Do you hold your customers to higher standards than you do yourself? Don’t get caught up in making your company so policy heavy that customers are the ones that have to bend over backwards to do business with you.
A coworker of mine told me of an interesting encounter at his dentist. As may be the case with your dentist, his has a policy of charging patients $50 if they cancel an appointment with less than 24 hours notice.
On the day of his last appointment, the dentist office called to cancel his appointment because the hygienist was sick. My friend said “you’d charge me $50 if I canceled within 24 hours so how about you give me a $50 credit?” How did the dentist office respond? My coworker told me “the receptionist didn’t like that idea very much.”
Was it too unreasonable to ask for the same thing the dentist office asked of customer? I think not. The policy of that office is to make sure patients respect the time and schedule of the dentist and office staff. Shouldn’t the office give similar respect to the patient?
At a bare minimum, only ask a customer to do something that you are willing to do. To really take your customer service to a new level, live by a higher standard. Go the extra mile and do things you don’t require of your customers but that will “wow” them.