JS Tip 109: From the Customer Service Workshops: “Confirm or Else!” Part II

Last week, we asked if you thought it was good customer service for a professional—a dentist’s office in our example—to require a customer to confirm an appointment.

One Side of the Discussion

A lot of folks—the majority of folks, about eighty-two percent of the folks—thought it was good customer service for the office to remind the customer of the appointment.

But they didn’t think it was good customer service for the office to require a confirming return call:

“As a dental office manager for nine years, I know that time is money and the office has to keep the schedule full, but this is way too intrusive. I appreciate a confirmation call, but to require a return call is not acceptable.” (Dorothy James, Davis School District)

“I don't like being pestered or threatened by someone I'm going to pay for a service.  When I make an appointment, I'm responsible enough to keep it, or notify the other party as soon as possible if I can't make it.” (David Dennis, California Water Service Company)  

My thoughts? Insulting. I'd get a new dentist.

“[The confirming return call is] a waste of time for the dental staff and the patient. When I make an appointment, I’m saying I’ll be there, and the office is saying they’ll serve me. A reminder call is a good idea because appointments are made far in advance. If I don't show up without calling, I should pay the visit fee.” (Jackie Mattila, Wells Fargo Bank)

We received many, many, many responses on this, and it’ll take a couple of Tips to discuss the points. We’re sorry we can’t recognize everyone’s comment. Thank you for participating.

Next week: Another side of the discussion: The confirming return call is part of today’s business.