A very interesting newspaper article came across my desk last week.
The article, “Why I sacked my dentist”, by Alexandra Cain, was published last Friday in the Sydney Morning Herald, and discusses why, after ten years, she has decided to change Dentists.
As an authority in providing World Class Customer Service in the field of Dentistry, several colleagues, both dental and non-dental, sought my opinion on the article.
What also made for fascinating reading were the online comments from the public about dentists, dental procedures, dental fees, and dentists’ incomes.
So what went wrong for Alexandra, and how could her Dentist have prevented, or fixed the problem?
Firstly, her dentist started calling her by the wrong name.
Now this can be common.
We’ve all done it.
We become so engrossed in our procedures and the minutia and intricacies of what we are creating that our patient’s name simply pops straight out of our heads.
Was it Alexandra?
I’ve always made it a rule that if you want me to pay you, then you need to know how to spell my name.
And you need to know how to say it.
And in this case, you need to know it.
In this case, I’m totally perplexed how after ten years, Alexandra’s dentist starts calling her by the wrong name.
I’d have left and changed dentists just for that!
If you ever find that you’re forgetting your patients’ names while you’re busy constructing their dentistry, then the simple post it note can help.
Simply have your Dental Assistant write the patient’s name in BIG letters on a post it note and have her stick it onto the bench beside your computer.
I’ve written about this before.
As the chair goes back, you simply lift the post it note from the bench and stick it down gently on the corner of your patient’s bib, so it’s right there beside their mouth, in front of you, every time you need it!
The second problem Alexandria’s Dentist had, was that no-one had been manning the phones when she phoned, meaning she needed to leave a message on a machine in order to enquire about an appointment.
It seemed that the Dental Assistant was also doubling as the receptionist.
In this day and age, I wonder how many callers even bothered to leave a message?
I’d have imagined that most people calling this Dental Office, if confronted with a machine, would simply hang up and call another office.
It was testimony to the writer’s loyalty to her Dentist that she valued and respected her Dentist so much that she would actually do this and leave a message.
But I ask you, how much *NEW* business would just keep dialing, and not bother to leave a message?
I can’t imagine the number, but it’s FREE money, because those new people calling have already decided from the marketing they’ve seen, that this Dentist is the one they need to help them!
And there’s no receptionist?
And it’s a multi-dentist practice!
Thirdly, the messages left by the writer were not returned.
But three times!!
Three times the writer left messages asking for her calls to be returned.
And three times the Dental Office failed to return the calls.
Now most patients would have given up after one message was not returned. But Alexandra chased them down twice.
But not a third time.
Does the Dentist even know that this sort of procedural failure exists in his office?
Is he aware that the messages of valued patients are being ignored, and calls are not being returned?
It is said that the number one reason our valued patients leave our Dental Practices and go elsewhere is because of apathy, and perceived apathy, by our staff and by us, their dentist, towards those valued patients.
And that feeling of apathy is certainly apparent in this article.
The writer felt that, after seeing one of the other dentists in the practice on the television, that the practice was now focusing on the high end of the market, and that her twice yearly check up and cleaning was now “chump change”.
Every Dental business needs valued regular patients.
A healthy pool of regular patients who trust you and value you will accept treatment more readily, will come more often and will refer more people.
Sure the high-end work is nice.
And as the writer points out, very profitable.
But you need a healthy patient base of regulars.
As the writer points out.
Otherwise your Dental Office is a house of cards.
My One-Day Workshops cover in greater depth how to address simple changes that create BIG RESULTS.
For more details about my Australian workshops in August 2015, CLICK HERE.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you like this blog article? If you did then hit the share buttons below and share it with your friends and colleagues. Share it via email, Facebook and twitter!!