The Second Thing Business School Didn’t Teach Me – Customer Service

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – it doesn’t matter what business you’re in it’s a Customer Service business!

I’ve been reading ‘blink’ by Malcolm Gladwell, the author of The Tipping Point and in it he talks about an interesting study that pinpoints how important the impressions you make on your clients are.

Gladwell relates the research results of Wendy Levinson, a medical researcher, who studied doctors and what causes them to be sued for malpractice.  She taped interactions between doctors and their patients and was able, with an astounding degree of accuracy, to predict which doctors were going to be sued and which ones weren’t.

So what were the determining factors?  She narrowed them down to two:

Doctors that didn’t get sued spent more time with their patients – 20% more on average.

Doctors who didn’t get sued were found to be those whose interactions were dominated by empathy, compassion and active listening techniques.  Doctors who got sued were found to be dominating and condescending.

Neither of these factors had anything to do with technical ability or how often the doctors made mistakes!

I’m not saying that it isn’t important to be technically good at what you do, because its very important.  What I am saying is that the difference between being technically competent and being a success is often how you make your clients feel.