We arrived in London at 5:40 this am, proceeded to the hotel and took an awesome family nap. We woke up hungry and The Trafalgar St James has a great rooftop hotel that we’ve been keen to try. We asked the concierge if we could get a table and she doubtfully told us we needed to check with the hostess by the elevator. Upon speaking to the hostess she frowned, said “let me check” and called the rooftop to see if, by some miracle of the universe, there might be a table.

We can seat you now but you’ll have to sit on the back porch, she informed us gravely.

The back porch sounded pretty terrible to hear her describe it but happiness is life minus expectations (as my buddy Anil Idiculla is fond of saying) so we enthusiastically agreed. We took the lift up to the rooftop and were seated at an awesome four top, in the shade, with an incredible view of Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, The London Eye and the best the London Skyline has to offer! We were stoked!!

“If the dreaded back porch is this good I wonder what the main dining area looks like” I asked Bridget. Of course I had to find out. It turns out the main area has zero view and is just a collection of tables that could be set anywhere. Furthermore it was obvious that the main section was closed (it was 2:30 PM local time so I don’t blame them).

How much better could the team make this dining experience for us (and especially for others who don’t have the unbridled enthusiasm we do) if they said something like, “You’re very fortunate, we have a table on our exclusive, open air deck where you will see the entirety of the London skyline”? We can only assume the staff dislikes the “back porch” because the weather isn’t usually this awesome in London but the whole experience got Bridget and I thinking.

How often do we dampen our customers’ experiences by projecting our expectations on them? How much happier and satisfied would our patients be if we were as enthusiastic about the experience that is new and fresh to them??

In the new reality shouldn’t we be hyperfocused on customer experience and satisfaction? If so, we hope this little story makes clear the huge opportunity available to you and your team if you can look at what you do every day through the eyes of your consumers.

So we are guessing you want some examples? Here are a couple that we see often:

1) “You MUST still pay your bill even if the braces come off early” vs “We hope to finish early as less time in braces is always better AND if we do you won’t have to pay in full before we remove the appliances – you can continue paying out your fee as we agreed!”

2) “I don’t recommend Invisalign for kids because they aren’t responsible enough” vs. “Don’t worry mom, I’m sure Johnny will keep up with his aligners but if he messes up and loses one we will replace it for free” (because Align replaces it for free – but keep that part to yourself).

Words have power. Words have meaning. Words are free! Use them to your advantage.

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