The Real Secret to Offering True World Class Service

The Real Secret to Offering True World Class Service

There’s a secret to running a Dental Office with truly World Class Customer Service.

The secret is to have every employee having clearly defined roles and duties to perform at each and every stage of the Client or Patient Experience.

Every stage.

Each and every stage of the Client or Patient Experience must be clearly defined, and analysed, so that the required result for each stage can be expected, delivered and attained.

Once a Dental Office has those clear definitions, then and only then should they look at the roles of who on their team does what at each stage, and what are the expected outcomes for each and every one of those actions performed.

Each task performed by each team member throughout the day, with respect to each patient or customer, should always have a clear and defined purpose.

A result, a consistent result, should be the outcome of a specific duty performed to a set of predetermined standards.

Standards that are representative of the image of our office, and the feeling, the experience that you desire and want for our clients and patients.

Everything, yes everything, is done for a purpose.

A specific purpose.

It’s not contrived.

Its common sense multiplied and personified.

And if you’re a little confused, then think Disney for a moment.

Everything at Disney is done specifically for a reason.

Or purpose.

Or outcome.

For instance, did you know that the Disney employees that collect litter during the day are the employees who are asked most often for directions by visitors to the park?

Not only must these employees have an intimate knowledge of which rides and attractions are situated where in the Disney property, they are also trained to escort the patrons to the ride then and there rather than just wave them off in a general direction.

How’s that then for going that little bit extra? For going Above and Beyond?

For most of us, as visitors to Disney Parks, this would seem an Above and Beyond moment. But for Disney, it’s part of everyday culture.

It’s not what I would call an Operational Standard. It’s more an Experiential Standard.

An Operational Standard would be a task or procedure that would be performed in every Dental Office, no matter where that Office was located.

Routine run of the mill bread and butter task.

An Experiential Standard, on the other hand is a standard that your office sets for a task that is a regular item for *your* office to perform, but is not something that the average Dental Office out there would consider performing.

For example, a cup of water for the patient to rinse their mouth with would be an Operational Standard.

Done everywhere.

Always having the cup filled would be an Operational Standard at most offices, so that time is not lost waiting for the cup to be refilled.

Having the Dental Assistant holding the cup ready for the patient and handing it to them, along with fresh tissues, and sitting there with them, caring for them as they battle with a numb mouth, is an Experiential Standard that we have chosen for my patients.

It is a task or duty performed *every* time.

Other offices may feel that Dental Assistants are better employed to be putting things away rather than doting on patients while they rinse.

I’ve seen that too.

But that second way is not for me.

That second way is a way I would rather not be treated, if I were the patient…

When a Dental Office truly wants to take Service to a whole new level, setting Experiential Standards is one of the true fundamentals they need to embrace.

Because it’s really not OK to just say, “Yes, we do Customer Service”.

The term “Customer Service” is often just used generically as an ineffective bandage, or dressing, to cover over what is really a serious condition that needs a more detailed and thorough attention.

And healing.

When a Dental Office decides to look thoroughly at the Patient Experience, then the Office lifts to a whole new level.

Not just “the Next Level”.

[Oh I dislike that cliché!!]

If you’re thinking about providing an Experience for your Patients and Customers, then you need to develop and implement a system, a watertight system, that dots the I’s and crosses the T’s.

To do it correctly.

Because just like a roof, anything less than watertight is ineffective.

And that’s not good…


The Ultimate Patient Experience  is 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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Sometimes You Just Have To Let Things Happen

Sometimes You Just Have To Let Things Happen

I’ve spent a nice bit of time, on and off this last two weeks, in Dallas, Texas.

Between mastermind meetings and Superconferences, what I’ve also enjoyed, has been catching up and spending time with colleagues and friends in the dental industry.

That’s the beauty of masterminding and networking.

It brings together the cream of the crop.


Those who seek out information, and seek more knowledge, are drawn to these types of events.

It’s great to be expectant of “bumping into someone” at these events.

And often it’s the excitement of meeting new people as well.

One of my good friends has recently left the practice of dentistry and is making himself an exciting living as a networker. Outside of the field of dentistry.

He’s had an interesting career in dentistry. Where he’s worked in his own businesses, as well as in partnership, and for other owners, dentist owners, as well as corporate owners.

My goodness, he seems to have seen quite a lot in dentistry.

And that’s been the joy, for me, of listening to his tales and stories, of his journeys, both on the tools and also in advising and consulting dental owners as well.

I like his tale, his story, his lesson, about working for owners who “just didn’t get it”.

People who changed things because of lack of knowledge, and shortage of information.

And not because information was scarce.

It was more because they chose not to seek out, listen and learn.

About new information.

My friend told a story about a Dental Office he worked at in Texas that pulled the pin, or stopped using, Infusionsoft for their marketing.

And Infusionsoft is one of those really great tools that all businesses can use for tracking, intricately, their CRM [Customer Relationship Management] and database.

Digitally and virtually. And physically.

My point is here that the new owners chose to discontinue its use.

Because they did not understand its use. And its power.

So my friend and his employers parted ways.

The dental office did not grow without my friend, and the CRM.

Sadly, it was sold later on, in disarray, close to bankruptcy.

Which is not a story with an ending any businessperson, and dental office owner too, wants to here.

And here’s my point.

It’s really sometimes like raising small children.

Sometimes you’ve just got to *believe*.

And trust.

And let go and trust.

Little boys need to fall off their bikes.

They need to graze their knees.

And get down and dirty.

And learn from the school of hard knocks.

Because you can’t teach a child how to ride a bike without having that faith….

The faith that they will get it right, eventually.

And keep on. And balance. And ride.

The faith that things will be OK. That things will work out right.

And sometimes in business, you need to have that faith…

It’s said, that everything happens for a reason.

That there is a divine plan.

Thirty-five years ago I read a book called “The Man Who Gave The Beatles Away”, by Allan Williams.

It’s a sad story, because through his own admission, Allan Williams should have been the manager of The Beatles.

Well, he was.

But he decided to part ways with them, just before they made it….

Because he just failed to see it. To trust it. To believe it.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

I’m not saying go out and build a baseball field in your corn paddock.

But sometimes, sometimes, you’ve got to have some faith.

And belief.

And where do you get that belief?

By networking, masterminding, and seeking out knowledge…

And hanging around, and associating, with other believers..


The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple easy to implement system that 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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The Real Secret to Offering True World Class Service

Five Costly Mistakes That Restaurants Keep On Making…. and How These Relate Back To Your Dental Office

Sometimes there are times that I wish that I had never been bitten by the bug.

The Customer Service Bug.

Or more precisely, the *World Class* Customer Service Bug.

Because it’s tough.

It’s tough looking out at the world through tainted eyes.

Through eyes, that are so expectant of receiving World Class Customer Service.

From everyone!

From everybody!


And sadly, truth be known, it doesn’t always happen.

Sadly, it rarely happens.

There are places that you go that you would expect to be WOWED!! with knock-your-socks-off World Class Service.

And there are other places that you don’t expect great service.

And isn’t it nice, isn’t it a surprise in itself, when you receive an act of World Class Service when and where you might least expect it?

We all know those surprise times when an attendant, or a shop assistant goes above and beyond in an effort to WOW us?

And how good do we feel in these surprised moments?

You know it!

The feeling is worth bottling!

But sadly, that feeling of WOW is becoming less and less frequent…

On the flip side, what is worse, is the feeling of disappointment we get when we are let down with inferior service in an environment where above average service is expected.

Like fine dining.

And last night, while here in Dallas, I fine dined.

And was severely disappointed.

Now it wasn’t that the service was bad.

It was just….wrong!

So wrong!

And it was so wrong that it was obvious that instruction came from above, and though probably well intended. But they were delivered in a manner that indicted lack of attention to review, and feedback and accountability.

And with this lack of feedback, or non-existence of a feedback loop, came customer disappointment.

Sometimes I wonder whether with this eye for detail and detailed analysis, whether I should be advising the Restaurant Industry rather than the Dental Profession.

Because it seems that in every second month, I’m writing about Service Defects I see or experience during recent Culinary Expeditions.

And today is just another one of those days…

So what went wrong?

You wouldn’t think that in a quiet less than half filled restaurant that one person dining alone could feel such disappointment?

Especially when the restaurant had adequate floor staffing.

Well, I did. And here’s what went wrong.

And what went wrong, to me may not have been done on purpose, but it was done without thought.

And that’s not good.

For anyone.

My meal involved only four choices. A pre-dinner drink [US readers please read cocktail for this] and a glass of wine. A starter, and a main meal.

That’s all.

Yet they were brought in such quick succession that the savouring and enjoyment that I was meant to experience was totally lost.

For instance, my starter, a plate of eight small pieces of sashimi arrived before my cocktail was even half consumed.

As did my glass of red wine.

And my main meal was brought to the table while I was still eating my sashimi.


All in the space of no longer than twenty five minutes.

So here’s my take on this….

Point One: It’s Ok to be efficient, its OK to be prompt, but not to the point of ridiculous that the client’s comfort and well-being are turned base over apex.

The pace of service should have matched my persona.

Instead, the pace of service was chosen for me. And whether that’s how they do things in Dallas on a Sunday night,

, if I’m paying, then I’d like to have some contribution to the pace of play.

Dental Application:

How’s your pace of play in your dental office?

Are your patients being rushed through various crucial stages of your Customer Experience?

Too often than not I see the chair return to upright after the doc has finished drilling and the Dental assistant has their back to the patient hastily putting stuff away in preference to being there with a warm towel and a cup of clean water for the patient to rinse.

Or the doc is off away with his head buried into the PC rather than being there with the patient’s own spectacle glasses as they return to regular vertical orientation.

Same thing can happen at the front desk, if systems and protocols are not set up from the get go. Patients can often feel rushed through that whole process, and pushed out the front door a few hundred lighter and not really much visibly to see for their time and money.

While taking our time at the checkout can be time consuming, it pays dividends in spades because it becomes an *experience* where the patient also makes an appointment and gives us money, rather than a *process* that interrupts our front office person’s day.

Remember, the same end result is arrived at in both scenarios above; it’s just that one of those ways is far more comfortable and friendly toward our customer than is the other.

Point Two:

The seater had left me with a menu folder and the wine iPad. When the server, David, brought my cocktail back, he rattled off a few specials, and at the same time, while speaking, reached over for the iPad, which I had laid to the side. And while reciting the specials, he proceeded to tap the iPad back to home, and away from the selection that I had been ready to order.

Without even asking!

Dental Application:

 How many times do we bring the patient in to the treatment room and seat them, and bib them up and tip them back in one fell swoop of a process, without due consideration that there’s a person on the other end?

This sort of beginning routinely happens in dental offices that work a one-doctor-one-treatment-room policy with quick tear down and set up times.

It rarely happens in offices where the doc works alternate chairs and treatment rooms.

Point Three: During my meal, on two occasions, the carpet sweeper came out and the floor was done over while I was eating.


Also, while I was eating, the table beside me was vacated and cleared.

And reset.

With the new placemats being wiped and cleaned as they were being set. Right there beside me.

While I ate.

Dental Application:

Negative buying signalsshould never be conveyed purposefully or accidentally around the patient.

Banging of cupboards and drawers, clicking off of handpieces, noise of mops, brooms and vacuum cleaners should be left until the patients have departed from the treatment areas.

These noises are distracting and insulting, and lower the level of the ambience that we are trying to create.

You’d never experience these negative signals at a luxury spa? Then why should you subject your valued dental clients to those same negative signals?

Point Four and Point Five: Chain of asepsis, and proof.

I’ve banded these two together because their brief points.

When my sashimi plate was brought to the table, David was required to rearrange the other things on the table to allow room for the main plate.

Sad to say, but in so doing, he handled my cocktail drinking glass with a claw action, placing his fingers where my lips had been and were going again.

He should have held the glass from around the base.

End of story.

I don’t know where the glass has been or who’s been handling it before it reaches my table, but once it’s there, I own the rim and I don’t want that barrier of ownership broken.

With regard to proof, I did order a nice drop of red wine, by the glass.

However, the red that came to my table was delivered in a small unmarked carafe which was then poured quickly into my glass, and frankly, could have been anything?

Again, all done while I was consuming my sashimi.

There was no theatre.

Dental applications:

 Firstly, don’t handle the tops of the cups and vessels that your patients and customers drink from, both in the treatment room and also in the client lounge.

Secondly, look for moments of theatre.

Announce your actions.

Announce your hot towels.

Announce your points of difference.

Look for as many points of differentiation that your dental office has compared to your neighbours’ and highlight those points of difference.

With fanfare!

In dentistry, your clients and patients are not expecting a WOW experience.

When you can provide them with World Class Service, that is consistent, these clients and patients will become and remain loyal advocates for your dental services.

You will create a following of Raving Fans!


The Fundamental Principles of delivering consistent World Class Customer Service is something you will learn about in 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

Did you like this blog article? If you did then hit the share buttons below and share it with your friends and colleagues. Share it via email, Facebook and twitter!!

The Real Secret to Offering True World Class Service

The Three Expensive Mistakes of Staff Training That Are Costing You Millions…

I’ve had a considerable amount of discussion this week, both online and offline, about the role and roles of staff and staff training.

And whether I call it “staff” or I call it “team”, I’m talking about everybody else in the office except the owner.

And that could include the dentists, the hygienists, the front office personnel and the back office people.

Whether you’re staff or team, you’re there to be instructed by a higher authority within the business entity. You have to take direction from someone else.

And in a dental office therein lies a big problem. A huge problem.

Because in a lot of dental offices, there often are no systems of instruction and education and review of what exactly needs to be done.

In each role in the office.

Each and every time.

The key words in that sentence above are *systems* and *exactly*.

I’ve said it before and it won’t be the last time I ever say this.

In dentistry, for some weird and wonderful reason, there’s more often than not, a very, very common “tradition” or “acceptance”, that employees, be they back office team members, front office team members, doctors, or hygienists, there’s an acceptance that any and every team member has the right, or the authority to use their own personality or traits, or phrases or language whenever and wherever they want to or choose.

And they do.

Without any system of accountability or measurement or review, as to whether that role, that task that they’re paid to perform, is being performed to its best result, to its optimal best result, each and every time.

And that’s the tragedy of dentistry.

Because traditionally, in dentistry, because of its nature and its structure, as a small business enterprise, there are a large number of mistakes and hurdles that occur regularly in the hiring and training process.

Mistakes that just get carried on, throughout the industry, through the course of time.

Time after time after time.

Mistakes or errors in protocol and preparation that you would *NOT* take, tolerate or accept from your favourite sporting team.

No Way!!

But yet we accept and repeatedly continue to make these errors as we run our dental offices….


We Hire Fast.

The first and major error is we hire fast.

Too fast.

Way too fast.

Way too often.

And that’s often just because we are forced, as business owners, to accept the employment laws, and conditions, of the land.

An employee, in most nations, has the right to leave a position of employment at any time they choose with no recompense or penalty whatsoever.

Yet an employer has no right to act in the same manner.

None at all.

An employee, anywhere, can just decide at any moment they choose, to leave their employer, without any impost at all.

Without even a second’s notice.

Or a day’s notice.

Let alone a notice period of sufficient duration to allow the position to be properly advertised for, and interviewed for and trained for.

And that’s where we are backpedaling right from the get go.

The lot of us.

The whole team.

We’re trying to get on with business, the business of drilling and seeing patients, and all of a sudden we have to take time and spend time to correctly train the successful applicant into the exact roles and procedures and protocols that we require them to perform.

And it never quite gets done.


And so we have employees doing what they think they should be doing, or what they did at their last job, because they haven’t been shown exactly what to do here.

With us.

And sometimes, it’s because we don’t have a protocol or a system or systems of what we want exactly in our own businesses.

And we more often than not don’t have a system of review.

No system of review.

We don’t have a system of review.

A system of review and education and correction and retraining.

Of drilling *exactly* what we want performed and said and done each and every time until it has become second nature for that employee.

System of review?

That’s *NEVER* done.

And that’s crazy!

But it’s tolerated and accepted.

Because what the employee starts doing must have worked OK at their previous place of employment?

So we allow those behaviours to be done with us. We allow them to creep into this place of employment….

Our business…

And yet you wouldn’t tolerate that sort of scenario from your football team? Would you?

You wouldn’t let your football team go from match to match, week to week, without any or all of the proper and necessary training that they need to practice, and drill and rehearse repeatedly so that they can perform at their one hundred and fifty percent optimal level?

Week in week out?

No you wouldn’t!!

Because for your football team, each week begins with a review, a microscopic video review, of the previous week’s game.

What worked?

What worked well?

And what didn’t work?

And how can we prevent that from happening again?

What does the football team need to do, to practice, to prepare, before next game?

So that that weaknesses are mended!

So that that all moves are watertight…and performed like they have been performed for years!!

Education on the run.

Yet in dentistry, we train and educate on the run.

We make it up as we go along. We correct and educate in a piecemeal manner.

We don’t have regular daily reviews of specific plays from the last game?

We don’t have reviews at all most of the time.

And because of that lack of review, there’s a lack of or absence of formal education.

Every team has a different playbook.

Every football team has a different playbook.

And every dental office does too.

But we don’t train for that playbook.

We just toss our dental team members the football and let them go out onto the field and work it out for themselves…which is just so wrong…

And where else in business is it done as haphazardly as this?

And why?

Because it’s costing us millions!

It really is.

Not having a well structured and well instituted training and review system of everybody’s performance is only allowing your dental office to perform at a sub-optimal level.

And that, in the lifetime of a dental office, is costing your business millions.

And that’s crazy!!

Because a well drilled and repeatedly reviewed and well instituted training and education programme will only tighten and enhance the performance of your team.

And have them working at their optimal best.

So that every client, customer and patient gets handled and treated in only the best way each and every time.

So that every procedure, every clinical procedure, every office procedure, every customer service procedure, gets done and is performed upon and is improved upon as best it can be each and every time.

And that’s a win-win-win for everyone…


Improved hiring techniques and training techniques are part of  The Ultimate Patient Experience, a simple easy to implement system that 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:

Did you like this blog article? If you did then hit the share buttons below and share it with your friends and colleagues. Share it via email, Facebook and twitter!!

The Real Secret to Offering True World Class Service

"Customer Service? Yeah, We Already Do That…."

Sometimes I get tagged into online chat discussions.

I guess, as an advocate and evangelist for World Class Customer Service, and in particular, World Class Dental Customer Service, I’m thrown into discussions that have, and are heading, in various shall I say “different” directions…..

Just last week I was honoured to be mentioned by several contributors in a Facebook group that was discussing various tips and techniques for Customer Service.

As is my way, I like to, and I did, take the opportunity to clarify and explain that there is no Magic Bullet when it comes to Customer Service.

And there isn’t…. though people wish that there is…

Sadly, I hear it day in and day out.

And not just in dentistry.

I hear it in all sorts of business.

“Yes, we do Customer Service.”

Well guess what?

Surprise Surprise!

Most businesses don’t.

What most businesses are doing is just a tiny, weeny, little bit of customer service.

What they’re doing is doing one or two things *ONLY* as improvements in what really is a multi-multi-multi step process… The Customer *Experience*…

Most businesses out there that think they are doing Customer Service are usually only really giving a pretty poor, fairly piece-meal attempt at trying to provide to their customers what should be a World Class Customer Experience.

And therein lies the answer….

Most businesses think it’s easy.

They think that Customer Service is just a magic pill that they swallow and “Vwallah!!”

All is fixed.

Well wrong wrong wrong.

If it was that easy then everyone would be doing it and everyone would be providing World Class Customer Service.

And when you look around out there you know the answer…..

They Are NOT!!

World Class is not happening out there…

No! No! No!

It’s M.I.A.. Missing In Action!!!

Yes it is…

You should have seen this Dental thread…. seriously….

I suggested that World Class Customer Service had its standard bearers. Its Icons. Its businesses to look up to….

And I was questioned. Questioned as to whether. Questioned as to why bother….

The reason we hold Disney and Four Seasons up there as standards in systems, in delivery, is because they have stood the test of time.


The Happiest Place on Earth.

Who’s second?

Who cares?

Four Seasons? Head and shoulders above other hotel chains…. truly World Class…

And even McDonalds?

We’re not talking McDowell’s here. It’s not Coming To America.

The reason that Disney, the reason that Four Seasons and McDonalds are World Class is the reason why we are talking about them now.

Because they have systems.



And that’s the difference…

That’s the difference between “trying” Customer Service, and delivering it.

Because Customer Service isn’t just a “thing”, that you do.

It’s not a thing, period.

It’s a way of life.

Customer Service is a system of doing business.

It’s not a thing. It’s a process.

A systematic, systemized process..

And if you think it’s just a few steps, a few things, well that’s like thinking that automobile assembly is just a few steps, a few things….

Or brain surgery is just a few steps, or a few things….

You see, World Class Customer Service has to be a systemized, organised sequential programme of well thought out and integrated steps that are in harmony and congruent with each other to create an experience.

Not just a nice feeling….

Because if its not done right, if its not done correctly, then all you really have is a house of cards.

A house of cards teetering on a handful of “nice” steps, as opposed to an integrated well thought out system.

In a system, everyone has a role to play.

In anything else, and this is what I see in dentistry, they rely on one or sometimes two key people to deliver the customer service. And everyone else is a left as a bit player.

Well let me tell you that doesn’t work.

Your clients and customers and patients know it, and they know World Class when they receive it.

And when they do receive it, they know they’ve found it.

Because hardly anyone else out there is doing it…

So, if you want to take that step up, that leap up, then make the commitment….

Make the Commitment to Yourself, to your Team, to your Co-workers, to your Customers…..

Make the Commitment to be truly World Class….

Not just bits.

Be complete. Be total…

Be committed!!

It’s how we live.

It’s how we do things around here.

It’s *THE WAY* we do things around here!!

It’s a culture.

And culture’s just aren’t given, or obtained.

Cultures are grown.

Cultures take time.

Cultures need nurturing…

Sadly, in marketing my services, I come across Dental Offices that are in need of a serious fix.

Not just a quick fix.

They need a fix period.

They like my material.

They like my story.

They like my style.

But they want it like fixed today.

Like now…..

And sadly that’s not going to happen…..

It takes time to repair broken systems.

It takes time to fix cemented attitudes…

It just doesn’t happen overnight…

It can take months, years, to undo bad habits, bad attitude, bad systems…

Rudolph Giuliani did not fix New York overnight.

He didn’t fix it in a month. He didn’t fix it in one year.

But he fixed it.

He repaired a broken culture. He restored a great icon.

As Rachel Hunter used to say in a shampoo advert down here:

“It won’t happen overnight. But it will happen”

 You have to give it time.

Disney wasn’t built in a day.

But it was built.

And it was built on systems. And culture.

Disney was built on the principle of being the best and doing the best.


Not just piece-meal.

But always.

And that’s what Customer Service is all about.

It’s NOT just one person, one dentist, saying stuff.

It’s not just part of the team working on it.

It’s the whole team. The whole business, the whole product.

And it takes time.

It’s not just one magic phrase.

It’s not just like one pearl.

It’s like everything.

It’s a mantra. It’s away of life….

And it won’t just happen.

It’s a journey. It’s a process. It’s a culture.

It’s not what you do.

It’s what you become.

World Class Customer Service is about who you become.

It’s about where you end up.

It’s not about instant gratification.

And what it is about is that it is about process.

It is about posture. It is about the who…

It’s about the who of you…it’s about the who you are…

The best you can be…


The Ultimate Patient Experience  is 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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