Today’s topic is so important in having a successful and thriving business: customer service. I am joined by my guest, Dr. Kelly Henry. Dr. Henry, aka the Customer Service Doctor, who was an award-winning chiropractor for 20 years where he helped his patients live healthier lives with the foundation of providing exceptional customer service. Since 2018, Dr. Henry has used his system to coach business leaders on improving customer service to create incredible growth and profits.
These days without happy customers a business simply cannot survive. You can have an excellent product or service, a kick-ass team, and have everything you need to run a successful business but if your customers are not happy, you will simply not survive. On the flip side, customer retention, customer loyalty, and customers leaving positive reviews or better yet spreading the word about your business could keep you afloat even in difficult times. We definitely saw that during Covid.
With Dr. Kelly we discussed the challenges and methods used to provide exceptional customer service. We talk about the importance of going through your own customer service by being your own customer and putting yourself in their shoes, how to adopt a service mentality, how to deal with negative customer feedback, and why you should look at customer service as an investment.
For those business owners out there, you’ll love this episode!
WHAT YOU WILL DISCOVER
Why enhancing your customer service is an investment
The extra steps needed beyond just hiring the right people
The importance of proactive customer service
The value in getting customer complaints
FEATURED ON THE SHOW
Okay, hello, hello. Welcome to the Happy Productive podcast. I’m Jennifer Dawn, a business coach and founder of Best Planner Ever. If you want to win in business, in life, you’re in the right place. The Happy Productive podcast is your go-to resource for success on a whole new level.
Now today, we’re going to be talking with Dr. Kelly Henry. For 20 years, he was an award-winning chiropractor, and Dr. Henry helped his patients live healthier lives with the foundation of providing exceptional customer service. I know in today’s world, you guys, you know, we see examples of horrible customer service everywhere. And especially in the medical profession these days.
Last week alone, I had two clients who were just like, so upset by their experience in the medical world. And so, this is why we have Dr. Henry here with us today. He grew his clinics into one of the top producing chiropractic offices in the nation with multiple locations and doctors. Since 2018, Dr. Henry has used his system to coach business leaders on improving customer service to create incredible growth and profits. Welcome, Dr. Henry. We’re so excited to have you today.
Thank you, Jennifer; I’m excited to be here. Thanks for the opportunity.
Wonderful. Well, I have to tell you, for our listeners, who may know, my grandparents were chiropractors, and that is in my bio when I’m out in the world. It talks about my first business, which started when I was eight years old and decided to have an apple stand. And the apple stand was right outside my grandfather’s chiropractic office because it was attached to his home, and he had patients coming in and out, and there was a big apple tree in the front yard.
And I was just like, you know what, I see an opportunity here. And they said, you know, have a lemonade stand. And I was like, no, all the kids do lemonade stands. I want an apple stand, and so that’s what I did. It was like my very first business. But I have such a soft spot in my heart for chiropractors because I grew up and I spent summers with my grandparents, and I was just in that world. And I’m a fan. I’m just a huge fan. So I’m excited to talk with you today.
Yeah, so one of the things that you specialize in is customer service. As I mentioned last week, I had two clients who had experiences. They’re having health challenges that had experiences in the medical profession. My husband has struggled, and customer service seems to have sort of gotten lost, I think sometimes. And I’m not saying this for all doctors, but sometimes we visit the doctor’s office. It seems like service has just been tossed out the window. And often, we just maybe feel a little bit like, you know, cattle in a line, no real personal attention, that sort of thing.
And so the fact that you’re a doctor, and you’re speaking to customer service, and that’s how you built your successful practices, I really want to dive into this. And so what would you say when we talk about customer service? And this, of course, would apply to any business owner. But what would you say is, you know, going into it, when we look at customer service, what would you say is the most important thing when we look at customer service from a business owner perspective?
Well, the thing that I find, all the time, I’m talking to business owners and potential clients, and even the clients I start working with is there’s a perception gap. So the owner has a perception that yes, we do provide great customer service, or we do a few things, and so we provide great customer service, but they don’t actually empathize, or they don’t step back or stand in their customer’s shoes, and really take a look at what’s going on with their business and actually the customer service they’re providing from the customer’s perspective.
And generally, there’s just a huge gap between those two perceptions. That’s something that I work on, to close that gap, to help the owner, help the management, help those in that business to understand that it doesn’t matter what your perception is. It doesn’t matter if you feel like you have great customer service, if your customer doesn’t, if you’re patient, if your client does not think you provide great customer service, then you don’t. When you don’t provide great customer service, you don’t provide any kind of confidence in your clientele and your customers.
When you don’t have confidence, you don’t have loyalty from those same customers. And when you don’t have loyalty, you’re not going to have retention, and going to be losing money is what it amounts to. So closing that perception helping those owners, those business managers, understand that, hey, we need to see our customer service through our customer’s eyes and really provide that kind of customer service, not what we think is great customer service.
I love this so much. I recently just finished reading. It’s actually sitting on my desk because I wanted to go back through my notes. Customer Satisfaction Is Worthless, Customer Loyalty Is Priceless. And I’m sure you’ve heard of this book, Jeffrey Gitomer.
Dr. Kelly Henry:
Great book. I’ve read it.
Right, great book, and I know, and you’ve written a book on this as well. I’m going to have you share that, but in the book, one of the things he talks about was being your own customer, like literally like calling your own phone, hearing your voicemail, like emailing your customer service team, and putting yourself into the shoes of your customer and going through your own experience that your customer goes through as a customer.
And that was so eye-opening. Because as the business owner, I’m on one side of the business, working my tail right and doing everything I can to serve my customers. But from my perspective, it’s like, hey, you know, and many business owners we doing all we can, like, we’re, you know, we’re working as much as we can, and we’re doing as much as we can. But from the customer side, putting yourselves in their shoes. I thought that was so powerful. And that’s exactly what you just said, too. And so what are some ways that can help a business owner, like shift that perspective and really step into the shoes of their customer?
Dr. Kelly Henry:
Well, like you just said, is to walk through your business like you’re your customer. And that can be scary. That can be terrifying from a business owner’s standpoint. Yeah, actually, see what’s going on. You know, and I’ve done that through the years with my chiropractic offices and call them in and listen to my staff. And it, you know, it’s it takes, it’ll knock you upside the head is what it will do, like, oh, boy, I thought we were doing better than this.
But it also gives you a dose of reality to understand, hey things aren’t quite as good as what we think they are. And the key is, you have to realize that you’re no matter what business you’re in, it doesn’t matter. If you’re a chiropractor, you’re a coach, if you’re selling insurance, if you’re a restaurant, you’re in the customer perception business, and customer perception is driven by how you make the customer feel.
So you can provide the greatest adjustments from a chiropractic standpoint, or whatever service or restaurant or food. But if you have lousy service, it is going to detract from your business. So you have to understand that you’re in the perception business. And that perception for the customer is driven by how you make each and every customer feel each and every time they’re doing business with you. So to grasp that reality is a huge piece of putting a great customer service foundation down in a business and then moving forward with it.
I couldn’t agree more completely. And this is something that you overcame, and I want to go back a little bit to the fear. As a business owner, when I think about, Oh, let me put my feet, let me put my foot, myself into the shoes of my client and my customers; let me go through their experience.
It does make me go, oh, my God, what am I missing? What am I doing wrong? And I’m sure I’m not unlike any business owner, that there’s a fear thereof I don’t really want to look at this, because I know I’m going to discover things I don’t like, it’s going to be uncomfortable, it’s going to be unpleasant.
So how did you overcome that? Like, is there a mindset you adopted? Because a lot of business owners, that’s going to be a huge hurdle, they’re not going to do it because they’re going to come up against that fear and not want to deal with the discomfort of going through this process. So how did you overcome that?
Dr. Kelly Henry:
Well, three things will actually stop an owner from doing this. Fear, like you just mentioned, we just talked about, and then pride and ego will also stop you from doing and so thinking that we’re good enough, I don’t need to do this, there’s no reason to check this out and do that. And that’s just a huge mistake.
The key mindset is; am I in business for my customer? Or is the customer in business for me? That’s what it boils down to. And that’s what I had to deal with constantly. Am I here for my patients? Was I in business for my patients? Am I now in business for my customers, my clients? Or am I here for them to come cheer me on and for them to be there for me?
I’m happy to have that service mindset. So we have the service mindset that helps you to focus on okay; how can I make this better? For my customers? What do I need to do? Where are we falling short? Where do we have holes? Where do we have gaps? Where are we not working? Where’s this not working correctly for us? Because we want to make this better for the customer.
We want to be the best form or best business we can be for them. So what do I need to do? What do I need to look at? What do I need to correct moving forward to make a better business for my customers? That’s the mindset. You have to be there for your customers. You have to serve them first, not them serve you.
I love this so much. This is one of the things every Monday; we do our team meeting with my team, and I always say to them, guys, I don’t pay your paychecks. I don’t pay my paycheck. It’s the clients, the clients pay all of us, and so we have to really get refocused on that; that’s who we’re here to serve. And you know, I don’t make your paycheck. I don’t make mine. It comes from clients.
And so I love that re-centering on, on service. And for a business owner, when we’re looking at service versus profits, and I know you do work in this area as well. Sometimes it can be difficult to balance well, you know, to go the extra mile and serve our clients is going to cost us more money, we may have to invest in training, we may have to hire better people, right, it’s going to cost us more money.
And so as a business owner, when you’re really focused on the bottom line, or you’re focused on revenues, or maybe you’re living, you know, check to check. We have a lot of business owners; there’s a reason, so many businesses fail every year; they’re not all healthy and profitable.
So what would your advice be for a business owner that they get the idea, we need to do more for customer service, but they’re a little stuck on the profitability, the money side of it? How would you help to get them over that hurdle?
Dr. Kelly Henry:
I would simply say it’s not that difficult; it’s not that expensive. And you can’t look at it as an expense. Providing better customer service is an investment. That’s how you have to look at it, just like coaching, just like if I hired you, as a coach, it’s not an expense; it’s an investment in the future and greater and better business and profits. And so that’s the mindset you have to adopt.
Because customer service, again, going back to you know, creating perception, everybody’s creating a perception, every business creates a perception, it’s either good or bad. So you’re going to do that every day; you’re in business dealing with your customers, your patients, your clients.
So you can either create a perception that you provide great customer service, which is going to enhance everything in your business. Or if you don’t focus on it, and you don’t do it properly, you’re going to create a perception that your customer service is not that great. And it’s going to detract from your business.
So the choices are yours, what are you going to do, it’s really that simple. And if you choose to, you know, provide better customer service, that’s going to enhance everything else that goes on, create confidence, create loyalty, create retention, and create more profits; it’s an investment in the business, not an expense.
So you just have to take that mind that mindset to move forward with it. But it pays off tremendous dividends; when a business owner business manager when those in charge will take it on, great things can happen. Not can happen; they will happen.
I agree. And I’m going to pick up one thing that you said; it’s not an investment; it’s not. I’m sorry, it’s not an expense; it is an investment. I’m going to take that even further. And that you use the example of coaching, right, you hire a coach, it’s not an expense, it’s an investment.
But guys, it’s only an investment if you show up and you do the work. If you’ve ever had your coach help you understand that, you sometimes get clients who hire a coach. So they’ve done what they need to do. And then they don’t prepare for calls. They don’t show up. They don’t do the work. They don’t hear you know what happens in the calls. And then what happens is they don’t get the results because they think, oh, well, I need to have a coach.
So I have a coach, I’ve checked the box, but I didn’t really get a lot from coaching. And in that situation, it’s totally an expense. The same goes for your customer service. Well, I hired somebody to check the email inbox. Okay, so I’ve got that box checked; we now have great customer service; no, that’s just an expense.
You got to hire the customer service person, but you have to train them, you have to teach them you have to provide them the tools and resources to do a really wonderful job you have to give them the software right. The automation the things that they need, so that they can serve the customer to the next level and you really got to train on how we want to serve our clients like even just like our greetings so many customer service things I see out there just like well that’s that we don’t do that’s not our policy, I can’t help you blah blah blah.
And that’s not customer service. And so you know, hiring the right people really teaching them this is what customer service means to us and making sure they have those tools now it’s an investment.
So for any of you who have like hired the person and you’ve checked the box and said, oh, we have somebody who handles that, but you haven’t really stepped into the customer experience and gone through that experience to make sure it’s really working the way it’s supposed to be. I’m going to argue that up when the last minutes an investment when you take it seriously and really gone those extra steps not just checked the box. Oh, yeah, I did that.
Dr. Kelly Henry:
I completely agree. Yeah, you’ve got to take action. Yeah, that’s all there is to it. So you can hire a coach, you can hire a consultant. You can buy the online program, whatever the case may be, but if you don’t take it, learn it, study it, move forward with it, and put it into action. That is an expense, and you’ll be frustrated is what it amounts to.
So, yeah, but when you get happy customers, and they start telling other people, that’s a beautiful thing. It’s like magic.
Dr. Kelly Henry:
Great customer service is the new marketing. So that’s what we push toward as, as you develop this culture. And these customers are happy, and they’re excited to continue to do business with you. And they want to tell their friends and families and family members and those that they’re acquainted with, and you’re getting referrals. It is a beautiful thing.
It is. So tell me your thoughts on customers who are complaining, customers who are providing negative feedback? How do you handle those? How do you handle just negative customer feedback? If you’re a business owner, we’ve all had it; share some of your thoughts on ways to handle that negative feedback?
Dr. Kelly Henry:
Well, what I teach my clients to do is you have to provide proactive customer service, not reactive customer service. So proactive customer service, no matter what’s going on what matters, what circumstances don’t matter what day of the week it is what the weather’s like, who’s in office, how good you feel, if your kids sick or whatnot, you have to focus on taking care of the customer.
Your job is to be there for them and make that customer feel their best each and every time you are dealing with them. So when you have those customer complaints, when you have those customers that aren’t particularly happy, a lot of times, they’re not happy because of what’s happened in your business, they’re unhappy from what’s going on in their life or certain circumstances.
Empathy is a huge part of providing great customer service too, again, put yourself in those customer’s shoes. Empathize with, that they’re probably not upset with me, they’re not upset with the business; they’re upset because their car broke down or because their parent has cancer or whatever the case may be that is, is putting them in a bad place.
My job is not to judge them, lower myself to them, be angry with them, and upset with them. My job is to put a smile on their face, to hear their complaint, to hear their concern, do whatever I can to make things better for them, and change those circumstances, put a smile on their face, and move forward. That’s the key to working with and dealing with complaining customers.
Now, businesses drop the ball. So it may be a business situation where you know, my business, my corporate office dropped the ball, we did something in those circumstances. The first thing you do is you own up to it; you apologize for it immediately. And then you start working on it as quickly as possible to remedy the situation for that particular customer.
Or, in my case, the patient. We don’t play the blame game. We’re not blaming the patient. We’re not blaming any other team members, even if you know Susie or John dropped the ball, and it was clearly their fault. No, we’re all part of a team. And if they messed up, we all messed up.
It’s my responsibility just as much as it was John’s responsibility to move forward and take care of that situation. So that’s another key component. When you do that, you own up to a situation where it was the business’ fault, and you do it immediately. You apologize and take care of it to the customer satisfaction or hopefully even above their satisfaction.
You create a massively loyal customer that will stick with your business. They will fight to the death before they ever leave your business just because you took notice and took care of the situation in that manner.
Yeah, I agree completely; you know, when a mistake is made, instead of getting on the defensive, so much easier to just own it. And really, that’s all the customer, the patient, the client, that’s really all they want is just for it to be rectified.
And you can’t do that if you’re playing the blame game or you’re getting defensive. And so I think that’s a really huge point—one of the other things that helped me when I received customer feedback that was not so positive. And we, of course, always will. We’re human like we do everything we possibly can. But sometimes technology fails, and links get broken, and you know, the internet goes down, and just stuff will happen no matter what we’ve done to make it as flawless as possible. But when a customer takes time out of their day to complain, they’ve taken the time to complain.
I see that as such a gift because they took the time to tell me how I messed up. Thank Gosh, because I could fix it, then I can do something about it. But I cringe to think of, oh geez, who hasn’t said anything, and this has been broken for how long? You know so, but when they take time out of their day to complain and tell you what’s broken. I’m just like, thank you; I always thank them. Thank you, thank you, thank you for reaching out, thank you for letting us know, now we can do something about it.
And it’s really an opportunity to get better. So we’ve even kind of shifted in our company of just like, you know, come on, bring on some complaint. So like, what are we doing wrong, so that, you know, we have that opportunity to fix it. And that’s a lot when you’re presented with a complaint, which is super easy as a business owner to take personally and then immediately want to react and be defensive.
Dr. Kelly Henry:
Right. And that’s a great point, though; those complaints actually are golden. Suppose you look at it that way. And again, I mentioned earlier, pride and ego will kill customer service. So if you look at those complaints as gold, and look at them objectively, look at yeah, we are dropping the ball in this particular area, you have to understand that that for that one person complained, and there’s probably ten, twenty, thirty or fifty people that didn’t complain about that same issue.
And they may have just gone somewhere else, because they had that issue didn’t tell you about it, they just you know what I’m going to go find some other business that will treat me better doesn’t have this issues. To have that complaint; it is golden. It’ll help you see the holes where you’re missing the boat. And when you have those holes, and you fill them up again, you’re going to keep more customers; you’re going to make profits.
Yeah, absolutely. Business owners, for my planner company, we sell on Etsy, and we sell a couple of other places. I will often get the little notification that says, a customer left you feedback on my phone, and every single time my heart skips a little beat, it’s like, oh, crap, what do they say, you know, and most of the time, it’s a five-star review, and you get used to it, but then you get the two-star review. And it’s like, oh, and often, it’s sometimes it’s nothing, you can even do anything about, you know, it’s just, sometimes it’s just nothing you could have done.
But there’s that moment as the business owner, and this is for everybody listening, where you have to just, you know, feel this kind of sucks, check the ego and be like, okay, it’s an opportunity, how can I learn? How can I grow? How can we be better, and it really does help put it into perspective and to sort of like, move past that initial stab in the heart, when you get the two-star review, or, you know, somebody saying something good, this is how they messed up.
Dr. Kelly Henry:
Well, another key point to getting those two-star reviews, one star, maybe three-star, is to go ahead and communicate with that person. Even if it’s something that you know, you cannot control, let’s just have, you know, some circumstantial situation, communicate, empathize, apologize, whatever you can do. That goes a long, long way, when you’re addressing those issues, and a lot of our business misses that missed that boat too, you know, they’ve gotten ten 5 star reviews, and then that one two-star comes in, and they just push it aside.
You know, that was, you know, that was just that that customer is having a bad day, or whatever the case may be, well. Maybe so but it’s important that you address and make sure that you touch base with them and let them know that, hey, we’re sorry. And you know, we’d still like to do business with you that type of thing. And that goes a long way. And again, it can; it can save you a customer.
And people read those reviews, and they’re going to look at that, and they’re going to see that two-star view, and they’re going to see that you posted and hey, and how you dealt with it. And that goes a long way too. So it’s important that you go ahead and address those negative reviews, so to speak.
Yeah. Okay. So speaking of negative reviews, is there one, in particular, that might come to mind for you that was, you know, a negative review or negative service or something that actually turned out to be a great lesson or turned out to help you get to where you are today that you’d like to share? I know I’m putting you on the spot.
Dr. Kelly Henry:
Of course, I have seen it in my chiropractic realm. I had a few—one in particular. And as I grew my business, my practice, I grew up to a very successful level; as you mentioned, where I was, I was treating 350 to 400 patients a week. So I was doing, you know, a pretty high volume amount of patients. And so, as I kind of grew bigger than my processes and procedures and my time management initially could handle.
And so there was a time for a while where I was getting backed up and creating the wait time for my patients that were a little excessive. And I knew this in the back of my mind, but I also was focused on taking care of my patients and seeing as many pages as I couldn’t help them get healthy.
And finally, I had a husband and wife that were coming in. They were great patients, and they came in for a while, and then the wife started coming in by yourself and like, whatever your husband, he’s like, she’s like, he’s done. He’s done. He’s not waiting any longer; he has to wait too long when it comes in here. And that was just kind of a slap in the face.
And it just made me come to the realization that, hey, who am I focused on here? You know, who am I doing business for? You know, am I doing it for my success? Or am I doing it for the service of my patients? And so that made me rethink how I was doing things, my office, cut down those wait times. So I was being conscious and understanding that, hey, my patients have lives too.
And they don’t want to wait excessively in my office; I need to get them through my office in an efficient manner so they can get on with their lives. So it helped me help me switch things up in my business and stay true. True to that throughout the rest of my career.
Yeah, there’s nothing like that too, you know, a situation where a good loyal patient-client has worked with you for so long. And then they stopped coming because of a problem like this. And it’s always such as a slap upside the head, you know, because you’re like, Ah, it’s preventable. And that’s what gets me. It’s like, Oh, that’s so preventable.
That’s the good news. And the bad news, you know that it is totally preventable. So we can fix it. But that’s one of those things, it’s always so hard to take, but good job that you took it and you fixed it. And you cared about customer self-service so much that you actually wrote a book about it. Tell us a little bit about the book.
Dr. Kelly Henry:
I did. My book is titled “Define and Deliver Exceptional Customer Service: Proven strategies to maximize your profits.” And I like to call it a success manual. And the reason it’s a success manual because it can really transform a business.
When they take hold of the concepts and principles, the ideas, the actions, put them into play; as we talked about, you can’t just read it; you got to put the actions into play. It can transform a business, bringing up that customer-set perception, helping to keep customers retaining those customers, which leads to growth and profit.
It’s all about the simple, the easy. That’s what I want your listeners to understand. That’s what I teach my leads, my clients; let’s not make this difficult. It’s not difficult; it shouldn’t be overwhelming. It’s the simple things done consistently that are going to create massive results, massive benefits, massive profits. And that’s what this book is about. It’s a simple read, about 150 pages.
But again, it’s just full of gold nuggets of simple ideas, principles, and actions that somebody will take and do them consistently. It’s going to make a major difference in their business.
I think that’s such a perfect point to end with. It’s those simple things done consistently that will make a major impact. I love that so much, Dr. Henry, where can our listeners find you?
Dr. Kelly Henry:
The easiest place is my website, drkellyhenry.com, all one word. You can find my book, find more about me and see about my programs; you can schedule a call with me to talk more about how we can work together and what I can do to help you transform your business, make it better.
At the bottom of the website, I do have a free opt-in my five top actions that can immediately help your business provide better customer service. So let’s go to the bottom of the website, fill out the information, and you can immediately download, download that PDF and get my five top actions for immediate change in your customer service that’ll have an immediate impact.
You find the book anywhere you buy books, Amazon, certainly. And I have the digital copy, the hard, and the paperback copy. And I do have an audible copy for those that like to just listen to books. I wanted to afford them that opportunity. So please buy the book; I think it will be a tremendous benefit to you and your business.
Oh, I love that I’m going to pop over and get that opt-in because I’m always looking for ways of improving customer service is in our businesses. So that’s fantastic. Thank you so much, Dr. Henry, for being here with us today.
To our listeners, please share this with others. Pay the goodness forward. We don’t take advertisements on the podcast, and so we rely on our listeners, who get value from the podcast, to share with others. So please, of course, share with your friends who think you think might be able to really use this message.
If you’d like help with any of this, you can also visit us at jenniferdawncoaching.com, or if you’re in the mood for a better time management system, you can check out bestplannerever.com. Thank you so much for listening, everybody. Thank you so much for being here, Dr. Henry. Now get out there and have a Happy Productive day.