Switching Cell Phone Carriers

A proud plug for a company with a soul

I recently switched cell phone carriers. Though I never had any significant problems with the old carrier, it never rang the excellence bell. That, and my favorite cell phone carrier was suddenly an option again…


We switched from Straight Talk to Ting, and I’m thrilled to be back.

A Dentist I Actually Like

I’ve always disliked going to the dentist. It was never a fun experience for me, nor did I respond well to it. I’ve gone to several different offices, but always had a bad first impression.

Maybe it is similar to wincing at doctors merely due to the pain you felt from shots they gave you as a child.


But the other day, I found a dentist I actually likeLake Forest Family Dentistry. Now let me explain why.

As I’ve said before, the bar is low when it comes to customer service. Deplorably low.

Occasionally, you have a decent experience with a company. Not even outstanding; just average and meeting your expectations. And very rarely, you get an overwhelmingly pleasant experience.

What made my dental appointment so pleasant?

They made me feel like a person.

I wasn’t just a number or a set of teeth which needed cleaning. To the team members at the office, I had a name, a face, a family, and feelings. All of this can be conveyed with just a few words and sincere body language.

They affirmed the integrity of my teeth.

I’ve been self-conscious about my teeth for many years. Yet within five minutes, this dentist made me feel like a million bucks.

How? He complimented my existing fillings and said they were done remarkably well. He told me they will last another two decades because they were done so well the first time.

They took the time to listen.

The hygienists asked me about my dental history. No surprise there. Then they waited for me to respond. They even waited for me to finish speaking! This is extremely rare.

(I’m not sure why this stands out so much to me, but it probably has something to do with various experiences in Jersey…)

They took the time to explain.

I get it — dentists have to do crazy things in your mouth. But it’s wonderful to know what to expect. Well-placed phrases such as “This will hurt a bunch, but will fade quickly” and “I’ll be back in 8 minutes to make sure you are numb” go a long way.

The dentist thoroughly answered my questions. He patiently explained why I should consider changing my brushing and flossing habits. It’s amazing how little instruction (what) is necessary when there is enough purpose (why).


This wasn’t magic. It wasn’t even manipulation. My wonderful experience was the result of many small, cumulative efforts which imply every person is important.

This office knows their core values. They live them.

And as the customer, I felt them.

Any guesses where I will go next time I need a cleaning?

Share a great customer service experience you have had. What made it great?

The Bar is Low

Wife and I recently had a great weekend away with friends. While there, we were reminded that the bar is low.

We drove our friends to pick up a rental car since we had to drive back early. We arrived after the reservation time due to a long final lunch together.

We waited in the car while our friend went to claim his reservation. We could see gestures and body language through the windows. The interaction took longer than it should have. Watching him trudge back to our car, it was obvious something was wrong.

The car rental location closed one hour before we arrived. The employees hadn’t left yet, although they were entirely “unable” to help. My friend was told some unconvincing story of why they could not do anything to do anything for him.

The rental car was sitting just outside, yet the employees would not allow him to claim it. Blech. Nor did they attempt to help with the resolution of the situation.

While we drove on, after calling headquarters and changing the reservation to another location, we discussed our frustration with that experience.

We didn’t realize the location closed so early in the day. And yes, we came later than our reservation time. Those were our fault. But aside from all that, the real disappointment came from how they helped resolve the issue.

They never even tried.

This fits into a theory Wife and I have about customer service and treating others well.

The bar is low.

Very low. The bar is so low that you barely have to lift your foot as you step to clear it entirely. Yet some people trip over it anyway and want it set even lower.

The height of the “bar” represents how hard the average person works at customer service. It seems people aren’t even trying to treat others well.

So what would make a world of difference for most customers, compared to their typical experience?

  • Care about the customer.
  • Do your job quickly.
  • Follow through on your duties.
  • Exceed expectations, if only just barely.
  • Go one step above and beyond.
  • Clean the bathroom.
  • Keep the customer informed.
  • Call customers back when you say you will.
  • Be polite.
  • Be friendly.
  • Smile.

You know the saying “Go the extra mile”? Well, the bar is so low you only need to go the extra inch to amaze people! It has never been easier to wow customers.

Share a notably good customer experience you have had. What made it good?