Be Loyal to Customers - Not Their Wallets
It was the early ’90s and my new company, focused on customer service training, leadership training and corporate culture consulting, was going through the cash-flow roller-coaster that most start-ups experience. As fate would have it, I was in one of the low bits when I seriously chipped a tooth.
When I finally went to the dentist, he delivered the bad news. I was going to need a root canal. The problem was, of course, that I simply couldn’t afford it. I told him so, and asked if there was a less expensive, short-term, solution until things picked up. He just looked at me for a full minute, then got up and disappeared through the door.
“You aren’t just a wallet to me…”
When he returned he was carrying my file with him. He opened it in front of me and went through, one at a time, all of the work he had done for me and my family. When he was finished, he closed the file and looked at me again.
“Shaun,” he said finally, “you need to know that you aren’t just a wallet to me. You and your family have been my patients for over 15 years. You’ve supported me for over 15 years. Your family is wonderful, and I think of you all as far more than just patients.”
“You’re going through a tough time right now. I get that. But I don’t want you to ever think twice about coming to me when you need help. I know that you’ll pay me when you can – whether it’s in a month or a year. That’s not important. It’s the least I can do for someone who has done so much for me.”
“He taught me a lifetime lesson “
My dentist was a huge inspiration for the last couple of chapters of The Journey to WOW. He retired a number of years ago, but I will never forget what he did, what he said and how he made me feel. He taught me a lifetime lesson about the attitude that leads to real customer loyalty,