Customer Service? How Are YOUR Systems Really?

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So you think your office does pretty good customer service?

After all, you’ve worked out your systems, and nobody is complaining?

Or are they?

Are your customers complaining “on the inside”?

Are your customers simply just putting up with what you dish up as being the industry norm?

Because if the industry norm is not so good, then helping your office to become better than the norm will make your office look like Customer Service Superstars.

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So let me explain.

Today I had an appointment at a Specialist Radiology Practice for a cortisone injection for my replaced shoulder.

The cortisone is to reduce the inflammation in the bursa.

So here’s my journey for the morning….
When I rang the other day to schedule the appointment I was asked to come at 9:20am for a 9:30am appointment.

Now that makes sense.

And if you tell me to come early, I figure it’s so if I’m there early, and the doctor is running early, I’m in and prepped and ready for my shot well ahead of time.

And just like in an efficient Dental Office, the Radiology Practice has multiple rooms so that the assistants can have me in, shirt off, disinfected and lying on the table so that the doc only has to come in and make small talk and shoot me up and then disappear….

Rather than the Doc sitting in one room only all day waiting for that room to be turned over continuously before the next patients can be brought in.

Anyway, back to my arrival.

I worked out that the reason they ask you to arrive ten minutes early is so you can wait in line for ten minutes.

To check in.

Before you even get to the counter to answer the questions.

“Yes, I’ve been here before”

“Yes, here is my birthdate”

“Yes, Here is my address”

“Yes, Here is my Mobile Phone Number”

And yes, I’ve been there many many times before.

And today these questions were asked of me while another woman [who was waiting in line behind me] was brought forwards to pay for treatment she must have obviously just received.

So the receptionist checking me in started to multitask.

It became very confusing for me.

Because I wasn’t quite sure whether she was speaking to me or to the woman?

[Because she was looking at her paperwork while asking]

But I should be grateful to witness and experience this wonderful exhibition of multitasking, shouldn’t I?

The truth is that sufficient staff would allow for the easy processing of inbound patients as well as the efficient egress of those patients needing to settle their accounts, without the need for creating an unnecessary logjam.

Watch your language

While waiting in line for one of the three receptionists checking people in [there was also a fourth woman processing payments], I also overheard one of the ladies talking on the phone to someone making an appointment.

Interestingly, this very busy office had receptionists taking phone calls [via headsets] at the same time that they were meant to be dealing with live present, visible customers waiting to be served.

Anyway, she said, on the phone:

“So your appointment will be at 2:45 on Wednesday. If you could come in about ten minutes earlier at 2:35 so we can get you checked in that would be good…”

“ABOUT”??

The use of the word “about” creates a vagary that allows the patient to arrive five, seven, three, two or eight minutes prior to the appointment time.

Or any time they want…

My thought is that if you want them there for their allotted time then you need to be specific.

I would have said:

“So your appointment will be at 2:45 on Wednesday and we need you here at 2:35 so we can…”

Clear and precise.

Crystal clear.

So then, after the mandatory

“Take a seat. You’ll be called shortly”

I’m soon called and brought down into the treatment room by the doctor’s assistant, where I’m prepped and made ready for the doctor.

And she’s telling me that there are two patients lined up before me before the doctor sees me.

We joke about his workload, and she tells me that the doctor usually can do up to forty injections per day.

So my rudimentary math works out that forty lots of five minutes [and I’m being generous] is 200 minutes so that’s a fairly healthy morning’s work?

And at $300.00 a pop that makes $12K for less than three and a half hours of work.

Now, that’s probably not the kind of information that needed to be shared with a patient.

And especially a patient like me who is disappointed when I can’t use my Amex card to acquire more points every time I get zapped or shot there.

And I know the ROI is not as good as the ophthalmic surgeon who billed me $1100.00 for a five-minute retinal zapping with a laser.

But not all patients are stupid.

So talking out of school, in your office is not wise.

It’s called *oversharing*.

Oversharing is when we offer up sensitive information that really has no purpose or benefit to the receiver of the information other than to diminish the respect for the doctor or the office…

Or in a social setting it’s simply just called gossip.

And it has no benefit.

You certainly do not need to overshare in a dental office.

If you are oversharing you need to work out how to eliminate it.

Finally, after my short, and very painless injection, I’m re-dressed and out on my way to settle my account.

Out the front.

Where again, there is a short delay.

Despite the fact that there is no one else there seeing the lady handling the payments.

She’s being distracted by another office employee in their area working out who is at morning tea and who is going next.

Really?

Can’t this be worked out ahead of time, and not in front of paying customers?

Can’t the schedule for breaks be planned in advance, without the need for a “break supervisor” to oversee operations?

In front of paying customers?

Again, they have a system.

But it’s an inefficient and very public system.

That could be much better.

How are the systems in your dental office?

Are they in need of review or vision?

Is your performance better than average, but still very average.

Is your office performance reflective of the fees that you charge?

Because there will always be people wanting to pay for an “experience”.

But it needs to be something Above and Beyond.

By a long shot.

*****

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

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!!

 

 

Posted in Business Coach, Customer Service, Dental Coach, Dental Consultant, Dental Practice, Dental Practice Efficiency, Uncategorized, World Class Service | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gaining That Competitive Edge For Your Dental Practice

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From time to time in our dental careers there are opportunities in business to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

I’ve been fortunate throughout my Dental practicing career to be at the right place at the right time on a number of occasions, and I see another great opportunity presenting itself now for those dentists who grasp hold of it.

This is an interesting opportunity, because my initial thoughts about this were at odds to my core belief of offering World Class Customer Service at all times.

But having said that, I got down from my high horse and weighed up all the facts and then and only then was I able to see the wood for the trees.

The advancement I am speaking of involves the use of technology.

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And as you know, I’ve written many many times about how technology has been used in the dental office to replace the use of the spoken word, many times to the detriment of the overall process.

Sometimes the process of automation has overridden the benefits of really having a human being there when we need one.

We’ve all gone through the frustration of calling a help line with a big company only to have to speak clearly to a machine that is trying with great difficulty to recognise exactly what we are saying?

Who actually trusts that leaving a ten second voice to text message on someone’s mobile phone will in fact be translated and transcribed exactly as we need it?

And even Siri has trouble decoding our questions and dictations, doesn’t she?

In the same way that trying to have a conversation with a teenager wearing earplugs attached to music is frustrating to a baby boomer, then so too is the concept of technology being beneficial to the Dental Customer Service process on every occasion.

I find it abhorrent that a pop up on a computer or a phone rung remotely from the front desk to the operatory has been used to replace the melody and theatre of the spoken word introduction about the arrival of a valued guest in our office. [Read my previous article on this here]

And yet in that instance a geek has been able to create an emperor’s new clothes situation as a substitute for a process that has multiple beneficial advantages.

So what is the new advancement in technology that has impressed me so greatly lately?

It’s the advancement in the comfort and precision of online dental appointment scheduling, especially for new patient enquiries and bookings.

I’ve been opposed to giving total strangers to the dental practice easy access to our blank canvas of our appointment schedule.

And after all, if there’s one piece of continued resistance I find in the Dental offices that I consult with it is the concept of pre-blocking and “templating” our schedule for maximum production and efficiency.

Efficiency for the dentist, efficiency for the dental assistants, efficiencies for the front office and efficiencies for the hygienists.

And all the interactions that go on between these modalities in the dental office.

Templating our schedule allows for the dental office to run seamlessly with far less interruptions and incongruences.

So my question was:

“How on earth will the granting of access to the general public benefit a dental office already struggling with efficient templating and pre-blocking of their dental schedule?”

I was pleasantly surprised.

Firstly, I found a programme that allowed us to reflect online appointment availability selectively for any new patient enquiries and bookings without causing major disruptions to our schedule.

Indeed.

I found a company that allowed you the office to choose which time slots you wanted to make available or not available at any given time on any given day for any given operator.

And so this allowed the Dental office to create an illusion of busyness to the online enquirer.

Important to the process of online scheduling is the creation of illusion and mystique.

We don’t need to make all our times available.

A great company will allow you to pick and choose your online availability.

The second and most important thing that I needed to let go of was the concept of needing to have someone in my office in charge of and controlling the new patient enquiry, thus verbally helping the patient schedule a time with the aid of our service and friendliness.

You see those sort of things are always nice when we receive them, but sometimes, as a consumer, we do not need to be babysat nor do we feel the need to be babysat at all.

Sometimes we just want to get in and get out quickly.

And more and more, in other fields of life, this is what’s happening.

When booking a restaurant, it’s nice to simply scan an app like Open Table or Trip Advisor and book our dining table there and then.

One and done.

Done and won.

When we’re going to the movies or a concert or a sporting game, we have the ability to book our exact seats without needing to talk to someone.

We get to see the venue map and seating arrangements right there and then.

So why as dentists are we not allowing our busy patients the opportunity of scheduling their dental appointments remotely?

It just makes no sense for us to not get on and ride this technology wave and let this happen.

So what exactly happens?

Well, assuming that your new patients can now schedule an appointment with you via an online process, what are the advantages?

Well firstly, it makes your office look ahead of the game.

If your office is seen to be one of the only offices around with this service, your potential patients will gain the perception that your office is at the cutting edge of technology.

And that may or may not be exactly the truth of the situation, but the perception received by the scheduling new patient is profoundly valuable to your practice.

If the process is relatively seamless, your new patient now has the opportunity to tell their friends about how they found this new wonderful high tech dental office that allowed them to schedule an appointment without the need for calling.

How good is that form of word of mouth advertising?

To your office?

Invaluable, I say.

Finally, the fact that someone has scheduled an appointment allows us to make contact with them and wow them even more.

Because now we have their data.

So now we can contact them with news and information and gifts ands surprises well before their appointment.

And that’s something that most other dental offices never ever do.

At most dental offices patients are lucky if they receive a confirmation text message before their scheduled appointment.

That’s a pretty ordinary way of communicating with a new patient between scheduling and the actual appointment.

I see this opportunity to WOW ands overWOW as being a wonderful way of making your Dental Office stand out and be talked about in the community at this time of oversupply and competitive cut-throat cost cutting by our opponents.

Remember people don’t mind paying extra when there is value and perceived value attached to their purchase and their experience.

And this gives the forward thinking Dental office the opportunity of standing out in a loud crowded world of vanilla.

Want to be different?

I suggest you catch this online wave…

****

Which company am I seeing as the market leader here?
Click here to read more….

******

My upcoming in depth two day workshops will be held   in London in August.

You can reserve your places here: Click Link To Order 

*****

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

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!!

 

 

Posted in Business Coach, Customer Service, Dental Coach, Dental Consultant, Dental Practice, Dental Practice Efficiency, Uncategorized, World Class Service | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Your Business Really Trying Harder?

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Yes, you really can’t make this sort of thing up.

Here is episode three, the last of a series of customer service horror stories that I sadly experienced during a recent twenty-four hour period.

Yes. True. If you missed episode one then read it here

Yes. True. If you missed episode two then read it here

Here is my point. As a small business, Dental Offices need to be mindful of the fact that if we have no customers then we have no business.

NO CUSTOMERS. NO BUSINESS.

Simple.

And big businesses need to be mindful of this fact too.

This third instance of ignoring the consumer occurred last week with another very big company.

This company totally went about its processes as if the paying customer was not even present.

And I don’t mean as if they were invisible…

I mean as if the paying customer was not even there.

This company could not have cared less about its customers, unless they were asked..

Although they were pleasant when questioned, the fact is, as a customer I should not have had to question the service or the processes.

But I did, sadly.

And the responses were pathetic…

This may have been due to the staff having to defend their operational protocols?

I’m not sure…

In a Dental Office, sadly, I see staff put into this same situation with regard to office procedures.

And unhappy patients do not like to be put in these situations and then be fed trite answers…

And when patients get treated this same way they simply show their disdain by walking straight out the door and never returning.

Customers and patients should not have to tolerate this sort of business behaviour when they are paying money to that business.

This particular incident only went on to show me that there needs to be logical thought toward protocols in a business so that customer service appears paramount.

Customers should not be simply being taken for granted.
But if nobody’s telling a business that what they’re doing is poor and needs fixing, then they’ll simply keep on blundering on regardless.

All customers want to be made to feel valued.

And that’s all we need to remember.

Sadly, at Avis at Melbourne Airport last month, this was not how I was made to feel.

I was on my way from Sydney to Melbourne by plane and then I needed a hire car for the day so that I could drive to Geelong and back and see my Shoulder surgeon for my twelve-month post-operative review.

So I had pre-booked a hire car from Avis.

When I arrived at the counter within the Airport, there were two people in front of me, one being served who seemed to be taking an inordinate amount of time.

And only one person serving.

So I took the odds, and headed to the outlet in the car park, where I found their office to have only one attendant and a client just leaving.

When I told the attendant about my booking she politely let me know that I was in the Avis-Preferred office, and that I needed to go to the office across the way.

In THAT Avis Office there were three attendants serving. But there were seven people in line before me.

Fortunately the service was good and the line shortened quickly, and I was out in the pick-up area with my paperwork in hand in no time at all.

Once in the pick-up area I was asked, along with everyone else, to hand over my paperwork to one SOLO woman with a walkie-talkie who then proceeded to make herself scarce?

In dribs and drabs, and I mean one at a time well spaced apart, cars were appearing and customers were dispatched.

Very very slowly.

So slow, that it took forty minutes standing there in very cold icy temperatures waiting for my car to appear.

Cars were arriving very sporadically.

When I asked the female with the walkie-talkie about the delay she told me that my car was being cleaned.

I asked her whether they waited for me to check in and pay before they decided to clean my car, because it seemed logical that if I had made a booking that I would want the car ready at the time that I had booked it for?

It seemed crazy to think that it took forty minutes to get my car and yet it took only fifty-five minutes of flying time to get me from Sydney to Melbourne.

I had not allowed forty minutes of service time to pick up my car.

This was because only two weeks earlier in Grand Rapids Michigan I had literally walked off my plane and completed my paperwork with Enterprise and been directed to my car in the not in less than ten minutes?

Why for whatever reason does Avis have to bring your car to you in the airport car park?

It makes no sense if it is delaying my service, and displaying gross inefficiencies.

Once my car DID arrive downstairs another customer tried to jump into it because he too was waiting on a car with the same colour and make.

What a shemozzle!

This confusion could have been avoided if the customers were allowed to go fetch their own cars, much like they do in Grand Rapids.

The walkie-talkie lady suggested that I might like to become an Avis Preferred client so that I could receive better service.

I told her that if they couldn’t get the base level correct, then why would I even contemplate giving Avis more money?

In fact, I said that from this day on I’ll spend my hire car dollar with any other company bar Avis, because I don’t believe they are doing anything right in trying to keep my business.

How’s your Dental Practice going?

Do you keep clients waiting an inordinate amount of time because of inefficient processes?

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Are your processes creating difficulties for your front line employees?

Are your processes sending the wrong messages to your customers?

Do your antiquated processes need a rethink?

Is there a better way that you could be doing things?

And are other competitors doing things in a better way?

Sometimes the answers are out there and easily observable.

To me it looked like Avis were not trying very hard to find a better way, despite a better way being out there and being used by their competitors.

Avis, we try harder?

I think “Avis, we try YOU harder…”

******

My upcoming in depth two day workshops will be held   in London in August.

You can reserve your places here: Click Link To Order 

*****

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

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!!

 

 

Posted in Business Coach, Customer Service, Dental Coach, Dental Consultant, Dental Practice, Dental Practice Efficiency, Uncategorized, World Class Service | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Can Learn A Lot From Watching Others.

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We can learn a lot from watching others.

And not just people.

We can learn a lot by watching animals too.

My wife and I raise beef cattle.

We have a small sixty-eight acre property an hour and three quarters southwest of Sydney where we spend our weekends and our Christmas vacations.

It’s a lovely place to get away from it all.

Although we send the cattle we raise off to market, we have four “pets” that have been pretty well with us for the four years that we’ve been living on the land.

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These four are the chosen ones. They are never destined to finish up on a dinner plate.

It’s the nature, and the behaviours of these four pets that has really made our time on the land so enjoyable.

So let me tell you about our four bovine friends we have.

They hang around together. Spend all their time together.

And are great friends to us, and to each other.

[And they each love to eat sliced bread!]

Firstly there’s Jack.

He’s in charge. He bosses the other three around and he pushes them around too.

The other three know that Jack is the boss. And they respect his leadership.

Then there’s Mr. Angus.

He’s the quiet one of the four.

He rarely speaks up, and never ever pushes his weight around.

He’s very polite in his nature, and will wait his turn to get involved in anything, despite the fact that that often means he goes last..

Thirdly there’s Mr. Spongey. Also known as “The Sponge”.

He’s a lover.

He’s got a very laissez-faire approach to life. Take it or leave it.
He gets involved when he wants and never feels like he has missed out at all.

And he’s so affectionate… yes, he loves a pat and a stroke.

Jack doesn’t seem to push Mr. Spongey around so much, for some reason.

And lastly there’s Mr. Courage.

He wants to be as tough as Jack, but Jack has it over him. Mr. Courage is really a softy, like “The Sponge”, but he tries it on some times.

When Mr. Courage and Jack are together, you know who is #1 and who is #2, that’s for sure.

When I watch these four guys, I often marvel at what I learn from their behaviours.

Despite the fact that he waits his turn, Mr. Angus never misses out.

This only goes to show that you don’t need to be first at everything to get what you need.

Angus’s attitude is one of abundance. He knows there’s no need to be greedy, or be a bully.

Mr. Sponge, like I said, is a lover. He loves a pat, and responds so well to affectionate talk.

As humans don’t we all just like some affection?

And when we give it, we get it back?

In life, we all have to deal with different types of people.

They have their pluses and their minuses.

When we deal with them we just have to adapt to their natures.

It’s the same with these four boys. Each has a nature of his own, but each gives back to us in so many ways.

Last Sunday morning, after feeding three of the boys some bread, I went searching for “The Sponge”, who often will sit out on the bread.

When I found him, he was lying on his side, awkwardly, by a gate.

It was obvious to me that he had just passed away.

He looked at peace.

Watching the other three then come and visit him was a sight to see.

It was very dignified.

Mark Twain said:

“The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

I feel the same about my cattle.

We like our cattle a real lot.

And we’re going to miss our lover boy.

R.I.P. Mr. Spongey. Thanks for the lessons.

******

My upcoming in depth two day workshops will be held   in London in August.

You can reserve your places here: Click Link To Order 

*****

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

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!!

 

 

Posted in Business Coach, Customer Service, Dental Coach, Dental Consultant, Dental Practice, Dental Practice Efficiency, Uncategorized, World Class Service | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Treat Your Loyal Customers Like Peasants And They Will Go Elsewhere

05267 the ultimate experience logo

Yes, you really can’t make this sort of thing up.

Here is episode two of a series of three customer service horror stories that I sadly experienced during a recent twenty-four hour period.

Yes. True. If you missed episode one then read it here

Here is my point. As a small business, Dental Offices need to be mindful of the fact that if we have no customers then we have no business.

NO CUSTOMERS. NO BUSINESS.

Simple.

And big businesses need to be mindful of this fact too.

This second instance of arrogance to the consumer occurred last week with a very big company.

Although they were pleasant about it, the feeling I was left with was:

“Well that’s just how it is and so you have to take it or leave it.”

Well frankly that sort of attitude doesn’t cut it with me.

In a Dental Office, sadly, more often than not, I see staff with this same “persona” passing this same feeling to the patients of the dental practice.

And this is often not at the directive of the dentist owner.

And it is often without the knowledge of the dentist owner.

And when patients get treated this same way they simply show their disdain by walking straight out the door and never returning.

I know this.

Because I had someone with a “holier than thou” attitude working for me….and that’s exactly what happened to my Dental Office.

Customers and patients should not have to tolerate this sort of behaviour from someone they are giving money to.

It’s about time the consumer had a voice.

And it is time for that voice to be heard.

Because loyal customers should not put up with being treated in this way.

This particular incident only went on to show me that customer service is often lacking in thought, or loyalty is being taken for granted.

And it will be really easy for any business that goes out of its way to be better than its competitors to actually end up as being better.
It should be easy to rise up out of a pack of mediocre competitor.

But if nobody’s telling a business that what they’re doing is poor and needs fixing, then they’ll simply keep on blundering on regardless.

And if I was running a serious service business I’d like to know that this sort of dissatisfaction was going on at the B2C interface.

make-me-feel-important

Except, God forbid, except if my business culture was not to really care.

In Dentistry, I know, it’s sometimes difficult to keep a happy face on when one of our patients keeps coming back and coming back and isn’t quite appearing to get better.

Yet this patient may have been a patient of long standing.

Or they may have been a patient that has invested a lot of time and money in their teeth and their oral health.

As such, their loyalty to us, and their investment in us needs to be reflected by us in the way that we treat them when they are in need of us.

Even if all they are in need of is a minor adjustment, or a minor procedure.

Everybody wants to be made to feel special.

And that’s all we need to remember.

Sadly, at Qantas last month, this was not how I was made to feel.

Firstly, a little background.

I travel a lot, mostly for business, and in so doing, I buy my airfare.

And I try to travel comfortably, in Business Class.

Last month I needed to travel interstate for personal reasons to see my shoulder surgeon for a routine consultation.

And so I purchased this return journey using frequent flyer points.

Now, my doctor’s appointment was brought forward so I found myself back at the Melbourne airport four hours early trying to see if I could get onto an earlier flight.

The answer?

NOT A CHANCE!

“Unless you want to surrender this ticket and repurchase another ticket with points”

was what I was told.

When I protested thus, I was greeted with an attitude of

“well that’s the way it is [buster] and I can’t change it”

And I said:

“So you’re happy to send planes with empty seats back to Sydney rather than bring my booking forward?”

And she said:

“The only way I could do it is to put you on standby and you’d need to be at each gate because it’s last minute boarding…”

So my alternative was to sit in the Qantas lounge and wait four hours for my booked flight.

Now let me tell you this Mr Qantas.

  1. Every time I pay you for a flight, usually Business Class, I pay for the points that come with that ticket at the same time.
  2. So those points are purchased with good Aussie dollars.
  3. Secondly, there are other travellers who purchase tickets with your airline who are not members of your Frequent Flyer Scheme, and when they purchase tickets, Qantas happily pockets the “saving” on not having to pay out the FF miles in those cases.
  4. So Qantas is ahead there.
  5. And sure, I know you do your ratios and percentages…

But you need to remember Mr Qantas, that offering up an inferior product as a reward [in this case a ticket that cannot be brought forward despite the fact you had empty seats] is like getting a toy from the Two Dollar Shop as a gift for buying Apple…

…its simply not the thing to do….

Being part of an airline rewards programme that is difficult to redeem flights on sucks Big Time.

Having three million odd points on that programme buys no loyalty from the airline.

When I try to redeem flights with them they try to route you along a milk-run with multiple stops.

Even flying Christchurch to Sydney!

And two years ago it was simpler for my family to return from Orlando to Sydney via Dubai with Emirates than it was to try to fly back from Orlando through Los Angeles with Qantas.

If Qantas keep dishing up this “lack of care” for their loyal customers then I might have to cash in all my miles on Dyson products and open up a vacuum cleaner store…

And don’t get me started on why you can’t serve fresh lime in your lounges and on your flights?

What’s the lesson for dental offices?

Firstly, be mindful that your rewards to your patients are reflective of their investment, both in money and in time.

And in time I mean in years of tenure with you as well.

Don’t give your patients a $20.00 petrol voucher for referring you a complex treatment on their brother?

And don’t be an Indian giver and offer them $20.00 off their next visit with you, which costs you even less than that…

Make your patients, no matter who they are, feel important.

Don’t begrudge them anything from outside of the spectrum.

In fact, keep looking outside of the box to be different.

******

My upcoming in depth two day workshops will be held   in London in August.

You can reserve your places here: Click Link To Order 

*****

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

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!!

 

 

Posted in Business Coach, Customer Service, Dental Coach, Dental Consultant, Dental Practice, Dental Practice Efficiency, Uncategorized, World Class Service | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is One Staff Member Costing You Over $200,000.00 Per Year?

05267 the ultimate experience logo

So you think you know your numbers?

What I find, when I speak with dentists, is that most dentists do not know their numbers.

Oh yeah sure they know the compressive strength of porcelain.

[The tensile strength, as determined by diametral compression, is approximately 29 MPa (4,200 psi) for opaque feldspathic porcelain and 40 MPa (5,800 psi) for gingival feldspathic porcelain. The compressive strength is reported to be 340 MPa (50,000 psi) for a feldspathic porcelain.]

And they know the marginal fit of crowns.

And they know the percentage shrinkage of composite….

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But what about the serious numbers?

I ask dentists how many New Patients they see each month.

Some dentists can give me accurate numbers.

“In July we saw 53 New Patients. This was up from June where we saw 44 New Patients and May where we saw 41 New Patients.”

These are exact, accurate numbers.

More often than not I hear this:

“Around 40 to 50.”

Numbers like that mean that the dentist does not know.

Which one is it?

Is it 40?

Or is it 50?

That’s a 25% difference, which is a significant variable NOT to have a handle on.

And guess what, if they do not have a handle on New Patient Numbers per month, per week and per day, then it’s sure as eggs they don’t have a handle on new patient telephone enquiries and new patient conversions.

Per day. Per week. Per month.

And nor will they have any idea as to which ones of their team members are making the appointments for these new patients.

And what those team members’ ratios are.

Football teams know which players are better goal kickers.

And which players drop more balls when put under pressure from high kicks.

Pass completion percentages?

Running yards?

These are all accurately kept statistics.

*IN A SPORT!!*

IN A GAME!

Yet in the game of life, in real life business, in our businesses, I find dentists are more concerned about porcelain compressive strengths than they care whether Becky on their front desk is scheduling 55% more appointments per call in than Karen.

If you knew these numbers at your front desk then you’d be training Karen up quick smart, wouldn’t you?

Or you’d be asking her to let Becky take the calls?

And what about cancellation phone calls?

Wouldn’t it be wise to find out who in your Dental Office is taking and allowing patients to cancel appointments already made?

In one office I worked with we found that on percentage, the dental receptionist was accepting EIGHT TIMES MORE cancellations on the phone than the Office Manager was.

And so we had to do some job education there quick smart, and following that, we then did some career enhancement and some job reassignment.

So that when we ended up with the Office Manager now answering the phone the production and collections at this Dental Office just skyrocketed.

Without spending one penny more on marketing!

In fact this dentist reduced her marketing spend…

What gets measured gets improved upon.

If you do not know these numbers ACCURATELY in the first place then guessing them and acting on these guesses is pure supposition.

And I’m guessing then that NOTHING ever gets done in this field except HOPE.

And HOPE is a very poor business strategy.

Because if all you’ve got is HOPE then it really does mean that your dental practice is running you and you are not running your practice.

And the usual response to this feeling of HOPE is that Dentists cry out:

“I just need more new patients.”

But if Karen is burning off more New Patient enquiries than Becky, and Becky is not getting to the phone as much as Karen, then a simple task reassignment in their job descriptions will result in more new patients in the office without spending one extra cent on marketing.

Because you’ll have closed a massive leakage point there anyway.

A leakage point that existed on the New Patient supply that you had already been happily paying for.

A leakage that you simply hadn’t thought even existed.

Or known about?

Need more New Patients?

Let’s look at your numbers first….

Let’s dig deep into some performances.

Nineteen years ago a consultant said to me:

“We can come into a dental practice and find a staff member costing that practice $200,000.00 per year.”

What’s the accurate two year dollar value of a New Patient into your practice?

[Most dentists don’t know this number ACCURATELY either]

When you multiply the lack of conversion annually by the new patient dollar value, all of a sudden the colour just starts draining form the dentist’s face.

Failing to measure means the difference between schools for your children.

It means the difference in where you live, where you holiday, and ultimately how long you work and how well you retire…

Maybe those things aren’t so important to you?

How do you measure those numbers?
What do you do with those numbers?

How do you correct those behaviours?

Ask me. I can help.

Because the answers are NOT in the compressive strengths of feldspathic porcelain….

******

Stop GUESSING. Ask me and I can help you here. Email me david@theUPE.com

******

My upcoming in depth two day workshops will be held   in London in August.

You can reserve your places here: Click Link To Order 

*****

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

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!!

 

 

Posted in Business Coach, Customer Service, Dental Coach, Dental Consultant, Dental Practice, Dental Practice Efficiency, Uncategorized, World Class Service | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do This One Simple Thing To Stay On Top Of Your Game

05267 the ultimate experience logo

You really can’t make this stuff up.

Over the next three weeks I’m going to tell you three horror customer service stories that I personally experienced during a twenty-four hour period.

No word of a lie.

From two large enterprises and also from a small business.

All of whom should know better.

And should try harder.

As a small business, Dental Offices need to be mindful of the fact that if we have no customers then we have no business.

That one is easy, you would think?

NO CUSTOMERS. NO BUSINESS.

Simple?

Well not really.

And big businesses need to be mindful of this fact too.

I cannot believe how rudely I was treated and taken for granted as a customer in each of these three situations.

The arrogance and total lack of courtesy and empathy in each of these situations was horrifying, and it just went to show me that you don’t have to do much to turn a valued customer right off your business.

I don’t know if it’s simply a sign of our current times, or if its just my bad luck that the planets lined up for me during this time frame and I just so happened to receive three in a row of an attitude of:

“Well that’s just how it is and how you have to take it.”

Because I’m not going to put up with being treated in this way.

These three incidences only went on to show me that customer service is lacking out there, and how easy it is for any business that goes out of its way to be better to actually end up as being a whole lot better.

It’s got to be easy to rise up out of a pack of mediocre competitors, hasn’t it?

But if nobody’s telling you that what you’re doing is poor and needs fixing, then you’ll simply keep on blundering on regardless.

Because you’re stupid.

When we are physically unwell we go to the doctor for a cure.

But how often do we go to the doctor to see if we really are OK although we are not experiencing any issues?

When was the last time you had someone from outside of your business look at your business and tell you what they see?

Because I tell you, in these three instances that I’m going to share with you, what I saw was not pretty.

And if I was running any of those businesses I’d like to know that this was going on at the B2C interface.

So here’s what happened to me…

And this would never ever happen in a Dental Office, would it?

Would it?

On Friday last week I had a follow up appointment for myself with a medical specialist.

Scheduled for 9:45am.

So I’m thinking [about the 9:45am thing], that the doc, or should I say the professor, works on a fifteen-minute appointment basis?

I’m a good patient, and arrive five minutes before my scheduled time, and once I have notified the receptionist of who I am and when I’m scheduled to see the Professor, I’m told, as is usual, sadly, to

“Take a seat.”

That’s all I’m told.

Now the professor shares the rooms with another provider, so I think nothing of the fact that there appears to be a significant number of people in the [dare I say it?] “Waiting Room”.

shutterstock_284499974

However, after twenty or twenty-five minutes I come to the realization that the good professor is not running to time.

At all.

After another ten or so minutes the receptionist, and I use that term very loosely [though I suppose “cool” and “brash” are both types of reception] announces to the crowd that so-and-so is next, followed by another person, and then me and then a young man who has arrived after me.

[The young man is the only person who has arrived after me]

It really would have been nice to have been told that the Professor was running behind when I arrived.

I don’t know about you, but that’s simply common courtesy.

Patients are a dime a dozen, and for that matter, so are specialists.

Why was he running behind?

Had someone arrived late and thrown the appointment schedule out?

Had the professor arrived late to begin with?

It wasn’t a case of an emergency root canal needing to be performed on any patient that’s for sure…. these appointments with this professor are made for conditions and not for anything acute.

But the point is that the delayed announcement of “who is next” was a poor substitute for what should have been said.

There was no attempt at empathy with any of the people in the waiting room.

It was simply a brash announcement of order.

No apology, and no question as to whether any of us had been put out at all?

Or whether we needed to contact someone?

Is it simply assumed by medical specialists that if you have an appointment with them that you have given them the sole rights to your entire day?

So here’s what happened next…

The young man who arrived after me was called to be seen by a lady who appeared to be working in a room beside the professor. [I had not met this lady on this visit or a prior visit. She certainly was not associated with the other practitioner that shared the office space. She definitely appeared to be associated with the Professor’s business].

After a short time it became apparent that the young man had been segwayed in to see the Professor although he had an appointment after me and had arrived after me as well.

When I asked Mrs. Brash whether I had been gazumped, she said that they thought that the young man may have needed surgery that afternoon and so were seeing him first.

What she meant to say was:

“The Professor has a vacancy in his surgery list for this afternoon so we want to fill it with this guy before he makes other arrangements…”

Oh cynical me….

Finally, sixty-eight minutes after my scheduled appointment time the professor appeared to call me into his consulting room.

During the whole time I am with the Professor he is polite and unphased and unruffled. Though he did not appear to be on top of my condition [from his clinical notes] as much as I would have expected…

Yet at no time does he apologise to me for the inexcusable delay in seeing me.

Not a mention.

At all.

Even as I left his consulting room.

As I settled my account [for $170.00 mind you!] with Mrs. Brash she made a feeble attempt to apologise for the hold up, but it was about as genuine as a vinyl briefcase.

Could something like this ever happen in a Dental Office?

Yes.

And sadly, I’ve seen it.

I saw once, where a new patient had arrived well and truly on time for an appointment with a Dental Hygienist, and the hygienist was running well behind.

And in this case, there were two receptionists who failed to even speak with the new patient.

They both failed to inform the new patient about the delay and they both failed to see what the delay was by checking with the hygienist.

In this case, the end result was a very unhappy new patient who did not schedule any further appointments.

A lost opportunity for the office.

So what should happen if the dentist or the hygienist is running behind?

Firstly, the next patient needs to be informed about the delay, about the cause of the delay, and also about the possible length of the delay.

As early as possible.

In my findings, when the practice keeps the waiting patient “in the loop” then that patient is very much appreciative of the notice.

If the delay is not a regular everyday occurrence and the reason for the delay is a rare issue, like helping to get someone out of pain, then the usual response from the waiting patient is to

“Tell the dentist to take his time. I’m OK”

Mainly because most patients never want to be on the receiving end of a drill being held by a stressed dentist.

And most dentists don’t want to be working on stressed patients who have been kept in the dark.

Finally what really works well is that when the dentist or the hygienist is running a little behind time, the waiting patients really are appreciative whenever the dentist or the hygienist personally comes out to see them to apologise for the delay.

Doing this one thing on the rare occasions when your schedule falls behind is a sure fire way to build your business.

I’m not sure what the answer is with my medical specialist?

Should I tell his office that I wasn’t happy with how things went last week?

After all, he needs to know that he has an unhappy customer.

Or two?

Or is he simply going to give me the bird, because that’s just the way that specialists have to work?

In Dentistry, we cannot be as precious as a specialist doctor.

Because our patients have not been referred, and are free to choose to go elsewhere.

That’s why, in dentistry, we need to be on top of our game…

******

My upcoming in depth two day workshops will be held   in London in August.

You can reserve your places here: Click Link To Order 

*****

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

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!!

 

 

Posted in Business Coach, Customer Service, Dental Coach, Dental Consultant, Dental Practice, Dental Practice Efficiency, Uncategorized, World Class Service | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment