Learning to Improve Client Relations at the Fort Worth Stockyards
Last weekend, the MDPM Consulting leadership team gathered at the Fort Worth Stockyards. The purpose was to redefine our internal goals, policies, and procedures while brainstorming how to improve our relationship with our clients (and to have a little fun). Motivated by a record-breaking April in terms of the number of new client websites made live and blogs written, our team was (and is) ready to put our best foot forward to continue to provide our clients with the highest level of service and quality. Amid the fun our retreat weekend presented (which included mazes, haunted hotels, and tourists clothed in only the most clichéd of Texas attire), we came up with an amazingly simple recipe for success: speed and honesty.
Arriving at Miss Molly’s
We had the pleasure of staying at Miss Molly’s Bed and Breakfast, which is a former-brothel-turned-modern-day-hot-spot for paranormal activity located right in the heart of the stockyards. (Because I know you’re wondering, nobody had the pleasure of meeting any spectral visitors, although our group occupied 4 of the 6 rooms). When we arrived, the innkeeper initially rebuffed us because she thought we were tourists who wandered in off the street. Once she realized we were her guests for the night, she apologized for the mix up. This would actually prove to be the first lesson in client relations: don’t make excuses, and own up to a mistake. We weren’t offended and we understood what happened and went on to enjoy a great stay. When working with clients, be honest and always look for a solution. Don’t hide behind excuses by passing the problem to someone else. Simple enough, right? We think so.
Once our planning and training sessions ended for the day on Friday, we hit the stockyards, visiting local businesses, and taking a ghost tour (noticing a theme here?). We also stopped by a huge wooden maze. The goal is to navigate the maze as quickly as possible while finding all of the letters in a provided punch card. Speed was the name of the game. Afterward, we decided this was an excellent approach to our interactions with clients. When a client calls or emails, respond immediately. Even if you need time to sort out the issue, let them know you have received their call and will be addressing the problem as soon as possible. A quick response makes the client feel appreciated and lets them know we consider them our priority, which is definitely how we want our clients to feel.
I had a lot of fun and learned a lot on our spring leadership retreat. My fellow managers will be sharing their experiences in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!
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Elford Alley is MDPM’s senior editor. Learn more about Elford here.