The Little Green Car and the Golden Principles of Customer Service 

The Little Green Car and the Golden Principles of Customer Service 

We had a little green car.

For six years.

We bought it new in 2013 so that our two children could learn to drive, in a small, safe car.

But they both decided that driving was not going to be for them.

Our family home was less than five minutes walk from our local railway station which provided easy thirty-minute comfortable regular travel time into the city of Sydney.

So our little green car became our spare car.

My wife Jayne drove it mostly, and mostly because it was parked in our driveway behind her car, and so it was easier for Jayne to simply take the little green car out a lot of the time.

And it was a great little city car for zipping around in.

But now that Jayne and I have relocated to live in the country, the little green car has outlived its usefulness.

It was time now to sell the little green car.

So, what did we have?

We had a six-year-old car, due for registration, with low kilometres on the dial [24,300kms].

And in need of a new battery.

But thanks to a hailstorm, the paintwork on the car had been recently improved.

And because the car was mostly driven by Jayne, and with ADULT children as passengers, the interior of the car was quite fresh.

So we listed the little green car for sale online, via local Facebook groups.

I was confident we had a good product, although the price I had chosen to list at was toward the upper end of the “going range” that this car was being pitched at by other private vendors.

Actually, the first thing we tried before listing the car online was that we had parked the car with a FOR SALE note on the windows for a whole day, Easter Saturday, outside our village local markets where there was a good chance that several thousands of pedestrians were going to walk past it.

The result?

Not one enquiry.

So the next morning, Easter Sunday, it was listed on Facebook.

And the messages started coming regularly:

Imran wrote: “What is the best price you can do if I come and pick the car up today?”

The price was listed in the advert. I messaged him that price.

Ganesh messaged me: “If you give at 8K will buy it ASAP”

I messaged Ganesh that the price was listed as $10,600 o.n.o.

Mark Joseph wrote: “Hi 7000”

I replied: “Sorry, no.”

Zuber messaged me: “Is this available? If u r happy with 8500, I would like to come for inspection” 

I declined Zuber’s offer.

Abdelrahman asked: “What is the last price please”

Sam Azo and I had a long message conversation:

“Is this available? I can pick up now for $5750”

 I replied: “Pass”

Sam responded with reason and fact:

“For 2012 model in market between 4k and 6k”

 I sent him a pic of Car Guide  showing the range from $6400 to $12999.

Sam replied with images of a 2015 model that [he said] sold for 9k.

I told him: “You should have bought that one”

Sam then offered me a sob story and improved his offer to $6300. He then sent me pics and a conversation with a seller of a 2013 model listed at $8990 who would take an offer of $6k.

I told Sam to take it.

Sam replied: “I will take it your car but give me best price cash and the last price to come pick up”

 I wrote back to Sam: “$10600”

 Mody also wanted the car: “I was looking to buy car this week. But I have only $9000 cash. Can I come tomorrow to see and I bring the money with me if all good I pay and pick it up”

 I held my line.

The day had been long. This was after all, Easter Sunday. And all I had was tyre kickers…..

And then, in the evening, I received an SMS message to my phone number….

“Hi David. Just saw the ad for the Mazda 2. Very interested. When can we inspect?”

 I SMSed my reply: “Hi. I’m home all day tomorrow and Tuesday.”

 The response: “That’s great can we come in the morning early. Maybe 9am?”

 I replied: “9am is good”

And so they came.

And they saw.

And they loved it.

And they bought.

And I knocked it down to an even $10,000 for them.

Just to be nice.

What’s the lesson here David?

The lesson is simple.

If you believe you have a quality product that people will pay for, then you do not need to bother yourself with all the tyre kickers out there who want to haggle you down to a brutally low price.

Life is too short to be playing in that sand pit.

It’s not fun, and the people there are there to try and take advantage of you.

In my dental practice, I knew that we had a great practice with a great product provided under the umbrella of a world class customer experience.

And we held that line.

We attracted the people who wanted what we were offering.

And were happy to pay us for what we were doing.

Because to them it represented exceptional value.

Make sure you attract those customers who value what you do for them.

You don’t have to be out there trying to please everybody.

Because you never will.

And in the end, you’ll fail to please yourself.

*****

Linda Miles is coming to Australia in August.

Don’t miss this once in a life-time opportunity to see and hear Linda speak first hand…

Book your tickets HERE.

*****

Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…Click the link: http://www.calltrackingexcellence.com

Call Jayne on 1300 387 044or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more details.

*****

Make sure you subscribe to my monthly Dental Water Cooler Podcast Series…. “The Ultimate Patient Experience”

Click on this link for all details

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

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 david@theupe.com

Dental Business Processes 101. Ordering and Receiving Dental Supplies and Inventory in the Dental Practice.

Dental Business Processes 101. Ordering and Receiving Dental Supplies and Inventory in the Dental Practice.

The ordering and receiving of dental supplies in a dental practice needs to be a systematised process.

If the process of ordering and receiving of supplies is un-organised then what happens is this:

• Incorrect quantities are ordered and received

• Pricing paid for products received may not be the best price for the practice.

Here’s what usually happens in a dental practice:

1. Someone from the clinical area determines that a certain supply is running low and requests an order of that supply be placed.

At best, often a guess is made for a quantity required, without any certainty as to whether that quantity being ordered will last two weeks, four weeks, six weeks, or six months.

The same thing happens again next time when that product runs low or runs out.

2. The person who noted and reported the need to order more of that product is not necessarily the person in the practice who places the order for the product.

Often, neither of the people involved here actually have a handle on whether a tube of composite resin lasts in that practice for one week, two weeks or two months, so again, an “educated” estimate is made as to how much composite needs to be ordered at this time.

And the same thing happens when the composite next starts to run low.

3. Providing there is not an urgent need for one supply that has run critically low, at some point in time an order is placed for several or many dental supplies.

This order is usually placed by the person in the practice who has the most time available to place the order.

The order may be placed on a day in the practice when there are fewer interruptions for the employee.

This may allow the employee to spend time researching prices.

Or the person placing the order may have regular suppliers who she places orders with, no matter what they charge for certain supplies.

4. The next thing that happens is the order of supplies arrives by courier at the dental practice.

Often it is then given to dental clinical team members to unpack and to store away.

Sometimes this process of unpacking and storage is done with little cross reference as to whether we have fully replenished any exhausted supplies, or whether we have overstocked other supplies.

Sometimes the order does not contain all items ordered, due to the supplier being low or out of stock.

Sometimes in the dental office there is no communication between the person who placed the order and the person receiving and unpacking the order as to whether the goods arriving are in the quantities ordered and are being billed at the prices that were applicable at the time of placing the order.

5. The invoice is passed in for settlement and payment.

The checked off invoice is then returned to a place in the practice where it is needed to be given in order for that invoice to be paid.

Sometimes the person who placed the order never sees the invoice that comes with the arriving order, as this invoice may be given to the accountant or book keeper or dentist owner for settlement of the invoice.

Sometimes the person settling or paying the invoice has had no communication with the person who placed the order about prices “quoted” at the time of order placement, and whether these match the price on the invoice and whether these prices are fair and competitive.

Sometimes the price on the invoice does not include GST which is then added, while the original price quoted at the time of ordering was a price inclusive of GST.

[If this ever happens it is purely an accident. It is never done on purpose].

6. And the cycle continues.

In some dental practices, the price paid for goods and supplies this month is not recorded to be compared to the price being paid for the same goods next month or the month after.

Sometimes some items are ordered from supplier A in month April because they are on a low price sale price that month. But when those same supplies are needed in May and June, the sale has ended and the goods are priced at a considerably higher ticket than the “perceived” sale price paid earlier.

[This never happens either]

Here’s what should happen in an organised dental office.

1. The dental practice personnel should know and understand accurately how long certain supplies last for.

How many fillings can be done from a tube of composite resin?

How many boxes of gloves get used by each practitioner and each dental assistant per week that they work?

How many boxes of masks get used per week?

How many impressions are we getting from each tube of heavy body or light body impression material?

An accurate image of the amounts of dental supplies needed needs to be created.

2. Once we know how long each supply lasts for we can then work out how many of those supplies we need for each practitioner based upon the number of days per month they intend to be working at our dental practice.

For example, less supplies will be needed in the months of December and January and April because less clinical days will be worked during those months because of extra public Holiday days and extra school vacation days.

This detailed analysis will also allow the practice to avoid stockpiling of time sensitive supplies because the practice will be able to forecast more accurate amounts of needed supplies.

3. The person placing the orders should have an intimate knowledge of prices and processes to ensure that the practice never pays too much for its supplies.

The person placing the orders also needs to cross reference the invoices of arriving goods with the orders placed to confirm the invoice price is identical to the price quoted at the time of order placement.

4. Someone in the office also needs to keep track of prices being paid from month to month for stock being ordered, to reduce fluctuations in price.

The prices being paid not only need to be cross-referenced back to previous prices paid, but also need to be checked against market prices being adveritised by competitive suppliers.

Special note should be made to look out for opportunities for purchasing at sale prices.

Items that are non-perishable can be purchased in larger quantities should space be available for storage.

Also supplies that are highly consumable can be purchased in larger quantities [provided storage space is sufficient] with the knowledge that the regular consumption of these supplies will ensure they are used before expiry.

Ultimately, the purchasing of supplies is a fine art that when mastered by the dental practice can result in significant savings through efficiencies of process.

It’s not about being mean.

It’s about being systematic and sensible.

*****

Linda Miles is coming to Australia in August.

Don’t miss this once in a life-time opportunity to see and hear Linda speak first hand…

Book your tickets HERE.

*****

Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…Click the link: http://www.calltrackingexcellence.com

Call Jayne on 1300 387 044or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more details.

*****

Make sure you subscribe to my monthly Dental Water Cooler Podcast Series…. “The Ultimate Patient Experience”

 

Click on this link for all details

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

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 david@theupe.com

The Golden Principle of Customer Service

The Golden Principle of Customer Service

The golden principle of customer service is to provide help or service to each and every customer UNCONDITIONALLY, without any feeling of expectation of reciprocation or inconvenience being created.

Do something for your customers as if it is no bother at all to you.

In fact, perform the service in such a way that your customer believes that the performance of that service for them by you is actually giving you PLEASURE . 

And perform the act of service in such a way that the customer does not feel inclined to reward you or reciprocate any form of favour, and if such reward or favour is offered, it is graciously declined.

Your service must be offered unconditionally.

We’ve all been in situations as a customer where the person employed in the business we are dealing with has offered up statements like these:

“Well, I suppose I can…”

“That’s not our policy.”

“That offer has expired.”

 And my favourite:

“That’s not my role. I’ll have to get someone else to do that.”

Putting it simply, people do business with people they like.

I’ve done business with businesses who have had great employees, but when those employees have moved on, I’ve taken my business elsewhere even when it was inconvenient to do so, just so I did not have to deal with people who begrudgingly wanted my custom.

Twenty to twenty five percent of the population will happily do business with you without being concerned about what you charge or what your competitors are charging, because they believe that your business provides them with exceptional service and value.

And that’s unconditional five star world class service.

It’s a nice section of the market to work with.

*****

Linda Miles is coming to Australia in August.

Don’t miss this once in a life-time opportunity to see and hear Linda speak first hand…

Book your tickets HERE.

*****

Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…Click the link: http://www.calltrackingexcellence.com

Call Jayne on 1300 387 044or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more details.

*****

Make sure you subscribe to my monthly Dental Water Cooler Podcast Series…. “The Ultimate Patient Experience”

Click on this link for all details

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

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 david@theupe.com

Leadership. Do You Have It?

Leadership. Do You Have It?

One of the problems with running an organisation, any organisation, is that for that organisation to be successful long term it needs to have an iconic form of leadership displayed by the person in charge.

You cannot be a weak leader.

And you cannot be seen to be incongruous with the message you are trying to send to your organisation. 

Weak leaders convey weak messages.

Their messages are sent without conviction and without consequence and follow up.

Accountability is waived.

And when this happens, then acts of anarchy start to become accepted.

Initially these acts are sporadically placed, but as time goes on they become more regular.

And more frequent.

Weak leaders get spoken about [in a negative manner] behind their own backs.

Weak leaders do not command the respect of those they lead.

Weak leaders only draw contempt from those they seek to rule.

And that provides little foundation for success. In fact, it creates the expectation of underperformance and of failure.

With weak leaders there is incongruity in the message they convey.

And there is also incongruity in messages that they purvey.

This second incongruity occurs when a message is purveyed by the leader, and then by their own actions, the leader behaves in a manner that is incongruous with the behaviour just previously requested and expected.

My friend Shep Hyken wrote this week about the problems caused by incongruent leadership.

He said that when, for example, we see leadership complaining  about customers, what we latter see in that organisation is a granting of permission for employees to do the same. 

And a domino effect is created. 

Shep said that employees seek guidance from their leadership and look at them as role models. 

He said that when leadership in an organisation talks poorly about a customer, it will soon follow that employees will soon talk about the customers in a similar way.

Shep said that in the professional world, we learn to embody our company’s core values by watching organisation leaders set an example.

I agree with Shep when he said that leadership sets the tone. This is because leaders are the role models for the rest of the employees. 

Leaders can’t demonstrate an attitude of:

“Do as I say, not as I do.” 

This is so true.

Everyone’s eyes and ears are focused on their leadership. 

And even if you aren’t a president or CEO of a company, you still can take a stance and set the standard for how you want those around you to behave.

Don’t be incongruous.

*****

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling business author. For information, contact 314-692-2200 or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs, go to www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken

*****

Linda Miles is coming to Australia in August.

Don’t miss this once in a life-time opportunity to see and hear Linda speak first hand…

Book your tickets HERE.

*****

Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…Click the link: http://www.calltrackingexcellence.com

Call Jayne on 1300 387 044or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more details.

*****

Make sure you subscribe to my monthly Dental Water Cooler Podcast Series…. “The Ultimate Patient Experience”

Click on this link for all details

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

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 david@theupe.com

 

“They’re Not Calling For A Pizza”

“They’re Not Calling For A Pizza”

One of the best things about working in a dental practice is the fact that everybody who contacts your office with a treatment enquiry of any sort is contacting your office because they NEED that treatment.

Or they THINK they need that treatment.

They are in need of that treatment.

Just take a minute to think about this….

Remember, dentistry is a GRUDGE BUY.

Like buying new tyres for your car.

Or paying your Land Tax.

It’s something that when people have to get it done most people do so begrudgingly.

The truth of the matter is that on a Monday afternoon, after a good morning of tennis, there’s not a group of women sitting around a table somewhere saying:

“I wonder what all the local dentists charge for a two-rooted root canal?”

And:

”Why don’t we phone around a few dental practices and see what they charge?”

It just DOES NOT happen.

When someone phones your dental practice asking for the price you charge for a procedure, what that really means is that THEY [that person calling] NEED that procedure that they are enquiring about.

THIS IS NOT A SECRET.

Yet most dental offices do not understand this fact.

FACT.

F.A.C.T.

FACT.

What most dental offices think when someone rings them about a price, for a procedure, is that the person ringing is doing so as part of some ritual of checking for the lowest price possible.

This is wrong.

This belief is totally wrong.

The reason someone calls your dental office and asks for the price of a particular dental procedure is that they simply do not know what else they should be asking.

Otherwise they would be asking THAT question instead of asking the price question.

So when they call your office and ask you:

“How much do you charge for checkup and clean?”

They are NOT calling for a pizza.

What they are really saying is:

“I NEED a checkup and a clean.”

So what your front office people need to do is find out more about why they NEED a checkup and a clean, rather than simply go and BLURT OUT a number and wishfully hope that that number will be a catalyst for further conversation.

Because it won’t.

The simple fact of the matter is that the utterance of a number, to a caller who asks a price related question, is simply the same to that person as saying:

“I DON’T GIVE A RATS.”

Because a number on its own is not an answer.

So what should we say, then?

When someone rings and asks the price of a procedure, the reply from your front office people should be:

“So you need a checkup and a clean? How long has it been since you last had one?”

“So you need a crown? Which tooth is it that needs the crown? What’s on that tooth now?”

“So you need a filling? What’s going on with that tooth now? Are you experiencing any pain at the moment?”

Please note that all these questions acknowledge the caller’s problem, but then dig deeper, twice, into that problem to extract more [much needed] information.

So that we can show concern and also raise concern in the caller.

By asking further questions we are able to lead the conversation toward the prime purpose of the call.

And that is for the caller to make an appointment and for them to be happy that they are getting their problem addressed as quickly as possible.

You see, no other dental practice is providing this sort of interest and attention to the caller’s problem on the phone.

You must remember that the caller has already decided that they want your dental practice to be fixing their problem, because otherwise they would have phoned another dentist instead.

They’ve done their online research of you already.

And they are calling your office to make an appointment.

They just don’t really know exactly how to do that….

So they ask the price.

When we realise that the price question is simply a GHOST, and is not the true question, and when we understand the way to address that ghost and to navigate around that ghost and into the desired appointment, then it is only then that we raise our own bar, and schedule more new patient appointments that get kept, and are attended.

The average dental practice out there schedules one in five phone calls into an appointment, and only 43% of those scheduled actually end up attending.

Which means that only eight percent of callers ever actually become patients at the “average” dental practice.

92% of callers end up going elsewhere.

And it’s simply because of the poor way that our dental office phones are answered.

Can you afford to be dropping 92% of your new patient phone enquiries straight into the bin?

Wouldn’t it be smarter to fix the way that new patient calls to your practice were answered?

So that more people made and kept appointments.

*****

Do you need your dental phones monitored?

Do you think your dental phones could bee answered better?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…Click the link: http://www.calltrackingexcellence.com

Call Jayne on 1300 387 044or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more details.

*****

Linda Miles is coming to Australia in August.

Don’t miss this once in a life-time opportunity to see and hear Linda speak first hand…

Book your tickets HERE.

*****

Make sure you subscribe to my monthly Dental Water Cooler Podcast Series…. “The Ultimate Patient Experience”

Click on this link for all details

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

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 david@theupe.com

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