Are Your Customers Choosing You On Price, Or On Value?

I had a dentist ask me recently about whether they should display their fee schedule on their practice website.

This dentist thought that by sharing his fees publicly it would be a filter that allowed patients who only wanted to pay higher fees to choose his office over other lower fee charging practices.

An interesting thought.

Dentistry is a free market, in that dentists are free to charge whatever price they choose depending on what income they need to maintain their business, and also what they believe the market is willing to pay for their services.

And in that sentence just there is the key word that dentist business owners need to remember when working out what to charge patients.

The word is “services”.

We are in the business of providing a service to our patients and customers.

We are not in the business of selling a commodity.

A widget is a commodity.

A widget is something that a retailer purchases from a wholesaler, and passes on to the customer at a higher price.

A customer can go elsewhere and buy that same widget from someone else and its exactly the same widget.

Dental services are not widgets.

They are services, and experiences, with so many variations in the delivery of those services between one dentist and another.

Whether those two dentists are in the same town, the same street, the same building, or even in the same practice…. the delivery will be different based on each dentists’ levels of experience and knowledge, and their levels of skill, and even their facilities.

My take is this:

I never published a price list or a fee schedule for public consumption when I was a dentist.

I didn’t see the point.

I knew my fees were higher than most dentists, but I also knew that patients came to me and came back to see me over and over because of the way that my team made them feel valued, respected, welcomed and understood.

And the public, and especially those punters who have never visited your office, and have never sat down with your wonderful team and have never felt the warmth and compassion of your receptionists and have never shared a conversation with your dentists and care providers… those people will never be able to gauge whether your fees represent exceptional value because they have never experienced what your regular trusted and loyal patients experience and know about your practice….

A dollar amount for a dental code will never tell the full story.

Let’s do this with our patients and our new patients:

Let’s meet them first, so they get to know who we are, and they get to know our care and compassion for them.

And then, let’s discuss their problems wit them, and their solutions.

And then let’s work out the best way for them to solve their problems.

And putting it simply, that’s how we take price out of the equation.

And replace it with value….

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