Even With A Great Soufflé, This Restaurant Fell Flat On Its Face….

Even With A Great Soufflé, This Restaurant Fell Flat On Its Face….

Last Friday Jayne and I ventured out for lunch to a local restaurant that has been on our radar for some time.

It was Valentines’ Day.

The restaurant is located in a local vineyard, near where we live, and had been highly recommended as a great place for a casual lunch, with atmosphere and ambient setting, and great food.

Firstly, let me frame up the situation:

Jayne and I don’t really dine out much locally.

And that’s mainly because where we live is quite remote. Our home is a reasonable distance from most major restaurants.

And because we both like to enjoy some wine with our food and our companionship, we tend to often just stay home and eat in.

Because good food and a dry lunch or dinner, in our opinion, often just doesn’t hit the mark.

And sometimes, the cab fare when dining out, can be more than the cost of the meal.

And that doesn’t make much sense either….

Anyway, back to our Valentines’ Day lunch…

Firstly, let me say this:

The soufflé was wonderful.

But the systems, and the customer service at the restaurant, were non-existent.

Well, maybe just the systems.

Our waitress was very pleasant.

She engaged with us, and we had conversation about her accent, and where in France she was from.

But, she never engaged US.

She never asked about us.

She never asked about who we were, where we were from, whether we lived nearby.

She never asked whether our meals were OK, whether we liked our wine [we had three glasses between us], or whether we would like to buy some of the wine, or try some other varietals that the vineyard had to offer.

[There was a cellar door style wine tasting counter in the restaurant].

And she never asked whether we were celebrating Valentines’ Day.

For all she knew, she wouldn’t have known whether or not we were gourmet travelers, or restaurant reviewers.

Because she really didn’t ENGAGE WITH us.

Now, that may not be her fault.

It’s probably the fault of management.

I believe that this has got to come down to the systems, or lack thereof, in place [or not in place] in this restaurant.

You see, there were no systems.

How do we know?

This was very obvious.

Firstly, our waitress missed some very obvious cues.

We mentioned to her when ordering our food, that we would share our starter, so that we would have some room for a dessert at the end.

But at the end, no dessert was ever offered.

And in fact, after finishing our main meals, we sat, and we sat, and we sat with our dirty plates in front of us for some considerable time, in fact for an inordinate amount of time, before they were finally cleared.

Now, let me frame this up again.

The restaurant was maybe one third full.

I’m remembering there were maybe twenty six other diners in the restaurant, occupying nine table.

And we had arrived towards the end of the lunchtime service, which meant that by the time that we had finished our meals, that all other diners were well and truly done.

Now here’s the weird thing….

And maybe things are done differently in the country.

When we arrived at the restaurant, we noticed a side room where an older man was working at a desk, with the connecting door to the restaurant wide open.

And as we stood there, before we were greeted by our French waitress, we noticed an older woman talking with one table of diners about an old dog in the restaurant.

During our lunch visit, this older woman later joined another table of diners for their lunch meal, and at one stage, the man from the side office also emerged to sit and eat at this table.

And then return to the side office.

When this table of diners finished their meal, they stood and chatted with the lady in the middle of the restaurant for some time, before finally paying their bill and departing.

In fact, the familiarity shown between the lady and those people she had dined with had me feeling more that they were related to each other, because their conversational postures were more characteristic of a family home event than a public restaurant.

After the departure of these diners, this woman then went over to stand and chat with the table of diners we had seen her with on our arrival.

But at no time did she engage with other diners.

From our observation, it appeared that this woman, and the older man in the side room, were owners of this restaurant and vineyard.

Well, that was our conclusion when, as we were walking out to our car following lunch, we watched this same woman drive out of the restaurant driveway, and then drive down the road 100 metres and then turn into the separate driveway of the home on the adjoining property.

And weirdly, just before, as we had stood at the front counter of the restaurant settling up for our meal, the older man had risen from his seat in the office, taken two steps toward us to the doorway, and then hesitated and returned to his desk?

It was all rather strange….

What are the lessons here?

Firstly, if you’re going to run a business, then RUN the business.

As a business.

Try and keep business and social separate.

Sure, be nice to your customers, but don’t be overly social at the expense of your other customers.

Secondly, don’t ignore your customers, because you never know just who they might or might not be.

Thirdly, treat every customer with the same amount of attention.

And fourthly, train your team members to do the exact same thing.

Will we revisit this restaurant?

Probably not.

Despite the great soufflé….

*****

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 378 044 or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more 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

 

Look At These Really Big Plans This Large Dental Practice Made For 2020

Look At These Really Big Plans This Large Dental Practice Made For 2020

Someone sent me this post they saw in a Dental Online Chat Group.

Last week.

From the outset it looks like this practice really has everything sorted out.

They wrote:

“Let’s go 2020!!! Have you all got a plan for this year? I work in a practice with five OHTs… this creates a great atmosphere for collaboration, but can also generate some challenges… we usually try to get together at the start of the year and map out a path for 2020…. The main topics for discussion usually are:- holidays, hours, treatment plans and CPD…. Do you all try to create a roadmap for the tear ahead?”

What do you think about these plans?

Do you think they have everything covered?

Do you wonder what the practice owner would be thinking of these plans?

For a start…

Most people out there don’t even have a plan in their head, let alone a written down plan.

So these guys are ahead of about ninety seven percent of the population by ACTUALLY having a plan.

Because most dental practices run their year using the MUSAWGA Principle.

What is the MUSAWGA Principle?

The MUSAWGA Principle is a universal truth about human nature that has been around since the Romans, if not before.

It’s a principle that’s been responsible for most of the decisions made in the world that have led this great planet to the position that it is now in today.

You haven’t heard about it?

MUSAWGA stands for Make Up Stuff As We Go Along.

And that’s what most of the population does… they make their decisions on the spur of the moment without due consideration of events past, as well as possible future outcomes.

And that’s scary.

So what that means is that this dental practice mentioned above, by virtue of the fact that they indeed are having a planning meeting, are well ahead of the game.

So…

What do you think about their list?

The main topics for discussion are:

  • Holidays
  • Hours
  • Treatment Plans
  • CPD

What would you do if you were their employer and they presented you with this as a record of their meeting?

How would you respond?

Before you tell me how you would respond, can you tell me what two things are missing from this list?

They Forgot Two Very Important Things…

Here’s what they forgot:

You don’t have a business if you don’t have any customers.

And if you have customers, you won’t have them for very long if you don’t present them with a strong compelling reason to remain your customer.

The priorities of those in that meeting certainly looks like it has nothing to do with the patients of the practice, and providing those patients with outstanding service that is so great that they, [the patients] would never ever think of not returning to see that dentist.

The first two topics that these team members discussed was about themselves…

  • When could they plan their vacations?
  • When could they be absent from the practice?

And topic four was:

  • When could they be absent from the practice under the guise of learning something?

Here’s What I Would Do…

The first thing that I would do as practice owner would be to ask everybody present at that meeting to tender their resignations and then reapply for their positions.

Because the only thing that I can surmise from this list coming out of this planning meeting is that these people at the meeting have forgotten that it is customers who pay their salaries, and that without customers at their business, there really wouldn’t be a business at all.

If your business forgets about its customers and if your business and its employees start taking its customers for granted, or worse still, they ignore their customers, then those customers will soon move on to become customers at a business that recognises their value and worth, and treats them so much better.

This list makes no mention about patients and about customer service.

One of two things must be going on here…

Either this practice has an endless supply of patients that will never run out, and so they don’t need to worry about attrition affecting the practice, or

The existing patients and staff are content with the level of service they are receiving and providing.

All I know is this:

In the words of the great Will Rogers;

“When you’re though learning, you’re through.”

It’s the same with business and it’s the same with customer service.

If you think your business is at the top of its game, and you think that you know all that you need to know about what you need to do, then think again.

Because, you need to be continually refining your business game plan and trying to improve upon it.

And if you think that your customer service systems are exemplary, and that your customers will never dream of going elsewhere, then think again because if you drop the ball with your service, your customers WILL go elsewhere for their service.

This business and its employees need a wake-up call

Hopefully someone will alert these employees to the error of their ways.

The hours they work, and the vacations that they take are dictated by the wants and needs of the business that they work at and the customers of that business.

And not the other way around.

Dentistry is pretty well a twelve months a year, fifty two weeks per year business.

And your patients deserve to have the best people on the job at all times, and not fill ins and stand ups.

Same goes for teachers.

And same goes for firemen.

When teachers and firemen are employed, their leave is mapped out for them.

And it is mapped out to give the best possible outcome for that business.

For teachers and firemen, there is no negotiation.

And in dentistry, if we want the best for our patients, we need to make sure that the best people are available to serve your clients at all times.

Because we need to be focused on the customers and their experience, first and foremost.

*****

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 378 044 or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more 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

 

We Laugh At This, But We Do The Same Thing….

We Laugh At This, But We Do The Same Thing….

I was at my local golf club yesterday, and one of the golfers was talking about some of his recent experiences dining out.

He told us about the time he and his wife were out for breakfast at some fancy new breakfast eatery and the waitress told them that the eatery had no smashed avocado on this morning…. despite the fact that the eatery was located directly across the road from a fruit shop.

This same golfer also told the tale about a visit he made to an Asian restaurant that had run out of rice.

Another golfer then joined in with his own dining story about having to send a Steak Dianne back to a kitchen because it tasted odd, only to have the same steak brought back with the explanation that it was indeed a Steak Dianne, only without the garlic.

These sound like tall tales, and well may you laugh, but experiences similar to these can happen to anyone… even to me.

Last week I experienced my own real life version of The Pub With No Beer.

I ventured into the village where I live with my neighbour only to find that my local hotel, which doesn’t sell Guinness on tap, was also out of bottles of Peroni, and had no Carlton Draught available on tap either… on the Monday of a long-weekend. [For my American friends, a long-weekend is a three day weekend that includes a national or state holiday]

Imagine that, on a hot summer’s day, we are at the local pub, thirsty, and we are down to option four.

Another friend of mine has a small vineyard and has just produced his first harvest of Pinot Noir grapes, with raving reviews. In fact, the interest in his wine is so high that he feels as though he may not be able to meet the local demand.

It’s amusing that we laugh at these culinary and refreshment failures, because in reality, in our dental businesses, we are guilty of similar misdemeanours.

The number one failure in your dental practice.

The number one failure in your dental practice is not that you run out of avocado, or rice, or garlic, or beer…. It’s the fact that you run out of available staff to look after your valued customers and patients.

And you do that multiple times each day.

Day in and day out.

You know it….

The phone rings, but you let it go through to your service, because you’re receptionist is on another call, or she’s with a patient arriving, or she’s with a patient departing your office.

Or she’s acting as a concierge with a nervous patient, and then she’s needed to schedule an appointment and take a payment for a departing patient.

Or she’s entertaining a visiting dental supply company rep, and someone needs a chart, urgently.

And down the back it’s the same….

The dental assistants are needed to be tearing down and setting up a number of treatment rooms all at the same time, while still being available to escort a new patient in for their treatment, or help the hygienist with a charting, or escort a departing patient out following treatment, or organising laboratory cases going in or coming out…..

You see, while we’re in the act of working at dentistry, we sometimes fail to see the inefficiencies and the acts of unnecessary negligence that our valued clients and customers and patients are being subjected to.

In a manner not too dissimilar to an Asian restaurant running out of rice

Running out of staff, or running short on staff, or not staffing your business adequately, sends the same message to your customers as the Asian restaurant that runs out of rice sends to its customers.

At best, it’s considered to be a careless oversight.

At worst, it’s considered stupid. And unacceptable.

The Tale of Kerry Packer

The story goes like this…. Australia’s richest man turns up for lunch at one of Sydney’s new eateries, and asks for a steak.

When he’s told that the restaurant does not serve steak, Packer is incredulous….he says words to the effect:

“I own more beef cattle than anybody else in Australia, and I can’t even get a *blinking* steak in my own town?”

The owner of the restaurant thought quickly, and placated the angry diner, organising a steak be brought in from a nearby pub.

And all’s well that ends well….

In your dental practice…

In your dental practice, are you understaffing and hoping that your team will get by?

And hoping that your customers and patients don’t actually notice this?

Guess what?

Your team will get by for a while, and then they will get tired of the conditions, and the excuses, and they’ll leave.

And your patients?

They will tolerate it for a while, and then they will get tired of the waiting, and the delays, and the excuses, and they’ll leave too.

*****

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 378 044 or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more 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

 

I Can’t Believe This Business Missed The Boat…

I Can’t Believe This Business Missed The Boat…

As a business owner, you should never miss the chance to market your business when the opportunity arises.

You know, it just makes great sense.

After all, your customers, and future customers are all in the mood for marketing and celebrating things at certain times of the year and it’s your business’s chance to ride the wave created by others and allow your business to shine.

Conversely, those businesses that fail to identify marketing opportunities can severely miss the boat financially as well as socially when these opportunities present themselves.

For example, we now see Australian businesses marketing BLACK FRIDAY SALES even though Black Friday is actually an American opportunity as it relates to the Friday following Thanksgiving, an American holiday celebration day.

Shamelessly, Australian retail has also embraced CYBER MONDAY as well, which [in America],is the Monday following Black Friday.

But you understand the concept.

With Black Friday Sales, it’s an opportunity for businesses to attract existing and new customers to them by proposing a financial inducement. Because so many businesses are participating in Black Friday Sales, it would be commercial suicide to abstain from participating in offering SALES on that day when the general public are so geared up to be buying.

Valentines’ Day is another day where businesses can “make themselves look good” by sharing the love with their existing and new customers.

In fact on Valentines’ Day, it’s so easy for a business to pamper all female customers with roses and flowers and chocolates and a glass of bubbly.

And when you do these things, your customers notice that you’ve gone that extra distance.

There are so many opportunities…. Grand Finals, Easter, Christmas….

Last weekend, on Sunday January 26th, my wife and I flew home from Hobart to Sydney with Australia’s national airline carrier Qantas.

Qantas is easy to recognise as an Australian business. After all, their emblem is a kangaroo, and the company is nicknamed The Flying Kangaroo.

The name Qantas is actually an acrostic for Queensland And Northern Territory Air Service, reflecting the humble beginnings of the company.

January 26th each year in Australia is a public holiday, recognising the arrival on that day in 1788 of Captain Arthur Philip and the First Fleet [of convicts] who sailed from England to settle in Australia.

It is Australia Day.

However, what was noticeable to my wife and I was that on this day this year, last Sunday, Qantas ground staff in Hobart, and our Qantas flight crew, failed to mention Australia Day.

Nothing.

Zip.

Nil. Naught.

Nada.

Zero.

Duck egg.

We asked our flight attendant about this. [Who by the way was an exceptional server attending to us on this ninety minute flight]

He said, that the crew had not received any instruction to say anything extra about the fact that they were flying on Australia Day.

He did not say whether or not that they had been instructed to make no mention of Australia Day.

To me and my wife, we just think that it was an opportunity lost.

I believe that Australia Day 2020 is a day to celebrate how far our great country has come since the arrival of white settlement 242 years ago.

And yes, sure there are a small percentage [very small percentage] of our population down here who like to label Australia Day as “Invasion Day” because the arrival of the British is seen by some as actually that, but really, the history of the world is really just a series of expansions and invasions by countries and empires and nations.

To me, and to many other Australians, the opportunity to celebrate Australia Day and WAVE THE FLAG, is an opportunity that needs to be taken.

I felt embarrassed and ashamed that my national airline carrier had ignored the opportunity of celebrating my National Day.

I am an Australian, and I am the son of someone who fought for our country.

I am also mindful and respectful of the celebrations of all countries that I visit, and the countries of where my friends around the world reside.

I’m proud to be an Australian and I’m proud to live in this lucky country.

The lack of celebration of Australia Day by a private company that piggy backs itself and makes enormous profits on conveniently exploiting a connection to our country when it wants to, and then chooses to ignore the National Day, well to me that’s heinous.

I think it’s no accident that Qantas has failed to celebrate.

I think that Qantas and its board need to revisit its past, and to celebrate its origins and its connection to Australia.

Not ignore it.

*****

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 378 044 or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more 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

 

When You Do These Simple Things Your Business Is Bound To Succeed

When You Do These Simple Things Your Business Is Bound To Succeed

As you know there are lessons to be learned everywhere in life if you just open your eyes and look around.

Sadly, there are so many people who need lessons who are walking around with their eyes shut and their heads in dark places that they miss so many of these simple life lessons.

And when things go wrong for these people they sit and wonder why?

And they wonder what just happened?

Recently Jayne and I visited Hobart for work, and enjoyed a few extra days and nights there sightseeing and dining out and stimulating the Tasmanian economy.

On one evening, after a long day of touring and sight seeing, we ventured to eat at an Italian restaurant nearby to where we were staying.

This restaurant had been recommended to us by a couple of different people, and although Italian food was not really on our radar, on this evening it was convenient for us because it was late and we had been out all day, and it seemed like the easiest thing for us to do.

When we entered the restaurant, late in the evening, the first thing we did was announce that we did not have a booking and we asked whether they could fit us in?

The immediate response from the owner was:

“Of course we can. Just give us a minute.”

And in no time at all we were shown to a table.

As we sat there dining, leg weary and tired from our long day out, we were treated like royalty by the wait staff who attended to us.

When placing our orders we asked:

“What do you recommend?”

And our waitress immediately advised the dishes that she enjoyed.

We chose our wine:

“Great choice.”

we were told.

And it was.

At the end of the evening, as we sat contemplating our desserts, satisfied and contented, the owner came over to us and asked whether we would like a limoncello complimentary, on him.

As we respectfully declined, he offered an alternative, a Tasmanian Single Malt Whisky, which we graciously accepted.

As we sipped on these post dinner drinks, we discussed with the owner how impressed we had been with the service we had received from his team this evening.

And he let us in on his secret.

And that was this:

He tells all his staff that for the evening to be successful for the restaurant diners, his restaurant needs to nail three things.

The food.

The ambience.

And the service.

He said he tells the staff that the food is the responsibility of the kitchen team, and that the kitchen team will get the food right.

That’s their job.

He said, that he tells the staff that the ambience is his job. As the owner and the maître de it is his responsibility to create the atmosphere in the restaurant that keeps the patrons engaged and keeps them coming back.

And with these two things in mind, the wait staff only need to worry about the service and providing great customer service to the diners.

And that’s what they did.

The little things, like asking diners how their meals were and engaging with the diners, as if they were long time best friends.

It was easy for them to do.

And it also would have been easy for them to not do this.

What we enjoyed about our meal there was the fact that the team all looked like they enjoyed working there, and that they worked together well as a team.

As one big happy family.

This dining experience was in distinct contrast to our experience the previous night at another restaurant where our service had been distinctly disjointed and our experience was significantly disappointing.

Great service is easy to do and is so rewarding to the customer and to the restaurant when the establishment gets it right.

[As an aside, Jayne and I returned to this Italian restaurant the following evening, our final night in Hobart, and the service and the food was just as great].

The moral of the story is that when your business focusses on getting the little things right, and doing that continually, each and every time, then customers and potential customers will beat a path to your door.

Get it wrong and you fail to create an experience, and you fail to create repeat business.

It’s really that simple.

*****

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 378 044 or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more 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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