Don’t Wear Out Your Wonderful Team With Your Poor Choice Policies

Don’t Wear Out Your Wonderful Team With Your Poor Choice Policies

Another blog. Another Qantas fail story.

I’m writing this blog article while flying Qantas to Perth.

It’s a four-and-a-half-hour flight.

And as usual, I’m sitting in the front end.

And we have great service from Kylie and from Shaun and from John.

But….

The policies….or choices…

The Menu

You can eat anything you want, as long as you don’t want fish.

Or vegetarian.

For main course we have chicken, chicken laksa, beef, and pork.

Four choices.

No seafood.

You really are kidding me….

Not even a vegetarian or vegan option.

Talk about a way of offending your paying customers…

How difficult is it really to substitute one of the chicken dishes for a piece of fish?

Or to switch the pork for a vegetarian option as well?

It appears to me that pescatarians are being gastronomically bullied when it comes to menu selections.

Across the globe.

And Qantas is leading the charge…

But, in the case of Qantas, it’s up to the crew to make the apologies for decisions made for them by meat eating bureaucrats who never fly the routes…

No limes.

How small is a lime?

How many limes does a flight need to carry?

Really?

Why offer lemons as a substitute for limes?

Can Qantas really justify serving gin without lime?

Even after Qantas recently chose to NOT offer onboard duty-free goods, the extra space on the aircraft that was created by the removal of the duty-free goods would have been sufficient to house a few lime trees…. Let alone a small box of limes.

Gin and tonic without a lime is like meat pie without sauce.

Really Qantas, how big is a box of limes?

Back to the service.

Hats off to Kylie who took my order who’s radar was up and who recognised that I was struggling with the food choices [or lack thereof] on the menu.

And who went away to see whether there was the possibility of finding a piece of fish on this flight.

Sadly, there was not.

And I know I’m sounding precious, but, this same month, on a long haul flight from Dallas to Sydney, in the front of the plane, I experienced the same deficiency in the menu.

No seafood starter for First Class passengers.

And a piece of rubberised halibut for main course .

Hats off also to Shaun and to John for their wonderful food and beverage services on the way to Perth….

The problem is:

First class air travel is definitely THE most expensive real estate on the planet.

And that is why airlines need to get it so right.

And not offend their customers with their poor choices and their poor policies.

Really, how much extra do a few more pieces of fish and a few extra limes cost?

Compared to the price your first-class customers are paying?

And in dental….

What sort of short cuts are you applying in your dental office that are turning your valued and loyal customers away in droves?

Are you cutting corners on the coffee that you serve?

Or your biscuits?

Are you offering poor quality towels as refreshers?

Are your goody bags looking more like show bags from your local fair, rather than being quality gifts especially chosen?

What sort of subliminal message are you sending to your valued clients?

And are you relying on your faithful and loyal staff members to bail you out of your poor choice business decisions?

How long do you think those sorts of short cut decisions are going to stand up for you in the marketplace?

*****

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 378 044 or 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

 

Two Currencies Of Speech You Should Definitely Cash Out Of Using

Two Currencies Of Speech You Should Definitely Cash Out Of Using

Here are two types of ways of speaking you should avoid if you are trying to be customer specific in your conversations:

Absolutes

Avoid using words that are absolutes.

Avoid blanket statements that aggregate all possibilities under the one umbrella.

“All men are bad people”.

This statement is inclusive. It is factually incorrect and it is impossible to prove its validity.

At best it can be described as a sweeping generalisation.

The use of a statement like this says more about the person speaking than they probably intend, or want.

I’d rank its use up there with the Bob Hawke “No child will live in poverty” comment on the scale of stupidity.

The reason why:

Comments that are polarizing should be avoided. 

Avoid blanket statements, like:

“Michael Jackson? I hate his music!”

Instead, if asked your opinion by someone, ask a question in return.

Ask them the same question back at them.

“What do you think of Michael Jackson? Do you like his music?”

Then, once you understand their position, you can speak diplomatically.

I’d frankly offer more questions.

This avoids being absolute.

Broad general statistics

One of the questions I ask in my pre-interview questionnaire is the question:

“What is the average two-year value of a New Patient to your dental practice?”

What I haven’t asked is this: 

“What do you think is a good rounded number that you can throw back at me that will make me think that you know this answer when you actually have no idea at all…”

People will often give me a number ending in three zeros. Or two.

“About $2000.00”

Or

“$1500.00”

Which shows to me that they have no idea of what they are talking about.

The solution:

Be absolute.

Speak in numbers like: 

“Fifty three percent of….”

“I’d like to say the number is still sitting on sixty three percent…”

“$2430.00”

Rounded percentages and rounded numbers will be less believable than exact percentages.

If you want to be trusted and be considered as an “interesting” person, then you need to hang your hat on more of those more accurate and specific numbers as opposed to speaking in round numbers and generalities…

*****

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 378 044 or 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 Counter-Intuitive Way Of Setting Your Fees.

The Counter-Intuitive Way Of Setting Your Fees.

In 1998, my dental receptionist came to me and said:

“David, the patients are complaining that your fees are too high.”

Which was odd.

Because I had not increased my dental practice fees for about two years, and with inflation running at a rate in excess of 10% per annum, I was feeling that I was actually overdue for a fee increase, just to catch up.

Because, after all, if your fees are not keeping up with the rate of inflation, by NOT increasing your fees you are actually giving yourself a PAY CUT each and every time the Cost of Living Figures are announced.

So, what was I to do?

On the one hand, I was overdue for an increase in fees just to catch up.

But on the other hand, I needed to be aware of what the market was telling me… or in this case, what my dental receptionist was telling me that the market was telling me.

So I pondered….

And here is what I decided to do.

I decided that I needed to make sure that I was being told the truth by my dental receptionist.

I wanted to know what these patients were actually complaining about.

Because, I couldn’t figure it out… why would the patients be complaining NOW that my fees were too high, when I had not raised my fees for near upon two years?

It didn’t make any logical sense to me.

So here’s what I decided to do.

I decided that the only thing to do was to give my patients something to complain about.

If my fees were actually too high already, then if I decided to raise my fees [because a raise was well overdue] then this will be seen by my patients for what it is truly meant to be…. And that is market research.

So I decided to raise my fees.

And raise them immediately I did…. by 10%.

Can you guess what happened?

After I raised my fees by 10%, what I noticed was this:

Nobody complained about my fees.

Nobody.

Not a one.

Nil.

My practice experienced no reduction in busy-ness. In fact, appointments for treatment became more and more popular and more difficult for patients to obtain.

So prices went up, and more appointments were made, and kept.

Production and collections increased.

More patients were happy to receive and go ahead with more complex longer-lasting dental treatment.

I actually became busier, and collected more as well.

What I realised was that it wasn’t the patients complaining that my fees were too high….what it was was that my dental receptionist felt difficulty in collecting fees from patients.

So here’s what else happened….

What also happened was that my patients began feeling a “perceived” additional value with my dentistry, simply because my fees were higher.

And as such, my dental practice began to attract a more discerning and more affluent client.

And with time, from then onwards, I incrementally was able to increase my fees on a regular basis, in such a manner that I was actually unaware of what exactly my competitors were charging….

Because I had always used my own personal parameters for fee setting….and not relied on what I thought the market was thinking.

Do you think my counter-intuitive decision was correct?

As you know, roughly 20-25% of the population out there do not care what your competitors are charging because they perceive that what they are receiving from you is exceptionally good value.

And it is this 20% of the population that will provide you with 80% of your income.

This is the Pareto Principle.

A lot of dental practices spend a lot of their time trying to satisfy the 80% of the population that only provides them with 20% of their income.

And the valuable other 20% of the population leave and go elsewhere…

*****

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 378 044 or 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

 

It Pays To Always Know Your Customers.

It Pays To Always Know Your Customers.

In business, in your business, do you know all your customers?

And does your business have the systems in place to truly recognise your customers when they pop up unexpectedly in different places than they normally do?

In a dental office, sometimes your regular and consistent A type patients are going to pop up in places where you aren’t going to expect them?

And do you have the protocols in place in your office to make their visit special for them, although it’s not their regular visit?

Last week, I needed to change my travel arrangements to return home early to care for a loved one.

And although I had rung and organised my travel accordingly, on the day of my travel, the airlines had an issue that could have way-laid my plans.

You see, I had to fly from Philadelphia to Dallas and then back to Sydney.

And on the way to the airport in Philadelphia, I saw online  that my flight from Phili to DFW  had been delayed ninety minutes, which was going to mean that I would not make my connection at Dallas.

Luckily for me, I had arrived at the airport with plenty of time up my sleeve, in fact so much time, that I was able to change my flight out of Phili to an earlier flight.

Except that taking the earlier flight meant that I had to travel in coach, instead of in First Class.

But at least I was going to make my connection.

And so I was feeling bitter sweet.

On  the one hand I was going to be travelling in a little less style, but on the other hand I was going to be getting home for sure to care for my loved one.

What was really interesting….

What was really interesting was the Secret Service  that the airline had done, or that they had in place, to make my commute as enjoyable as possible.

You  see, as I remembered, when you travel down the back you have to pay for meals and you have to pay for adult beverages.

But, and it’s a big but….

The flight attendant on this flight serving me down the back told me that they knew that I was a premium platinum flyer.

And because they knew this, my meal, and my beverages were complimentary.

In fact, she even went  so far as to show me her electronic seating chart, that clearly indicated to her that they had a VIP seated down back in seat 15D.

And as such, I was treated like royalty.

Now, to me it was a short flight.

And although I had indeed paid for a First Class seat, the ability to change my flight had meant more to me than the comfort of my flight.

Because I needed to get home.

What I loved about the whole process was how seamlessly the cabin crew had implemented their whole Service Recovery  processes to make my flight down back as comfortable as possible.

What systems do you have in place to make your valued customers feel special when emergency changes of plan occur?

It is your seamless service recovery processes that set your business apart as a business that cares about its clients, rather than a business that operates on a nickel and dime basis.

What processes do you have in plan at your practice that separates your practice from your competitors in the eyes of your customers?

Every one of your clients is walking around with an invisible sign around their neck that reads:

“Make me feel important.”

Are you making each of your clients feel important in each and every visit to your dental office?

And in what ways are you doing this?

When your clients are made to feel special and important, then you and your business will also feel that importance.

To convey that importance you do need to know your customers deeply.

And not superficially.

Is your dental practice making every one of your clients feel as important as they possibly can be?

*****

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 378 044 or 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

 

You Know When Things Are Not Going To End Well.

You Know When Things Are Not Going To End Well.

Have you ever had one of those experiences where you know right from the get-go that things are destined to end up pear shaped?

One of those times where you’ve booked some accommodation online and then when you arrive at the hotel, it looks more like the Bates Motel than the luxurious resort that you thought you were meant to be staying at?

Or you book a romantic night out for your wife and you for that special occasion, only to find that the restaurant you’ve chosen is out in the boon docks and way, way less romantic than you thought you were going to be getting?

And as much as you hope that things are going to get better, more often than not things just keep on  heading further and further south despite your prayers and best intentions.

And no matter how hard you try, the event  that you have planned out so well just does not fly.

It just goes down like a lead Zeppelin.

Last weekend three of my friends and I experienced one of those events.

My three friends and I had been staying away out of town.

Another friend [who was not with us] had done some research and had booked my three friends and I in for a dinner meal while were travelling.

Now my friend, the booker, had done all his homework and read the online reviews before deciding to choose a well rated, very trendy eatery.

The trouble was, the eatery was not for us. 

It was not for me and my three friends….

What we ended up with was a total mismatch between product and customer.

Don’t get me wrong, the restaurant was probably a rave, well reviewed restaurant.

But for four hungry travelers, all we really wanted was a good old-fashioned steakhouse.

So what went wrong on the night?

Well, firstly, the menu descriptions of the dishes did not match the food that was served.

And nor did it match the food that was requested either.

One of our party ordered a grilled piece of fish to be served on the rare side, but when the dish arrived, the fish was overdone and was way more on the dry side.

In fact very dry.

Very very dry…..

The floor manager apologised and explained that this was the way the chef liked to prepare this dish.

Hmmm.

Wrong answer?

Possibly….

Others in our party chose the steak.

And again, the steak was served up sliced into small pieces that had been marinated so richly, that those who chose this dish were extremely disappointed that they just didn’t get a simple piece of steak.

And the potatoes and greens that came with the steak?

Well they were an amalgamation, that looked like a green thing, that did not look like a potato nor did it look like a vegetable.

Again we were told that this is how they did this at this restaurant.

It appeared to us that the food being served was created more  to look a particular way, rather than to taste a certain way.

It wasn’t that we wanted anything fancy at this restaurant.

It was more that we were hoping for good old-fashioned cooking and we were being given something fancy instead.

Hence the mismatch.

What was really interesting, upon our departure from the restaurant, was that when we looked at the floor plan layout of the restaurant, there seemed to be more kitchen [in an open plan kitchen style] than there was actual dining seating.

And when I asked the floor manager this question, he said that the chef was indeed a shareholder in the business.

And to me, that explained EXACTLY  why there was more stage than audience in this culinary theatre.

It was all to satisfy ego and not to satisfy customer.

Which is fine, so long as you are able to attract enough customers to fill your small  audience [restaurant] each night.

Sadly, on this Sunday night, this restaurant was only one quarter full.

But maybe one quarter full is all that they need to turn a profit on any Sunday night?

We all know that in business you cannot please all of the people all of the time.

And maybe this restaurant was out there pleasing another market that was NOT the market that included me and my three friends…

And if that was the case, well the market they were trying to please was not certainly dining out  at this rated restaurant on this Sunday night.

And  as Yoda might say:

“Buzzing this place was not.”

What is the lesson here?

In the dental profession, I see dentists who perch their business model way out on a limb away from the mainstream of what the public really want.

And that might be fine for their way out egos and eccentricities.

But, if the section of the market they seek to attract is too small, their ego is only going to send them to the poor house.

And nowhere else.

In this day and age where there is a dentist on every corner of every intersection of every town in your country [and who do we need to thank for that?], sometimes you can’t be holding yourself and your business so far OUT THERE because out there is too far out there.

And out there you won’t find enough business to stay in business.

Sometimes your business needs to be able to satisfy the meat and two veg type of people who just want a good feed.

And nothing real fancy.

Because sometimes plain Jane is all they want.

And if you are trying to carve off a piece of the market that is so thin, and be king of that sliver of your market at the expense of survival, well, survival may be what you are going to need to be concentrating on.

And not business.

And is that good?

I don’t think so….

*****

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 378 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

 

King Of Your Own Sandpit

King Of Your Own Sandpit

There is no point being king of your own sandpit when everyone else is playing in a different sandpit.

Although the solitude can be soothing, sooner or later you will need others to interact with to maintain your own sanity.

And although it may be your sandpit, those that you invite will have the choice of your sandpit, and others that they can choose to play in.

Negotiation of these relationships is then the key to moving forward.

It’s the same in business.

Although the soup Nazi did run a successful business, there would come a time when treating customers rudely would not be good for business.

And it’s the same for medical specialists.

Recently a very close and dear friend of mine was scheduled to have a minor procedure in hospital.

The first hiccup came in the doctor’s rooms delaying, or not telling the time of admittance to my friend until very late in the evening the day before admission.

All people need as patients is a clarity as to what they have to do next.

And giving a patient less than 12 hours notice overnight before admission is to me unacceptable…

When was my friend to start fasting from?

What were her pre-admission protocols?

It almost felt as if my friend was amongst a giant pool of waiting patients who, if they were lucky, would become the chosen ones to be healed by the almighty surgeon.

In dentistry, in my practice, we painstakingly went over our CLEAR. NEXT. STEP. with every patient so there was only total clarity  for them about what they needed to do.

There was no confusion or dissention.

We found that what our patients wanted to know was when do they come back, what will you be fixing, the immediacy and urgency of the treatment, and what will happen if they do not have the procedure performed during the recommended time frame.

When our team followed these guidelines we found our appointments were being made, and being kept, at much greater completion rates than when we previously failed to follow any protocols or systems.

So all patients ended up winning because of this.

If you treat your patients like fools they will act like fools and you will end up looking foolish.

Create clarity.

Otherwise you will soon be playing in your own sandpit on your own…

*****

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 378 044 or 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

 

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