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“tea!? Coffee!?”

9 October 2018

‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel’
Maya Angelou

Hi everyone!

Back to normal this week – I love a good blog post on a Tuesday, the worst day is out of the way and we can focus on the glorious week ahead! 😊

As I type, I am being stared out by the beautiful autumn sunshine – and what a pleasure it is to see it out. I love this time of year, such beautiful colours, and the perfect mix of sunshine and cold for ‘blow away the cobwebs’ kind of walks. Rich and I went for an afternoon tea this weekend in the vain hope that we’d get that kind of weather and be able to walk off the cake and scones…but it wasn’t to be. Saturday, you might remember, was a bit of a write off, and the second time I’ve managed to book the venue for a rainy day (typical).

While I won’t mention the venue we visited by name, I will tell you about the experience we had when we first tried to have our afternoon tea way back in August – it’s an interesting lesson in how to not treat your customers.

My sister bought us the afternoon tea experience for Christmas (that’s a big old ‘high-five’ to my organisation skills that it was finally booked in August), and we had picked the venue based on several really good recommendations – so we were really excited. I should at this stage point out the kind of venue we were at – it was essentially a big manor house, with a fairly extensive history, so there are tours that run periodically, as well as afternoon teas and dinners. Within the first 5 minutes of arriving Rich and I had got lost – so that’s the sort of size we’re talking.
Anyway, issue number one arose when we arrived at the venue, and were told our name wasn’t on the bookings list. We were put in what was essentially the naughty corner, while the manager was called to deal with us. He decided we were allowed to have our tea and scones, so we were freed from the corner, and taken through to the room where tea would be served. This is where we experienced issue number two. There was a tour running in the room that we were escorted to. Instead of waiting for the tour to move on, our host felt it appropriate to cut through the middle of it, and plonk us down in front of an audience. I wanted the ground to swallow me up, I’ve never felt so many eyes staring at the back of my head. The embarrassment continued as our host entered into an impromptu ‘who can shout loudest’ competition with the tour guide – asking if we wanted ‘TEA OR COFFEE!?!?!’ ‘SUGAR!?’ While it was absolutely mortifying, I could not stop giggling with Richard while we continued to sit there in the middle of the history tour – it felt like we were back in a school assembly whispering gossip back and forth, trying not to get told off. When our host arrived back with our tea (no sugar😉) – we were informed as they were short staffed, we couldn’t have any other drinks, as they would need to collect them from another part of the house. As there was only one poor person serving, the service was slow and inattentive – which was a real shame, as the food was lovely, and the venue had a huge amount of character. I emailed their customer service manager the day after our visit, and they came back to me very apologetic, and offering the opportunity to try again – which we did this weekend – and it was lovely – an entirely different experience. (I did email them back thanking them for a much better experience – I’m the first to write and say when something is good, I promise!)

I don’t know if it’s just me (whether I’m getting old, or just much less tolerant), but I do find that customer service seems to be something that people are either really motivated to get right, or just totally uninterested in. It could be that I’m a particularly sensitive soul (Richard would say I am) – but I normally leave a restaurant / café / shop with a feeling that I’ve either been treated really well, or really poorly. I rarely leave without forming an opinion one way or the other. It can’t just be me – trip advisor is built because of people like me, google reviews was made to be an outlet for people like me.

It’s why we spend so much of our time in the dental world perfecting how we are with people – reminding ourselves what customer service is, what the best kind of patient experience is. We know our levels of service have to be at the highest peak, because you’re not just popping in for a coffee (although we do have excellent coffee here, just FYI), or buying a jumper – you are trusting us to look after you. We want you to leave with that feeling of being well treated, and satisfied that you have had the very best experience. The Briars has worked hard to establish a team that allows for each person to be looked after based on their individual needs, so there is never a feeling of being passed from pillar to post with nothing being achieved. We pride ourselves on creating an environment that is of high quality – squishy sofas that you end up snoozing in, cups of tea while you wait, up to date magazines to catch up on what Kate Middleton was wearing last Thursday – and that’s before you even step foot in the surgery.

We also really value your feedback, whether it’s a like on a Facebook post, a review on Google, (or a follow on the blog…😉) – it’s helpful for us to know both the areas in which we excel, and those in which we fall short.

Anyway, I’ll stop with my customer service ranting – it is one of those things I get a bee in my bonnet about! I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week!

Amy x

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Testimonials

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I recently visited Briars Dental Practice in Newbury and had a truly excellent experience. From the moment I walked in, the receptionist greeted me warmly and made me feel welcome. The hygienist who saw me prior to my appointment with the dentist was very thorough and gave me some great advice on how to keep my teeth healthy.I was then seen by Richard, one of the dentists at the practice, and I have to say that he and his nurse were fantastic. They put me at ease throughout the whole procedure, were extremely professional and caring, and made sure that I was comfortable at all times. I was also impressed by their attention to detail and their willingness to take the time to answer all of my questions.In fact, I was so pleased with my experience that I would also like to mention another dentist named Richard who saw me previously. He too was excellent, very thorough and professional, and I felt very well taken care of during my appointments with him.Overall, I can't recommend Briars Dental Practice highly enough. The staff are all so friendly, professional, and knowledgeable, and they really go above and beyond to make sure that their patients are well looked after. If you're looking for a great dental practice in Newbury, look no further than Briars.
Beatrice Andreea
Beatrice Andreea
12:07 11 May 23
Thank you for a wonderful experience, I am a coward when it comes to the dentist, Mr Nick French, put me at ease, and has the patience of a Saint. I would also say the dental nurse was I lovely lady who let me crush her hand while I was having my injections. I give Briars Dental Centre 10 out of 10, and would not hesitate to recommend them.
Jan Hamments
Jan Hamments
19:11 29 Jun 23
I had a hygienist appointment with Jo and her nurse, Suzanne. It was the first time I’d tried GBT and found the experience much more comfortable than usual. Jo and Suzanne really put me at ease and made sure I was happy throughout the treatment. It was good being able to clearly see the areas which I needed to improve on brushing and Jo gave me great tips. Would highly recommend
Lauren Jade
Lauren Jade
16:52 19 Jun 23
After such a positive experience today with Richard I thought it only fair to delete my previous review. I am a very nervous patient and not ashamed to say I cried before my appointment. Richard and his lovely dental nurse were so understanding and treated me with kindness and empathy. Richard explained everything to me and allowed me to go at my pace. All options for my next appointment were explained to me and I now have trust in Richard that I feel I will not need full sedation. I was in alot of pain prior to my appointment today along with an enormous amount of anxiety. Richard even explained to me how to breathe when having treatment- no other dentist has ever explained that to me before!Thank you again Richard and to your lovely dental nurse.
Mary Lovelock
Mary Lovelock
15:03 24 Apr 23
I had my consultancy appointment with Chelsea today who looked after me very well. She was very friendly and easy to talk to and explained everything to me very nicely. And also answered all of my questions and made me feel at ease today and for future appointments. It was nice to meet you, and thank you.Glenn.
Glenn Cooper
Glenn Cooper
22:20 23 May 23
I recently had to visit Richard Lineker as I'd broken a tooth.He and his lovely nurse Agata made me feel comfortable and explained what treatment I needed.They work extremely well as a team andmy treatment was painless.
Pauline Preston
Pauline Preston
13:59 12 Jul 23
Wanted to share my mother's thoughts of recent experience visiting Jo Craig hygienist."Jo was attentive , caring gentle and thorough today.I came out feeling fresh and motivated.Well looked after also by her lovely nurse Jenny."Angela Shaw.
Suzanne Hendry
Suzanne Hendry
11:03 21 Jul 23
I am very pleased with the treatment I received. After another dentist had told me the tooth had to be extracted, Mr Fady Khoury managed to save the tooth. The procedure was carried out in a very efficient and professional manner and I am very happy with the outcome.
Terence Marshall
Terence Marshall
16:03 24 Jul 23
Had an appointment with Chelsea today and it went very very well. Had my scans and photos done for Invisalign, which can be a bit awkward but she made it a comfortable experience. She was very friendly, welcoming, put me at ease and asked if I had any overall questions at that stage of the process. She was knowledgeable and explained everything I asked about. It's my first time at this clinic so I'm looking forward for my second appointment to discuss treatment. Great first impression from the moment I stepped through the door! Thanks!
Diana
Diana
11:01 31 Jul 23
A very happy customer! I had quite a lot of crooked and misaligned teeth so Victoria introduced me to Invisalign. She carefully created a program to give me the smile I wanted. In the end it took longer than we had expected but Victoria very diligently took me through every step of the process and she didn’t compromise on any part of the process to ensure I got the smile and teeth alignment we both wanted. A huge thank you to her and her assistant Jen who made every effort to make me feel comfortable throughout. Highly recommended.San
San James
San James
17:16 02 Aug 23
My visit to Richard last week went well. He identified that x rays hadn’t been taken for 3 years, and showed me the images, interpreting the results carefully and explaining the steps that may be required as treatment. I am disappointed that I will need to have another consultation to confirm if a root canal is needed. Warning: if you do need a consultation with the endodontist, you will need to pay in advance. I couldn’t do that on the day, but I will be booking in to have this followed up as soon as I can. I will need my own teeth for many more years!
Emma Mulholland
Emma Mulholland
15:31 18 Oct 23
Over the years I`ve found that the Briars delivers consistently high quality dental care and yesterday was no exception. I recieved first class root canal treatment by Dr. Richard Condon and team. Everything was explained carefully and despite my misconceptions was delivered pain free. I have no hesitation in recommending the Briars.
Mark Batten
Mark Batten
10:42 24 Oct 23
Having just completed a course of treatment with The Briars I can strongly recommend Fady and his team. Thank you for your straightforward and thorough approach, and for providing treatment in a stress-free environment.
Tom Saunderson
Tom Saunderson
08:16 02 Nov 23
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