Are You Putting Your Best Foot Forward? Who is the Real Face of Your Business?

Are You Putting Your Best Foot Forward? Who is the Real Face of Your Business?

I’ve been sitting on the quote below for a while.

I cut and pasted it into Notes on my Mac some time back now, thinking that I’d use bits and pieces of it some day…

Well today I thought I’d use it holus bolus.

But, I forgot whose quote it is.

I’m sorry.

So if it’s your quote, or your list, I say thanks, whoever you are. It certainly is an inspirational topic, or list…

Your Dental Practice Is Too Small!

Yes, that’s right.

It’s too small to have someone less than fantastic at the front desk.

It’s too small to avoid being on Facebook.

It’s too small to not have convenient hours.

It’s too small to ignore the competition.

It’s too small to not sign your own checks.

It’s too small to ignore online reviews.

It’s too small to have any employees who don’t have a great attitude.

It’s too small for the dentist not to do personal welcome calls to all new patients.

It’s too small to let any call go to voice mail.

It’s too small to not ask each of your patients for referrals.

It’s too small to not have a great website.

 And no matter how big your practice gets, these will all still be true.”

It really is a great list of ten parts.

Ten quick points that every dental office needs to stand up and take note and take action about.

And take action NOW! Right NOW!!

I’ll discuss only one of the ten topics today, but on future Fridays we’ll come back and visit with others of the ten, with the hope I guess of covering all ten in their entirety into the early new year.

How does that sound?

Although I had intended to begin this stream with one of the topics down the list, today I’d like to lead with the first topic on the list.

My Dental Practice is too small to have someone less than fantastic at the front desk.

This needs to be your Mantra.

I’ve always believed that the front desk person is the face of the business. The business of the dental practice.

“The front desk person is the face of the business”.

It’s a line I’ve used and closed Position Vacant Advertisements with.

In fact, here are some of the lines I’ve used in a recent advertisement:

“This is a unique opportunity for a caring, efficient dental receptionist with dental experience to join our well-respected aesthetic, general and restorative practice.

You are a people oriented person with a warm caring nature and a pleasant, professional disposition.

You have an eye for detail and a pride in your work and a sense of achievement.

You have the ability to work productively.”


These are fairly specific and detailed characteristics required.

The Front Office Person must have the ability to switch off all outside thoughts and emotions and leave them at the door when they begin their day at work.

She is immediately able to switch into Concierge or Hostess mode, and maintain that pleasant disposition throughout every moment of her entire day, no matter what situations are presented to her and put in front of her.

We want our customers and clients to feel that they have *come home*, to the home of a best friend. We want our customers’ front desk experience to be like one they have never ever received at any other Dental Office. In fact, we want it to be an *experience* like no other that they’ve received from *any* business, any other business that they’ve ever been to before.


“The practice is fully computerised, ultra modern environment where treatment and customer care is at the highest level.

You will be provided with the necessary support and training to assist your integration into this exciting and rewarding role.”


The applicant is told exactly where the Dental Office is at with respect to Customer Service.

The Dental Office does not want a character like Roz from Monsters Inc.

This is not a “gatekeeper” role at all.



“The Front Office Receptionist position is a varied role, which at times is extremely busy. The position involves general reception duties including managing the appointment books for all dentists and hygienists, handling up to six incoming phone lines, patient accounts, incoming and outgoing mail, lab work, typing letters, data collection and collation as well as the general day to day running of the front office.

 In addition to these duties you will also be responsible for managing overdue accounts, sending patient letters and reminders, surgery accounts, typing Dictaphone treatment notes, financial reports, preparing for meetings including agendas and minutes, updating Standard Operating Procedures, assisting with marketing, helping in the implementation of strategies to improve our business and most importantly concentrating on verbal skills.

 This is a challenging position with a great deal of expectation.


Wow!! Sounds like we need a super human Octopus!!

The role is not an easy one. It is a challenge.

In laying out the above detail, it becomes obvious that the Front Desk Role is really a job for two or more people to perform all roles at an optimum level.

Because it is such a varied role.

So some of the administrative duties described above are shared between two people. Some duties are also shared and delegated to the Practice Manager of the Dental Office as well.


“You will be rewarded with fantastic work conditions, a great work environment and lovely people to work with. This is a fantastic place to work where you will be a respected integral part of our team.

This is a great career opportunity to learn a brilliant way to manage a dental practice.”


A Roz is definitely not required here.

The type of person we want our clients and customers to be greeted by and farewelled by is, as I said, their friend.

Their new best friend.

That friend is our valued team member. Valued by our team.


And that feeling of “team”, and of “value” radiates from our Front Desk Person during every moment of their day.


“We are looking for someone who will be committed to their job and provide our patients with the best possible care. The successful applicant will need to be a person who does not get stressed easily, can handle difficult situations with professionalism, and is always able to make our patients feel relaxed and at ease.”


As I just said above, the Front Desk Person needs to be a well-balanced, confident people person.

The front desk person, the right person, can make or break a Dental Office.

It’s not just any old position.

It’s not just a position that you can throw anyone into.

Having the wrong person at the Front Desk can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue walking out your door.


Through lost opportunity.

You see, dentistry is a Grudge Buy.

Like buying tyres.

No one really wants to do it…

You need to make sure that you do everything in your power to make a visit to your office feel like a visit to a friend’s home.

It just so happens that at this friend’s home, dental services are performed.

And the friendliness starts at the front desk.


 The Front Office Receptionist is the face of our business…..



 The Ultimate Patient Experience  is a simple to build system that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office of patients who love coming to see me, who come more often, spend more per visit, and accept more treatment, and also refer more, in an ordinary Sydney suburb.  If you’d like to know how I did this, then you must read my free special report.

Email me at

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Are You and Your Team Truly World Class?

Are You and Your Team Truly World Class?

My mentor, John DiJulius, said:

“Service is the desire to put the interest of others before ourselves.”

And so it should be.

True World Class Customer Service is about going that extra mile.

It’s about doing the things, for our customers, that they would never expect, and that our competitors haven’t even considered doing.

And doing those things on a regular and consistent basis, so that they become part of your everyday company culture, your everyday protocols and your day-to-day systems.

True World Class Service is consistently delivering Above and Beyond moments for our clients, customers and patients, so that they are constantly amazed, continually surprised, and left, in awe, saying:

“Wow! This place is different!”

“Wow! I’ve never had any one else do that for me before, in any business…”

Part of that process of putting the interests of others before our own also relates to how we deal with our co-workers, employers, and also our families.

Why in some organisations are some employees there, day in and day out, through sickness and in health, while others seem to maximize their absenteeism?

Surely those who are continually absent, without any consideration of their co-workers, are letting down those co-workers, their employer and his business, as well as their customers?

They certainly are not putting the interests of others [their co-workers and their employer] before their own?

In my travels across the USA I know that leave entitlements, or should I say allowances, vary from state to state.

And sadly, I’ve seen dental offices, which are small businesses and close working environments, battle with employees that continue to stretch the envelope with respect to absenteeism.

I’ve even seen offices where employee grace has been granted for absenteeism way in excess of what could be termed usual and customary.

I once heard it said that your best employees have the fewest days of absence. And I’ve often found this to be the case.

You’ll find, putting it simply, that absenteeism can be paired up with attitude.

Higher absenteeism is related to poor attitude. Period.

So what are the signs of poor attitude?

Often an employee with an attitude of less than one hundred percent commitment to themselves, to their co-workers, to their employer and to their business and their customers, will be the one who is always looking at their phone, always on a coffee break, always first out the door at the end of the day.

They are the ones who metaphorically choose to clean out cupboards rather than deal with the essential necessities of their business.

And they’re the ones who always seem to have the opportunity of doing *more* for the business, but aren’t.

They’re not hard to pick. With all these characteristics, these employees are the ones with little or no passion and enthusiasm for what your business does, and what they are required to do.

They don’t realise that their role is about creating a value over and above their job description, and the product that your business is selling.

They just don’t get it…

And if they don’t get it, then they are choking your business.

Attitude is about desire. It’s about having a “need to please”.

Look for that desire when hiring. Look for that “need to please”. Please the customers. Please the co-workers. Please the employer.

DiJulius said:

“World class service is not something you deliver, it is a result of something you are.”

 To give World Class, you have to be World Class.

And if you feel you aren’t World Class, you need to become World Class. And you can.

And then you can give it….


Learning how to be truly World Class is just one of the benefits of  The Ultimate Patient Experience, a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb.  If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at

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Are You and Your Team Truly World Class?

The Lost Fortune in Your Dental Office…Are You Leaving Money On The Table?

One of the sad things that I see in my travels is the constant pursuit by dental offices of more and more New Patients.

This pursuit of the New Patient is often made at the obvious expense of rectifying some significant major shortcomings within the Dental Practice.

We’re all aware of the Acres of Diamonds story. A story of a South African farmer, with a successful farm, who goes off to search the continent for this newfound wealth, called diamonds. After exhausting all his assets and time, he returns to his now neglected farm, where he sadly passes.

For some reason, at his moment of death, a stone is dislodged and guess what appears? The richest diamond deposit ever found, right there under his very nose, all that time….

This story or parable is related back in dentistry to the *Fortune in the Filing Cabinet*.

There is always, without a doubt, incomplete treatment and unexplained treatment plans and delayed treatment plans just sitting there in your Office Patient files.

While this undone work just sits there, Dentists and Dental Office owners are often seen chasing after more and more new patients. For some reason they prefer to attract new patients rather than to call and reactivate patients of record.

Now mathematically, as well as financially, this makes very little sense indeed.

I’ve read the figures time and time again that it costs three or four or five times more to attract a new customer to a business as it does to keep in touch with and nurture an existing client or patient.

So with all that incomplete treatment just sitting there in your filing drawers, it makes very little sense to be increasing your marketing spend by four or five times when you have already acquired those customers who know you already?

Now, there are always many reasons why clients and patients do not complete all their necessary and diagnosed treatment:

  • Perceived lack of urgency or priority.
  • Lack of complete trust
  • Overwhelm
  • Insufficient funds or affordability

The overcoming of each of these four parameters is indeed a topic for discussion in itself for each of these categories, and I will explore each of them individually in future blogs.

Suffice to say, there are many avenues of “neglect”, or neglect of information that leads to a mountain of incomplete treatment just sitting there in our office filing cabinets.

Sadly, we have team members who would rather not deal with the reasons why existing patients of record are not completing treatment.

And it all comes down to belief.

If you have team members who don’t believe in the importance of dentistry, and the removal of dental decay and the removal and reduction of periodontal diseases and the benefits of smile enhancement through cosmetic procedures and that everybody should be given the *best* dental treatment options all the time and every time: if you have team members who aren’t on the bus with you, then these will be the team members who are always asking for more new patients…

Because new patients will always have some percentage of treatment acceptance, and if you have *some* percentage, then provided you have enough quantity of new patient, then you will still fill your appointment book with treatment.

But at what expense?

At the expense of filling the filing cabinet with more and more treatment plans that are never completed.

In my own office, where I’ve been treating dental patients for twenty seven years straight, I’ve found that patients of long standing record, of six or seven or ten plus years or more are far more willing to accept treatment diagnosed there and then than are new patients to the office who are yet to buy me and accept me.

Again, another topic for future discussion…the benefits of long term single office location vs. practice hopping.

[As an aside, I had a dental student buddy who following graduation, worked two part time dentist jobs and rolled them over and moved on every two years. In effect, he was never around long enough to see whether his dental work survived the test of time….]

So when it comes to the Acres of Diamonds sitting in our filing cabinets, what is the best manner or way in dealing with these patients?

The answer is simply, *Systems*!

Your office must have  systems for regular and routine contact of patients that have failed to schedule or reschedule treatment.

Otherwise patients are just falling through the cracks and out of your office never to return again.

One thing or phrase that I learned from another non-dental business is this:

“The purpose of an appointment id to make another appointment”

Coupled with something I learned from a real estate agent:

“It’s easier to change an appointment than it is to call and create a new appointment”

So applying these into dentistry is simple: Every patient needs to leave your dental office with a future scheduled appointment.

A daily list of patients leaving without an appointment, paired with the name of the team member who allowed the patient to do so, needs to be furnished to the doctor and practice manager every day.

A daily tracker needs to be also presented showing that each patient treated or attending that day has made an ongoing appointment, and the nature of that appointment needs to be noted.

On top of this, a second list of patients ringing and calling to cancel already made appointments needs to be furnished each day.

Finally, a third list of patients calling to reschedule and move already made appointments needs to be recorded.

Now I’ve heard team members complain that this is a lot of paperwork, but the aim of the daily task is to create blank lists. Lists where no patient leaves without an appointment. A list where no patient calls to cancel treatment scheduled. And a list where no patient rings to reschedule.

When these lists are blank, it means we have a dental office and team in control of their appointment book. When these lists are long we have an appointment book that is in control of the dental office.

And guess which of these two offices is the more stressful environment to work in?

In future blogs I’ll be discussing the best ways of reactivating patients from those acres of diamonds sitting in your filing cabinet drawers.

And I’ll also  discuss the systems your office needs to have in place and operating so that reactivation is never an onerous task.


The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple easy to implement system I developed that allowed me to build an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb.  If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me:

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Are You and Your Team Truly World Class?

Under Promise and Over Deliver

One of the most disappointing things in life that any person can experience is the feeling of being let down.

Being let down, by someone who says that they’ll do something, and then they don’t, is so common place in this day and age that we tend to take this behaviour almost for granted.

In dentistry, by behaving in a contrarian manner, and not letting people down, you can really make your Dental Office stand out. And not just stand out from other Dental Offices in your area, but stand out above other businesses in general that your clients and customers do business with.

Here are a couple of examples of how easy it is to look good to your clients by a process known as under promising and over delivering.

1. Laboratory work:

Your crown and bridge turn around time from your lab is eight working days. So why not schedule your patients out to twelve or fifteen working days, and offer them this:

“Mrs. Smith, if your dental work returns earlier from our laboratory, would you like me to give you a call if we are able to see you sooner?”

We know that there’s a good chance that the lab work will be back early.

Mrs. Smith will be so grateful for the consideration of the offer of bringing her appointment forward. And it gives our office the opportunity of making an extra “touch” or contact with Mrs. Smith.

On the flip side, if we do not allow this flex time with our issue or seating appointment, and the lab work is delayed, then we can be left with no option but to reschedule Mrs. Smith to a later appointment.

This would not be good.

In the above example, by being able to bring Mrs. Smith’s appointment forward, we have set up an opportunity for our office to over deliver.

Here’s another example when scheduling:

2. Scheduling with too much haste:

Here’s the scenario. You have a couple of one hour production appointments vacant in your appointment book for tomorrow that you need to fill.

Mrs. Jones is emerging from hygiene where it has been discovered and diagnosed she has a couple of large restoration s that need replacing with porcelain crowns.

Our initial reaction is often to jump up and slot Mrs. Jones straight in to one of those vacancies tomorrow right there and then.

My suggestion, to under promise and over deliver, is to not do that, but to do this….

My suggestion is to make Mrs. Jones an appointment for a few days time, but with urgency created…

With the following proviso:

“Mrs. Jones. Doctor has said he’d rather do this crown for you as soon as possible, because he is concerned that what you have in there at the moment could break away at any time. Now I may have a vacancy come up in my schedule for tomorrow, but I won’t know for certain until this afternoon…. If a time does become available, and I can get you in tomorrow, would you like me to give you a call this afternoon?”

Straight away you are under promising. And the offer to over deliver is there.

Mrs. Jones will jump at the opportunity to come in tomorrow. You have created some more urgency for her.

You know that you can call Mrs. Jones early in the afternoon and slot her in for tomorrow to fill that spot.

But you have also kept that slot available for a few hours just in case you need it for a true emergency.

The other thing, by doing this, rather than giving Mrs. Jones that time for tomorrow then and there on the spot, is that Mrs. Jones doesn’t ever entertain the thought that Doctor found that work just because he had a vacancy to fill for tomorrow.

By putting Mrs. Jones on standby for tomorrow’s vacancy, we’ve been able to easily make our office look good by under promising and over delivering.

And think about it. This is no different to when you go to a restaurant, and they ask you to wait in the bar because there’s going to be a twenty-five minute wait for your table? And then they call you after fifteen minutes?

Or at Disney, when you are waiting in line for a ride, there are signs there letting you know how much longer your wait will be? But the wait is always less than the sign says…

You know how you feel when your wait is longer…

It’s all about Under Promising.

And Over Delivering.


Learning the art of how to Under Promise and Over Deliver is just one of the benefits of using  The Ultimate Patient Experience, a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb.  If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at

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