Some of you know that I have two homes.
We have a family home in Sydney, as well as a sixty-eight acre farm, or ranch, two hours drive south west of Sydney, where we raise beef cattle.
The farm is located in a small village, which has a pub, a butcher shop, and a café. And a school, and that’s about it.
It’s a really lovely part of the world.
Recently the residents of the village and surrounds have been excitedly awaiting the re-opening of the café, which has changed hands in ownership.
The café has been closed for business for several months as the new owners remodeled the interior to create something new out of of a very quaint old building.
So it was with anticipation that my wife and I booked a table there for lunch last weekend. After all, we can walk to lunch there, and enjoy our food, and then walk home.
In anticipation of our meal, I thought it might be a good idea to review their dishes on their menu on their website.
There was no website.
Just a splash page, letting me know that the website was coming soon.
Now you’d think, in anticipation of opening your doors for business [it had been several months], that getting a menu online would really have been a simple priority?
Sadly, no. It seems that the cart came before the horse in this instance.
And isn’t it like that in dentistry some time?
There are Dental Offices out there, in 2015, with zero or little web presence online to inform and entice potential and existing clients with information and graphics about their services and the people who work in those businesses.
And of course, when choosing a dentist, the public believe that Dental Offices with no web presence have something to hide, or are behind the times.
And so they let their fingers do the walking….
I know when I’m in a foreign city looking for somewhere to eat I always go online to review menu choices before making a booking.
But this was our local.
So, the renovations to the interior were pleasant. When we arrived for our booking, all tables were occupied, except for the table reserved for us. In only it’s third week of business, it seemed that the café has been a success waiting to happen.
In fact, the owner was pleasantly surprised with the activity of the day.
And as I mentioned to her, the opposite, of NOT being busy, really is something to complain about.
So we were seated for lunch, with our menus, and the instruction that when we were ready to order we were to go to the counter to place our orders, and then the food and beverages would be brought out to us to our table.
No big deal.
Obviously with opening up a new café, this process allowed the owners to gauge the number of staff needed.
We saw the point.
However, the system fell down when our three dishes ordered, our shared starter plate, and our two individual main meals, all arrived together.
Our waitress explained that when the order reached the kitchen it was then all prepared at once.
There was no staggering of dishes.
So if we were to dine there again, we would need to approach the counter and order our meals in stages, one serving at a time, to ensure this scenario did not happen again.
Or simply, to me, it wouldn’t take much grey matter to create a system, like they have in every other restaurant in the world, to logically stagger the dishes for the diners.
In business, sometimes the basic systems need to be in place as our *Always and Nevers* to ensure that we don’t disappoint our customers with our lack of “givens”.
And to me, staggering three dishes for two diners was a given.
And given, that it’s early days for these new owners, there’s a feeling from our hearts that overwhelm for them is a good thing.
But some things need to be in place from the get-go.
And staggering those dishes would be one of those things.
In Dentistry, we always have to inspire our clients and patients that we are in control, and we do know what we are doing.
We want our patients to not be thinking, “are these guys making this up as they go along?”
So we need to have our systems and procedures role played so that we don’t come across looking like brazen amateurs.
Now back at the café, if we wanted a second glass with our meals, it was up to us to approach the counter and order another.
Which kind of takes away from “the moment” of the meal, if you know what I mean.
And it certainly will result in fewer sales of beverages, than if there was a waitress monitoring and observing whether “the glass was half full”.
Imagine how many more beverages they would sell with a waitress asking you whether you’d like “another glass of wine?”
Finally, we noted, that the pace of clearing tables also needed some attention.
Nobody likes to sit looking at dirty dishes on their table for extended periods of time.
So here again, is another Always and Never that needs to be emphasised.
And in so clearing the table, of course the wait staff has the opportunity to offer cakes, desserts and coffee.
Now that would make sense.
At your Dental Office do you have your basic systems in place?
Are your poor systems and lack of systems working against your core business?
If you think that the quality of your dentistry is going to keep people streaming in your door despite your lack of attention to detail in service, then let me tell you, you’re in for one heck of a rude shock.
If your customers are not *raving* about the way your people at your office look after them as customers then your Dentistry is just purely a commodity, and your patients are only temporary.
If your people are not schmoozing your patients and loving them to death then sooner or later those patients will take their dental business elsewhere to a Dental Office that treats them like a valued friend, and not just a number.
So back to the café.
Did I mention that the oysters were fresh and sweet, and the sashimi plate was heavenly?
Or the beer was icy cold?
I did not.
I only wrote about the service defects.
The food might bring me back….
But the service will keep me coming back….
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