Customer Service Lessons From My Eye Doctor

Living with Type I diabetes, I follow a specific treatment protocol, and a key member of my medical team is my eye doctor. I just had my third annual visit with him, and I realized there’s a lot to learn from how this man runs his business.

Just like in the previous years, I’m immediately impressed the minute I walk in. It’s lunch time, so the receptionist hasn’t returned to her desk yet, but two minutes before my appointment she opens the window to greet me and check my health card.

At 1:30, on the dot, the doctor calls me in. With me in one room and another patient in the other, he does our update chat, puts my eye drops in, and goes to have his chat with his other patient while the eye drops do their work.

When he comes back, he goes over my test results – it’s essential for diabetes patients to have regular eye tests – and thoroughly explains everything. He makes suggestions and gives advice about what I should look out for in the future, and patiently answers any questions that I have.

By 1:45, I’m back at the receptionist window booking the following year’s appointment. I leave with my appointment card in hand, confident that the next year’s visit will go exactly the same way.

Here are three business practices that my eye doctor exemplifies:

  1. Be consistent. This applies no matter what business you’re in. Let people know what they’re getting, follow through and don’t launch any surprises.
  2. Always keep your commitments. Yes, things will happen that are beyond your control, but do your best. I know that I can schedule an appointment downtown for the same afternoon as my eye appointment, because I know I’ll be finished on time. Keep your personal commitments, as well. How does it feel when your friends are on time? And when they’re late?
  3. Under promise and over deliver. He doesn’t advertise it or make a big fuss about it, but my eye doctor is very personable. He always makes me feel comfortable, offers helpful suggestions and advice that I can learn from, and he really listens to me and addresses my questions and concerns.

Wouldn’t you like for people to be raving about your service this way?