You Have To Be Kidding?

You Have To Be Kidding?

When the phone rings at a dental practice, there’s a one hundred percent chance that the caller is not phoning up to get a pizza.

They are calling the dental practice because they have a dental problem.

And most of the times, callers to a dental practice are phoning because they want their dental problem solved.

Dental receptionists who understand this concept clearly are golden.

These golden receptionists realise that the caller phoning their office has a dental problem and are looking for someone to help them, and give them a solution to that problem.

And that solution for the caller is more often than not a scheduled  appointment to see a dental practitioner, with the implication to the caller that there will be a solution, and that the caller has indeed phoned the right place.

Too many times….

Mental As Anything had a hit song many years ago titled: “Too Many Times”

And when I listen to ACTUAL recorded calls of people phoning into dental offices, the thing that gets me is that most people answering the phone in a dental practice DO NOT KNOW what they are meant to be doing on that phone call.

It happens over and over again. And it’s a sure sign of an untrained or poorly coached dental receptionist.

Dental receptionists are not meant to be giving out free information to strangers.

However, that’s what I hear a lot of dental receptionists doing.

I hear a lot of dental receptionists having long conversations on the phone with callers without first finding out the name of the caller, without finding out whether or not the caller is a new or existing patient of the practice, and without finding out who referred the caller to the practice.

Over and over and over….

Too many times….

Just this week I listened to a call where the caller was not asked their name until the ninth minute of the phone call, but the receptionist did find out the caller’s employer and the caller’s dental insurance provider before they asked the caller for their name…

I’ll let you in on a secret…

I’ll let you in on a secret… the scenario I just described is LOUSY CUSTOMER SERVICE.

The receptionist has not followed a checklist and has drifted through a conversation with the caller without having direction and purpose.

In fact, during this call, the caller was asked when their last dental appointment was and what that appointment was for, but when told the answers by the caller, that information was ignored by the receptionist. The answers provided by the caller should have been used by the dental receptionist to CONNECT WITH THE CALLER and create URGENCY and CONCERN.

The caller told the receptionist that her last dental appointment three years ago had been for a periodontal cleaning, but she had not been to the dentist since then because of COVID and other reasons.

Well knock me down with a feather…

If that scenario described by that caller isn’t like raising a red flag to a bull for that dental receptionist, it’s time to get a rocket up that dental receptionist.

Does periodontal cleaning create an instant cure for periodontal disease, that means the patient doesn’t need any treatment for three years?

I don’t think so…

This receptionist should have been alert to the information she was being told by the caller.

This receptionist should have replied with something like this:

“Mrs Caller, COVID has caused a lot of people to delay and put off some necessary treatments, and three years is a long time to leave between dental visits… It’s good that you’ve called… are you having any issues at the moment?”

Then, whether the caller is having issues or not… say:

“Sometimes some things can be going on in patients’ mouths that they’re often unaware of… let’s do this… Let’s organise a time for you to come in and see Dr Smith and she’ll let you know exactly what’s going on in there. And then we can work out exactly what you need… how does that sound?”

Instead, I’ll bet that all that receptionist really wanted to do was fill a blank spot in the appointment schedule with a name, and congratulate herself on a job well done, when all she had done was simply put a name in a slot.

And in this case the receptionist didn’t even succeed at doing that.

If your receptionist believes that all she needs to do is put names in slots, rather than SOLVE PROBLEMS  and find viable solutions for callers, then she’s not in the problem solving business at all.

Nor is she in the Customer Service business.

She’s simply in the slot filling business.

And that’s not what any doctor wants.

And nor is it what any prospective patient wants.

Prospective patients want to talk to someone who truly listens, and truly cares, and truly wants to help them.

*****

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

 

The Easy Path Never Delivers The Best Result

The Easy Path Never Delivers The Best Result

Last weekend Jayne and I travelled interstate for a night away.

As is usual and customary with us is that when we travel we do like to dine out and enjoy nice restaurants.

And this weekend was no exception.

We chose a great restaurant with great food and a good wine list, and I’m very pleased to say that the food was superb and the wine we chose was an exceptionally good find.

Our waiter and our sommelier were also very friendly and knowledgeable.

But there was one very interesting behaviour that we observed throughout the night that really made no logical sense at all.

Here’s what happened…

Our sommelier who brought our wine to our table remarked on what an excellent wine we had chosen, and what a rare wine that was. He suggested that we decant the wine into a carafe so that we could really EXPERIENCE the full flavour of the wine throughout the evening, and we accepted his recommendation.

Our sommelier decanted the wine and then returned with the carafe and poured the wine into our glasses.

When these glasses started to get low, our waiter then came over and toped up the glasses, but sadly, as a wine waiter, that was the last time we saw him.

From that moment on until the end of the evening, whenever Jayne and I needed our wine glasses refilled it was up to me to do the refilling.

I found this a little bizarre for a couple of reasons:

Firstly, if the wine was so good and so expensive that it was best enjoyed from a carafe, then it would have been better enjoyed by us if the pouring of the wine was performed by the restaurant staff rather than making it a DIY situation for us.

Especially as the wine came at a relatively premium price tag.

Secondly, and even more ridiculously, the two women dining at the table beside us who had not purchased a bottle of wine and were simply drinking free tap water from a cheap carafe were getting their water glasses replenished on numerous occasions throughout the evening.

To me it just seemed to be back to front servicing.

The wait staff were waiting on the people who were underpaying, while those who were obviously paying a premium for their beverage were left to self-serve.

This concept of back to front servicing is not unique to restaurants…

In dental practices, I’ve watched dentists spend too much time on procedures that don’t last as long and won’t last as long as other procedures, that could be done in less time and give greater longevity…

But the procedures that last longer usually come with a required higher level of financial investment from the patient….

And although the better treatment is more expensive, it is better for the patient than the cheaper treatment, but the dentist ignores and avoids the opportunity of presenting BEST PRACTICE to the patient for some reason. Usually that reason is a “ghostly” reason that the dentist imagines, thinking that the patient may not be able to afford it [so I won’t ask], or that the patient may feel that the dentist is being too “salesy” if he recommends something more expensive [despite that something being superior in quality and longevity].

Sometimes we really need to look at where we are focussing our energies.

Actually, we always need to be looking at where we are focussing our energies.

Are we offering best outcomes always?

And are we serving those who choose the better way in a manner deserving of their investment?

*****

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

 

A Fake Apology Is Just As Bad As No Apology

A Fake Apology Is Just As Bad As No Apology

Last week’s article about the benefits of an immediate apology drew a lot of supportive comments from my colleagues and friends.

In the short time since I wrote that article, there has been a very interesting occurrence…

Last Saturday, in a press conference after a first grade National Rugby League [NRL] match, the coach of the losing side [well beaten side] made a fairly serious comment about the “nature” of one of the opposition players, and he commented that he had known that player since that player was a child and that this opposition player was of this particular character as a child and was still of this questionable character as an adult.

These comments were very personal and very insulting to the player, and the NRL is establishing an enquiry into the press conference.

After the press conference, in a conversation with a journalist, the journalist commented that “the coach was not backing down from his stunning comments”

The next day, the coach came out and apologised, but it wasn’t an apology.

The coach said this:

“I regret saying what I did on that platform after the game. I was speaking as a father and not as a football coach. My reaction was to a family situation that I thought I had dealt with. Clearly I haven’t… I allowed my emotions to get the better of me and for that I’m sorry. There is a history between [THAT PLAYER] and my family that I will not go into. I should not have brought it up after the game, but it just got the better of me. I am truly sorry.”

The coach apologised for what he did “on that platform” and for the fact that he “should not have brought it [the past] up after the game”

But the coach never apologised to the player for labelling the player and saying:

“I’ve had a history with that kid. I know that kid very well. He was a weak- gutted dog as a kid and he hasn’t changed now, he’s a weak-gutted dog person now”.

Here’s my thoughts:

To me, in this case, an apology for a behaviour, without an apology for the label he placed on the player, is a fake apology.

It’s not an apology at all.

I do understand…

I do understand that at the time, people can get upset with things that they believe have not gone the way that they would have liked, despite the fact that the way things have gone are in fact real and truthful.

And in those moments of disappointment, some people can behave and react very aggressively because the actual outcome has been a significant disappointment to them.

And at those times people can say and make some comments that are hurtful and damaging about people.

When that happens, nothing short of a genuine apology for those hurtful comments is acceptable.

Skirting around an apology with a pseudo-apology is the same as not giving an apology at all.

Not giving an apology for harmful things said is truly weak.

Offering up a pseudo-apology is just as weak.

*****

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

 

The Secret To Running A Highly Successful Business

The Secret To Running A Highly Successful Business

Do you know the secret to running a HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL business?

There are significant differences in what needs to be done to run a business, to run a successful business, and to run a highly successful business.

Do you know what those differences are?

A one man business is not a successful business.

A one man business is simply a highly paid job, because without the one man doing the work and doing the labour, no matter how skilled that one man is, the business grinds to a halt when that one man stops doing the work.

A successful business can continue operating without the continued day to day efforts of the one man. A successful business continues trading because it has employees that keep the business going while the owner is away for some period of time.

A successful business can continue trading while the owner is elsewhere.

A HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL business is a business that continues to grow and flourish without the input of one key player.

A highly successful business has a strong board of directors who completely OWN their roles and can provide leadership and vision to the employees that they are responsible for.

A highly successful business continues to operate and to grow and to flourish no matter who is in charge, or what the economic climate is externally.

A highly successful business has developed its own unique operating systems and processes that are recession proof and are also people proof, and those systems help to maintain the continued growth of the business and its people no matter what adverse conditions the economic climate is delivering, and no matter WHO is being employed by that business at any point in time.

Chances are that if you are not running a highly successful business that keeps growing and producing whether you are working there or not, then all you have is a highly-paid highly-skilled job that is masquerading as a business.

*****

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

 

“Hard To Say I’m Sorry”

“Hard To Say I’m Sorry”

Have you ever noticed that the best way to diffuse a “hostile” situation is to apologise?

Yet surprisingly, for a number of illogical reasons, when people have a difference of opinion, or when someone does something wrong, we see people often stand their ground and refuse to apologise.

Without an apology it is difficult to move on.

In fact, without an apology, two protagonists can be stuck at a place in time for a very long period of time.

I had two friends who did not speak for three years over a very minor incident in a golf game… an incident which had everybody they knew flummoxed as to what the big fuss was all about…

A simple apology could have saved a lot of angst for both of these friends, as well as for their circle of friends.

The band Chicago sang:

“Hold me now, it’s hard for me to say I’m sorry
I just want you to know”

And for some people it can be very difficult to apologise.

Last night….

Last night my family and I ventured out to dinner, and we booked an Uber car to take us to the restaurant.

The route was one that we had travelled many times, and we knew the route well.

However, on this night, and on this trip, the Uber driver failed to follow his navigation and ended up a mile off course.

When I suggested to the driver that he had gone off course he denied doing so, but it was very clear that he had “missed” an exit from a motorway and continued driving in an incorrect direction.

Upon being questioned by me the driver immediately turned off the meter. However, this also turned off his navigation and so he asked me whether we wanted to leave the car.

I suggested that he should continue on to the restaurant. Because he had turned off the meter, we now needed to use the navigation on my phone to do so.

I told the driver that I believed he had deliberately missed the exit in order to “pad out” the fare, as his navigation GPS would have explained his route very clearly. The exit he needed to have used was also very well signposted.

He denied this padding, blaming the motorway tunnel and a poor signal for the navigation error, which of course was an untruth and a concocted excuse.

If the driver had been honest with us from the get-go he would have declared his mistake as soon as it had occurred some two minutes prior to me “outing” him.

But he had remained silent for at least two minutes…

If the driver had indeed made an error or miscalculation with his navigation, an immediate admission and apology would have diffused any aggravation to his passengers before they realised that they were being clipped.

At no point through the remainder of the journey did the Uber driver offer an apology. He only offered excuses.

As I left his car, I told the driver that I was going to have to leave him a one star review, to which the driver challenged me and said:

“Haven’t you ever made a mistake?”

But the driver offered no apology.

In your business…

In your business, have you ever made a mistake?

Have you found that the simplest and easiest thing to do when there is a mistake is to admit your error, apologise, and make things better immediately…

It’s called SERVICE RECOVERY.

It’s easy to do, but it’s easy to not do.

Don’t ever be so proud to not apologise.

An apology is a great diffuser.

*****

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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