Recently, while speaking at the Vegas Multispecialty Meeting on neurotoxins, the topic of what to do in the instance of a needed ‘redo' or ‘touch-up' procedure was mentioned. Without even thinking, I said I would do this for free if there was a question. The questioner, Dr. Steven Dayan (Co-Chief Editor of Modern Aesthetics® magazine) then asked what I would do if the person was three months out and said the neurotoxin hadn't worked. Again, I answered I would do it for free without question. Interestingly, Dr. Dayan said he would do the same thing, as did many of the audience members.
I can remember not too long ago when I wouldn't have answered in this manner. Customer service and my approach to it have changed over time and I can only say that it has been a liberating and fulfilling experience. Instead of looking at neurotoxins and fillers as a dollar figure to be inventoried and sold, I now view them as an experience given to patients. This experience has to be a good one or they won't come back. Additionally, the experience has to be good or they won't think of me or my services positively. I wish this epiphany had occurred years earlier, but when it did, it was a true game changer for my practice, both in the medical as well as aesthetic parts.
Within this lens, it becomes easy to give the occasional extra units of neurotoxin to a long-term (or new) patient if it makes them happy. The same thing goes for a patient who feels their filler may have ‘disappeared' earlier than they wished. Luckily, this is very rare in my practice, but it does happen and serves to reinforce to my employees that I care deeply about customer service, an idea that resonates and passes on to them in their daily activities. Since I have adopted this newer approach, it has made my interactions easier and less stressful as well, leading to a more joyful and happy experience.
At the same time, I work to set up positive experiences from the outset by explaining the optimal amount of fillers or neurotoxins each patient needs to be satisfied and also the fact that this is a ‘ballpark' figure. I try to price my procedures fairly, but not so inexpensively that I feel uncomfortable including a touch up or extra syringe upon their follow up visit if I feel the patient needs it.
Within the rubric of customer service, this extends also to the medical practice, but clearly there aren't as many nobrainers when it comes to medical situations. Additionally, governmental rules limit free or discounted services, so it is best to check with your attorney when it comes to these sorts of situations. Whatever the case, the concept of excellent customer service extends from samples at the front desk (we give out a free sample to everyone who fills out our patient portal before they come to the office) to TVs and free internet throughout the office. These sorts of practices can and will make your patients happier and ultimately extend to your staff and you! Consider this the next time a patient asks for a touch up on neurotoxins and you may be pleasantly surprised with the response!