Down here in Australia our country has just launched a Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
The Terms of Reference for the Commission make for very interesting reading.
Of particular importance are these terms:
“The Commission require and authorize you to inquire into the following matters:
(a) whether any conduct by financial services entities [including directors…employees…] might have amounted to misconduct and, if so, whether the question of criminal…proceedings should be referred to the relevant…agency…
(b) whether any conduct, practices, behaviour or business activities by financial services entities fall below community standards and expectations;
(c) whether the use by financial service entities of superannuation members’ retirement savings…. does not meet community standards and expectations and is otherwise not in the best interests of those members;
And so it goes on….
One of the admissions that came to light today was from the AMP society who admitted to keeping customers in high paying products when there existed less expensive products with better features and performances and benefits within the AMP umbrella of products.
And the AMP considered for a period of time that this was an acceptable thing to do.
My point is, that this behaviour from AMP was exactly the same behaviour that I was copping from Telstra with my phone and internet services, and that the people that I spoke to at Telstra considered this way [their way] of doing business to be totally acceptable.
As you know, the Telstra people I spoke to said it was not Telstra’s responsibility to make its customers aware of better plans that they were offering. Telstra said categorically that it was totally the customer’s responsibility to research and keep up to date on the plans being offered.
Despite the fact that in the past Telstra used to cold call its customers offering them these better plans.
What did I think?
I complained fiercely that their approach should have been far more transparent, and that when they developed a better product that they should have actively offered that product to their clients, rather than simply just letting their clients “discover” that a better, less expensive plan did in fact now exist!!
My point is that as of this Royal Commission, this failure to disclose is considered to be not OK in the banking and finance industry, then it certainly shouldn’t be OK in the telecommunications industry.
So what does this have to do with dentistry?
Well not too much actually.
You would hope, as I would hope, that the industry of dentistry is exempt and devoid of charlatans and thieves.
And to the greater part it is.
And this is simply because the face to face nature of doing business in dentistry is certainly a deterrent to the silent act of “clipping” that allows Telstra and AMP to skim from their clients.
Why not in dentistry?
Sure, there is price elasticity and price flexibility in dentistry.
But because dentistry is a SERVICE industry and not a business of providing a commodity then fees being charged are open to market forces and customer expectations.
This is why there exists a difference in price between a $200.00 per head lunch at Quay restaurant and a $5.95 Happy Meal lunch at McDonalds.
One would consider the price of lunch at Quay to be grossly over the top yet people are happy to dine there and keep dining there.
Yet in twenty four hours after dining at either restaurant the food is nothing but a distant memory.
Why is a Ferrari a $500M car and yet a Mazda can be picked up for under $20K?
Both will get you around town from A to B in a pretty much the same amount of time, but being seen in one will certainly turn a few more heads than being seen in the other….
What’s my point?
My point is that so long as you are ethical and that you believe that the fee that you charge is indeed reflective of the fine product you deliver and the exceptional service that you provide then you should indeed be being appropriately remunerated by your customer for those levels of quality.
In the cases of AMP, and of Telstra, they continued to charge higher fees for inferior products when within their own stables better products existed.
What they did was clearly fraudulent and was totally unethical.
What we need to remember as dentists is that offering the best treatment firstly is always in the best interest of the patient.
We need to diagnose everything as if dentistry is free, or as if the patient is a multi.
And then let the patient choose whether or not they want best.
Or whether or not they want to ask you for second best.
And sometimes second best is not what we do.
For me, I chose not to offer second best if it was clearly inferior.
What was the point if it was not going to last as long and was going to put the patient in a state of compromised health from that point onwards?
You can’t dine at Quay restaurant and order a $5.95 Happy Meal….
It’s not on the menu…
I’m sure they could whip up a burger.
But a $5.95 burger is not reflective of the BEST that they so well do…
My next public speaking presentation showing Dentists how to grow their Dental practices will be in London England on Saturday 4 August 2018 with Jayne Bandy.
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
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