Recently I had deviated septum surgery. For those who know anything about it, you will know that that surgery is quite painful, and since the operation is on one’s nose, I decided to take great care in selecting a surgeon. So naturally I went for a doctor I heard was one of the best. He had been performing surgeries for years and had a stellar reputation. I also talked to people who he had operated on. This type of reputation is what we should all shoot for in our companies. Plus, if you can convincingly explain the need for your services, like surgeons do for theirs—all the better.
But there are some business practices that you would not want to adapt from a surgeon if you wanted to have an extremely successful business. One of them is that often a surgeon may have the reputation of being kind and considerate as you talk to them about having the surgery, but once you are done with the surgery, you are a number to them, and they don’t care about your pain, or how anything turned out, etc. Their eyes are on the next person they can slice up. I personally experienced this years ago with my ACL surgery by a physician who had a great reputation. Perhaps he had gotten too comfortable with his success, and little things, like treating patients well, were no longer his concerns.
This could be a deadly practice, whether or not you are in the medical field, and it could completely destroy your business. You never, ever want your clients, patients, or customers to think that they are just dollar signs to you.
Fortunately, with the nose surgery, my surgeon was not as cold and callous as some surgeons are, but he did make a mistake that surprised me, and which bothered me as a patient. Because it bothered me so much, I realized how I do not want to do this to my customers, clients, etc. So what did he do that was so offensive?
He didn’t believe me. He asked me how I was feeling the day after the surgery during the check-up appointment. I listed my complaints along with saying I felt raw.
He said, “You don’t feel raw.”
“Yes, I do.”
“No, you don’t.”
I just looked at him and he finally said, “Why don’t we have a look?”
Turns out the stitches in my nose had gotten buried into the open wound, which was giving me the raw feeling.
Of course I wished he was right and I was wrong, but that is beside the point. The point is that it’s CRUCIAL to believe your customers when they say something. If you don’t, resentment can quickly come.
For me, my first reaction was—“Here’s another doctor that doesn’t believe what I say. I hate doctors.”
Is that what you want your customers to be thinking? If not, believe them when they are telling you their pain. If they are saying I want to do a simple task, don’t create a product that is more complicated.
Sounds simple—believe your customer—but it really isn’t when you set your goals and plans on what to create for your customer, and they don’t match exactly what they want.
Right after the nose doctor saw what was causing my rawness, he dove into my nose with vigor to pull that stitch right out. Despite my writhing around, he worked with confidence, not pausing to second guess. This confidence and his extremely steady hand impressed me. It calmed down my resentment of him not believing me, and he earned my confidence in him right back. I walked out of the office, asking my husband if he noticed how steady the doctor’s hand was.
The lesson for the business owner is, if you do mess up and don’t listen to your customer, you can always redeem yourself by doing your job with utmost professionalism, confidence, and skill.