Crabby Abby

One day shortly after I got married, my husband and I lugged my wedding dress to the dry cleaners.  When we got there,  I plopped the bulky dress bag on the counter and waited for an employee to finish her phone call so she could help me out.

When she hung up the phone, she turned to me and asked, “Wedding dress?”. I smiled and nodded. I noticed her name tag read, “Abby”.

She scrunched up her face and pointed to my dress, “That’s going to be expensive. Does it have a long train, because it will be more money with a long train.”

Whoa whoa whoa! Abby seemed rather crabby! (Crabby Abby!)

Time Out.

Now, this is my first encounter with this woman, she knows nothing about me or my financial situation. What is expensive anyway? Who’s to say what’s expensive for anyone?

I asked her, “What’s expensive?”

Her reply, “$120, but more like $150 if you want it preserved in a box”. She maintained that sour look on her face.

Another Time Out.

As someone who constantly looks at the long term value of purchases, I think $150 is actually pretty darn cheap to preserve my dress for years to come. Because I perceive the long term value of cleaning and preserving this gown, I was more than agreeable to pay $150. However, the final determination of what’s expensive should be MY decision…not Crabby Abby’s!

I spent a long time thinking about this dry cleaner employee for the rest of that night and it got me thinking about how her behavior may affect that particular business. If she often behaves this way, there’s no telling how much business she’s turning away.

People who contact a business need a good guide to get through the transactions. That guide should be working on the side of the business-not against the business!

I would have rather had that employee enthusiastically greet me with, “Hello there! Is that your wedding dress? Congratulations! Let’s take care of that gorgeous gown so you can keep it looking beautiful forever!”

I could tell by the look on her face that Crabby Abby just did NOT believe in her company. She couldn’t get behind the cost. Why isn’t she PROUD of the services her company offers and CONFIDENT in their prices?

I suppose she was so reluctant because there may have been a bride or two in her past that have grumbled at the cost, and maybe that’s why she presented the cost the way she did. BUT THAT’S THE COWARDLY approach!

HOWEVER, if she would greet customers enthusiastically and talk about the VALUE first (gorgeous gown looking beautiful forever) perhaps she would have a better customer response.

Do you see the difference? Putting that positive spin on the experience will result in a higher acceptance rate!

This same concept applies to dentistry!

Who presents cost to your patients? I’ll give you a hint…EVERYONE does! Everyone in your office can help to create value and can sell your services to your patients.

Does the front desk GUSH about how good your practice is when a patient calls? We do and I’ve NEVER heard another office do it the way we do it.

Team members should be working WITH the business, not against it!

FD: I’m so glad you called today! We can definitely help you with that toothache! Dr. Smith does such a GREAT job helping people in these situations. I love hearing patients laugh because the appointment comes and goes so quickly and easily!

Do the assistants RAVE about how good the dentist is when they bring back a patient? Do the assistants compliment the doctor as they watch treatment being done?

DA: Dr. Smith is really looking forward to helping you out today. This morning, he said he couldn’t wait to fix that tooth for you so you could chew on that side again. And then during treatment, “Wow! Dr. Smith, that tooth is starting to look amazing! Nice job!”

Do the hygienists BOAST  about how many patients are satisfied with treatment done at your office?

RDH: I know you are considering having veneers done.  Let me show you some before and after photos of Dr. Smith’s work. He works really hard to give patients the smile they want. It all looks so beautiful and natural in the end! Take a look!

Think about your staff.

Are they adding to patient objections? Are they making it easy for your patients to walk out the door? Do you work with a Crabby Abby?


Does your staff talk you up so much that it makes you blush all day?

Which road are they leading your patients on?  You know what road I’m NOT on!

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