Recently, I had a call from a very concerned customer in Canada. He had just spent the weekend worrying about an article he just read on silica, and was concerned about his employees and their “exposure” to silica in gypsum and in investments (SDS sheets available on line at www.whipmix.com).

We spent about ½ an hour going over silica and gypsum; where you find it, how to educate his staff and provide for their protection from air-borne contaminants. In the end, he told me that I had been more helpful than any of the other suppliers he had called. It seems to me as a technical support individual (and as lab owners and managers), we should all be as helpful as possible.

In 1998, Spencer Johnson wrote a small book called, Who Moved my Cheese? The book is about changes in your life, and how to respond to them. Certainly, our industry is changing dramatically.

This year I attended Vision 21, which is a business-learning seminar, put on by the National Association of Dental Laboratories. We had two guest speakers, Jonathan Pearlman formerly of GOOGLE and BUZZFEED and Mike Staver, author, coach and speaker. Both of these gentlemen addressed the "Customer Experience” in their talks.

One of the things that we in the dental industry need to recognize is that (if I might borrow a phrase), our ‘Cheese is Moving!’ As Mike Staver noted, “We are in an EXPERIENCE based Economy”. The minimum bar is quality in the product. However, it is the customer experience, which motivates them to continue with us. They must feel “significant", as they define it.

What that means to you and I as customer service providers, is that we need to understand them, their concerns and their expectations. Jonathan Pearlman indicated that in the sharing of information with our customers we first build community and second, we build a brand (something to which we attach ourselves, and to which we are loyal). In doing so we increase the experience of our customer and better serve them.

My friend with the concerns over silica in his lab will not hesitate to call me again with other concerns or questions. And that, my friends, leads to doing business.

We can provide excellent customer service and a great experience in a hundred different ways. Contact Whip Mix Corporation for help in explaining your materials of choice, or webinar content for staff education. We are, after all, a dental community trying to provide a great experience.

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About The Author

Craig A. Pickett is NBC certified in Crown & Bridge with Technologist designation. A 30 year CDT, Craig is currently Technical Support Manager for Whip Mix Corporation. In 2014, Craig was the recipient of the NADL Excellence in Education Award.