Dr. Chris Woolaver
4425 E. Agave Road, Suite 126
When dealing with customer service, it can become difficult for an orthodontic office to make sure every patient is comfortable.
Having a doctor examining a person while they’re knuckles deep in their mouth can be unpleasant, but Dr. Chris Woolaver and his staff believe costumer service comes first. That’s why Woolaver Clearsmiles is this year’s winner of Ahwatukee Foothills News’ Best Of 2012 “Best Customer Service” award.
Woolaver Clearsmiles is not your typical orthodontic office. It’s a wide open area with four examining chairs looking out towards the parking lot, a bar area in the middle equipped with flat-screen TVs along with refreshments for patients to enjoy themselves before being examined. It has a sports-type feel to it, having the staff members walking around in jogging suits, rather than scrubs.
Woolaver said he typically sees more adults than children, so he wants his clients in a comfortable setting.
“Most casual orthodontic offices have an open clinic with about five to six chairs in a open room, I just took that concept and took all the walls down to make it a more open area,” Woolaver said. “The bar was supposed to be originally a conference room, but I decided to make it into a bar to hold meetings there and have our patients enjoy themselves before being seen.”
Patient Coordinator Jessica Shanley has been working for Woolaver Clearsmiles for three years and when she is not taking care of multiple tasks, she is responsible for keeping the office family friendly.
“For our new patients we make sure to give them a tour of the office to show, so they can get a better feel for it,” Shanley said. “People tend to feel very comfortable here due to our outgoing staff.”
Being part of the Valley for about 13 years, Woolaver keeps his customer service a main priority by making his office always available to his patients. He and his staff make sure that if their patients have any problems, they will be seen within the next day. They also reserve front parking for initial consultations with the patient’s name written on a saved parking spot.
“Orthodontics comes with problems. Some of the patients might be dealing with broken brackets calling us on a Thursday, and we make sure to see them to fix the problem before the weekend comes,” Woolaver said. “We also do contests once a quarter for patients who have referred others to our office, which prizes were an Xbox, iTunes gift cards and an iPad. It’s to thank them for spreading the word of our business.”
Woolaver believes the work he’s doing changes the lives of mostly young people who are not comfortable with the way their teeth look. He finds excitement knowing that the work that he is doing is making a difference in a person’s self-esteem.
“While growing up I wore braces for almost 11 years, so I know how it feels to not feel comfortable about yourself,” Woolaver said. “To take a kid that is going through the same situation and to help them out is the most rewarding feeling.”
• Daniel Ochoa is a senior at The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He is interning this semester for the AFN.