

I wrote a very complimentary letter to my old dentist thanking him for the outstanding dental care he had provided and complimenting his staff. In it I explained that I had found a new dentist located right near my home and asked that he forward my records to the new office.

My old dentist never replied to my request. After waiting a couple of weeks, I called his office to inquire about the records. His assistant was rude and abrupt and told me that they hadn't sent them. She said that she had been instructed not to and if I insisted, then they would have to charge me a $20 service charge.

When my anger subsided, I hopped in my car, drove to their office, demanded my records and left. Instead of thanking me for being a loyal patient for twenty years, they destroyed any chance of ever receiving another referral from me.

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Answer the following questions:

How could this dentist avoid losing this customer in the first place (in other words, was there a way for the dentist to better understand his customer's overall satisfaction earlier in the relationship)?
Now that YOU understand the importance of good customer relationships, how would you have handled this situation differently?
Is there any way to redeem this relationship now?

Solution Preview

This dentist could have avoided losing this loyal customer, if he had paid more attention and had more information about the real needs/ wants of this particular patient/ customer.

If the dentist had paid more attention earlier regarding the level of satisfaction of the patient, he could have modified or made adjustments to his service to suit the patient's needs and wants. To obtain this information or to better understand the customer's overall satisfaction level at an early stage, the dentist should have spoken to the patient after each meeting and should have asked about the condition of his teeth, satisfaction achieved with the treatment, special needs or requirements, etc.

He should have entered this information in a CRM software, so that he need not recall the history of the patient every time, as and when that particular patient visits the clinic. A comprehensive record of the patient's history would have helped the doctor to offer best possible service and treatment to the patient and meet all the special needs and ...

Solution Summary

How could this dentist avoid losing this customer in the first place (in other words, was there a way for the dentist to better understand his customer's overall satisfaction earlier in the relationship)?

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