This is a true story.
I’ve just started back playing regular competition golf after three years away from the game due to my shoulder injury and my shoulder re-surfacing operation.
Three long years….
So, I was playing golf yesterday. And one of my playing partners I had not met before.
When he asked me what I did for a living I told him that I used to be a dentist and now I consulted to dentists.
His response, which is somewhat typical, was:
“You consult to dentists? On what?”
I told him that I help dentists to keep more of their patients by helping them with their customer service skills and also by helping them build better relationships with their patients.
And he said:
“You need to talk to my dentist.”
I asked him who his dentist was.
And he said:
“You know what? I can’t remember his name.”
As stupid as this story sounds it is a story I hear repeated time and time again by various people that I meet.
It’s tragic because as the dental profession on a whole feels as if it’s making inroads and doing well, there’s a considerable section of society out there where members of the dental profession are not hitting the mark.
And by this golfer’s story, the profession could be missing their target by a long, long way.
My golf partner then went on to tell me that his dentist doesn’t even operate any active maintenance programme for regular checking and cleaning of his patients’ teeth and gums.
Or at least not for my friend, anyway.
My golf friend said that the nameless dentist relies on the patients remembering that they are due for their hygiene visits and check ups.
This dentist puts the onus for that back onto the patient.
And funnily, all my golf friend wants is for his dentist to contact him and make him an appointment when he’s due.
Give me a database of patients like my friend!
The tragedy of this story is, as I said, that this behaviour by this dentist is a repeating and recurring occurrence across the country.
There are too many patients who do not know the name of their dentist off the top of their heads.
And this is simply because the dentists are not taking the time to build camaraderie and rapport with their patients.
They are not connecting sufficiently for the patient to bother to commit the dentists name into their memory bank.
Ask yourself this.
Have you ever been to a party or a barbeque where you’ve met someone interesting and yet you couldn’t be bothered to find out their name, or more about them?
Of course not.
Because that’s not what we would do.
Whenever we are in conversation with someone of interest it’s only common follow on behaviour to find out more about them so that we can commit them to our memory.
Unless they are as boring as bat caves, and then all we want to do is run away.
Based upon what my golf friend was telling me, his dentist really does seem to have a connection problem.
Now I’m not sure whether or not this dentist in question had a line up of microscopes, lasers, CAD-CAM machines and post graduate workshop certificates that he was hoping to impress with, but whether he did have those things certainly didn’t matter one zac to my golf friend.
What that dentist needed was a personality transplant.
I’ve spoken before about my friend in Florida whose dentist spends next to zero time connecting with him when he comes in for his regular cleanings.
So much so that my friend believes that if he saw his dentist at the mall, his dentist wouldn’t know who my friend was even if my friend walked up to the dentist and slapped him in the face!
Don’t be like these dentists.
Take the time to get to know your patients and for them to get to know you and who you are.
Including your name.
Because when you do, and you *engage* with your patients, you’ll find that case acceptance and treatment acceptance rates will rise, and the cancellation and reschedule rates will fall.
And then, you’ll get it.
You’ll get the fact that it’s not about the teeth.
It’s about the relationships.
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 email@example.com
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