JS Tip 110: From the Customer Service Workshops: “Confirm or Else!” Part III

Two weeks ago, 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.

Last week, we addressed one side of the discussion: A reminder was good customer service; a requirement was bad customer service.

This week, we’ll address the other side. We’re grateful for your responses. Thank you.

Another Side of the Discussion

Several respondents saw it as a cost of doing business—and a sign of the times.

“We pay a price for inconsiderate and oblivious people. I understand why dentists and doctors are moving to this practice and charging cancellation fees. Time is money! I don’t like it, but I understand it.” (Londa K. DaSilva, Wells Fargo)

“I have family and friends who work in doctor’s and dentist’s offices. No-shows— despite reminder calls—are increasing steadily. That affects the bottom line, especially for a small clinic or family doctor’s office. I’m not fond of “confirm or else,” but if this is what it takes for folks to keep an appointment, so be it.” (Rosmarie Gordon, Wells Fargo)

“It sounds like this office has had a rash of missed appointments which costs money. If a patient doesn’t show up, the office should bill the missing patient and give the timeslot to a waiting patient. The office should advise patients of their plan to bill for missed appointments.” (Don Wasko, The City of Carlsbad, California)

“My dentist has the cell-phone option ‘confirmation by text’: a simple reply ‘yes’ and it’s done!” (Georgette E. Bevan, CCE, National Association of Credit Managers)

We’ve edited some of the comments for space. And, again, thank you.

Next week: More questions about writing.