By Timothy Hyland
As it has throughout its 20-year history, DOCS Education works week-in and week-out to serve its thousands of members, and through them, dental patients at large.
The organization’s dedication to extraordinary member services makes Lindsay Olsen one of the most important – and beloved – people at DOCS, even though she is also one of the newest staffers.
Olsen has been with DOCS for just three years, having started there when she was still an undergrad at the University of Washington.
But Lindsay’s 24/7 ‘service-with-a-smile’ approach immediately impressed her colleagues, and she was rapidly promoted to the position of Customer Loyalty Manager. In that role, she leads the team of DOCS Customer Loyalty Representatives who stand ready to help new and prospective members receive and utilize all of the membership privileges to which they are entitled.
DOCS Education members are part of an elite community of professionals serving at the forefront of dentistry. Members are respected by their peers, as well as in their communities, as champions of healthcare excellence who are dedicated to providing the safest, state-of-the-art, dental services.
Membership includes participation in the popular EliteDocs Forum; a listing on the consumer-facing patient-referral service, SedationCare.com; free year-round legal and regulatory counsel; and members-only savings on all DOCS Education courses and equipment.
In many ways, Olsen says, the job is exactly what one might assume it to be: answering questions from members (pretty much any time of day or night); helping members navigate their regulatory minefields; steering them to the best continuing education courses; and – when necessary – putting them in immediate contact with a faculty member who can advise them on the best dental protocols.
“What I oversee is customer service," she says. “But it goes so far beyond just customer service.”
Indeed, she says it didn’t take long after she began at DOCS – and working alongside such key team members as longtime employee and Chief of Staff Coni Fadigan – for Olsen to realize that everyone at DOCS has a true sense of ownership covering the entire organization, not just their assigned area of focus.
Whatever It Takes
At DOCS, Olsen says, every staffer is fully invested in its success and that of its members and their patients. Every staffer believes in the mission. And yes, every staffer is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that mission is fulfilled.
It’s a level of commitment that may best be personified by Fadigan, who once served in the role that Olsen now occupies – and has served as a valuable mentor since Olsen arrived.
“I am on Skype with [Coni] all day, every day,” Olsen says. “I talk to her on weekends. I talk to her when I'm at the gym. She has been such a strong mentor for me, in life and in this role.”
That mentorship, Olsen says, has included guidance on everything from the importance of work-life balance to the right way to run a team, from learning how to deal with the inevitable ups and downs of business, to the value of seeing beyond the day-to-day in order to address the larger issues at hand.
“It’s hard to put work aside sometimes," Olsen says. “I’m usually on email, pretty much at any point in the day, and it can be hard to separate from that. One of the biggest things Coni’s taught me is that as important as work is, sometimes, if something isn’t actually pressing, it can sit for a moment. She’s also taught me a lot about business, and how to build relationships, and how to run a team. She’s guided me on how not to take things so personally, to always see the big picture.”
For Olsen, seeing the big picture often means taking a step back and remembering that while she has a specific role within DOCS – working with and on behalf of members – she is part of an organization that has a much larger, much broader, and much more impactful mission: helping dentists serve their patients, many of whom are anxious when it comes to oral health treatments.
With time and experience, Olsen says she’s learned that while she may not be able to answer every question or address every situation that members bring her way, so long as DOCS continues to do the work it was formed to do, she is confident that the organization will continue to grow and thrive.
“I’m a firm believer that you can’t sell something that isn’t authentic,” Olsen says. “We have a strong team, and I think it’s at our events when we really have an opportunity to build those relationships with our members. We’re face-to-face with the doctors there, and when we go on these trips, we are a great team, and we have fun together, and we don’t take each other too seriously. I think when members see that, it’s such a great reason to be part of DOCS Education because you see we’re the real deal and people who genuinely care.”
She adds: “We’ve done so much training to be able to serve our members. It absolutely warms my heart and makes me feel so good about our team. I know our members are being treated the way they deserve to be treated, and they’re being shown such respect.”
Author: Contributing writer Timothy Hyland has more than 20 years’ experience as a writer, reporter, and editor. His work has also appeared in Fast Company, Roll Call, Philadelphia Business Journal, and the Washington Times.
His previous DOCS Education 20th Anniversary profiles include: