Customer Satisfaction Is Not a Calculation

Customer satisfaction is a perception. It is not based on some calculation of value
received.  Cost may certainly be a factor, but what is expensive is also a perception that varies widely from person to person. To me, a $17,000 Apple Watch is too expensive.  To someone trying to impress people with how much money they have to buy whatever they want, or how successful they are, it’s worth every penny.Caclulating value girl

Understanding this is essential in any business. Pretending it’s not true, that human beings are completely rational in their decision-making, in their assessment of value, in their responses to situations, is, well, completely irrational.

Think about it.

Whether you were treated well is a perception.

Whether you were greeted nicely is a perception.

Feeling respected is a perception. So is feeling disrespected.

Feeling talked down to is a perception.

Feeling understood is a perception.

Trustworthiness is a perception.

Feeling appreciated is a perception.

Notice that none of these are calculations people make are based on a column of numbers or a list of provable facts.

Most important, they are all integral parts of the patient experience.  And the patient experience, much more than the clinical result, is what compels a person to write a positive review, or recommend the practice to a friend or family member, or borrow money in order to get comprehensive treatment.

Which is why the little things matter.

Which is why listening is so important.

Which is why price is not the primary factor in patient retention, unless it’s the only thing they hear.

Which is why genuinely caring about your patients, more than about making money, matters.

Which is why, quite simply, everything matters.


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21 thoughts on “Customer Satisfaction Is Not a Calculation

  1. Especially marketing, right? ; Good stuff, love the subject matter.

    “There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” ― Aldous Huxley

  2. I’m constantly amazed at how rude people keep their jobs. I just went to a Sleep Center,..not one of the 3 ladies at the front desk even had the energy to say “Hello”,..finally one lady growls, “sign in.” That was it! I was fuming,..if this was my practice I would have fired all 3 in a heart beat, no questions asked, no 2nd chances. It amazes me that business owners put up with such rude employees. Am I missing something? Anyway, I’m gonna print your article and send it to the doctor that runs that Sleep Center, just for fun. Thanks.

  3. Absolutely Priceless Article Fred! Thank you for putting this so eloquently. And personally, I hope that I never have so much that I need to buy an Apple watch in order to impress others. Instead I would rather impress them with how much I care!

  4. So many of my interactions (usually by phone) with other dental offices leave me shaking my head. How do they retain their patients? I do everything I can to make the patient feel great about themselves, about us, and about their treatment. It’s not that hard–especially if it comes from your heart!

      • Thank you Fred. The entire dental practice needs more champions like you! I always recommend your book to teams as a group read in their office meetings. It’s valuable information for the entire dental team!

  5. So totally dead on point!! Excellent article Fred! Customer Service can be so simple, maybe that’s why it’s missed at times… Remembering the Golden Rule is a great guide too : ) Thanks again for sharing this!!

  6. Customer Service is about *EVERYTHING* indeed Fred Joyal. It’s about everybody on the team doing everything.
    Trouble is 99.5% of Dental Offices don’t have a playbook, don’t practice and rehearse key role plays daily, consistently.
    SO how the heck do they expect to get EVERYTHING right?
    They just HOPE that they do, and guess what?


    Doing something is only a tiny bit better than doing nothing if the benchmark is doing Everything. Because your weakness in your system will be found and your patients will leak through those cracks, gaps and weaknesses.

    And you’ll say: “But, we’re being nice”

    Well nice doesn’t mean a hoot if it’s not systemised, practiced and rehearsed.

    Most school sporting teams have more systems and more practice than most dental offices do.

    • So true, David. Systematic is the only way. Otherwise it becomes a short phase, or a haphazard approach. It needs to become the fabric of the practice.

    • Omid, the only way to get a Yelp review down is if you can prove that it is libelous or if it is profane in some way. Then Yelp says they will remove it. Otherwise, only the person who posts can take it down. That’s why I recommend you always contact the person and try to resolve the issue.

  7. “Which is why genuinely caring about your patients, more than about making money, matters.”

    Spot on! The money will come if you just treat the patients well & not look at them like you can’t wait to collect in full!

  8. Awesome article here. Customers are what keep us going, so their satisfaction should be the highest priority. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!

I welcome all your comments!

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