A few weeks ago, I went to a routine checkup at the dermatologist. If you’ve been before, you know the drill — you put on that silly paper gown and stand there cold (and slightly embarrassed) as the doctor looks over every inch of your body and tells you why you need to wear sunscreen. This time, the doctor ended up finding a spot on my arm and removed it for testing. After a week of waiting for my results, my frustration only escalated.

Based on the poor experience I had with my dermatologist’s office, here are four ways businesses can better serve their clients:

1. Be responsive. I travel a lot, and when I say a lot, I mean the TSA guys know my name. So, when the doctor called with my results and to schedule a follow-up visit, he got my voicemail. I returned his call promptly, only to get the office’s machine, which stated that they were too busy to take my call. Now, I get it. I don’t like it, but I get it. However, what I don’t get is why I called five more times at different times and got the same message.

Do whatever you can to answer the ringing phone. It’s most likely your client, calling about spending money with you.

2. Speak simple language. I was asked, “Are you coming in for a ‘term I have no idea how to spell or pronounce’ again?” I have no idea.

Every industry has its own lingo. In law, “prima facie” signifies “at first look,” and in the medical field, “airwolf” is slang for “air ambulance.” These terms are meaningless to those outside the industries. Speak in simple, layman’s terms to your clients.

3. Know what’s up. Once I was able to speak with someone at the doctor’s office, I was asked (several times) why I needed to come in.

By any means possible, please know what the client is looking for. If you have multiple departments, find a way to keep records so that everyone has access to them and knows what’s going on with your client. The client experience depends on good communication.

4. Don’t ask me for something you should have. During my follow-up visit at the dermatologist’s office, I was asked for my medical history from the previous visit. I was not aware that I was responsible for having this with me — and it is not something I routinely carry around with me.

Just like you wouldn’t expect your barber to ask you to bring your own scissors, don’t expect your client to provide you with information that you clearly should already have.

Think about these the next time you interact with your clients. After all, your business thrives with their support (and money). Do everything you can to make sure they receive the best experience possible — because if not, they’ll find someone else who will.

This story was originally published in The Tennessean.