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True Stories. Business. One Good. Two Not So Good.

By | Business Coach, Customer Service, Dental Coach, Dental Consultant, Dental Practice, Dental Practice Efficiency, Staff Training, UPE Blog, World Class Service | No Comments

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Story One:

I received an unexpected EXPRESS POST envelope in the mail this week.

It was addressed to me and the sender was marked as my being my favourite restaurant in Sydney, where I dine with my wife three times each year to celebrate her birthday, my birthday, and our wedding anniversary , which are conveniently spaced across the calendar.

It’s something we’ve been doing as regularly as night follows day.

So when I opened up the envelope I was surprised to find it contained a silver envelope, which is the restaurant’s signature paperwork. Inside this envelope I expected to find a copy of their menu, which we regularly receive on the day of dining.

To my surprise the envelope did contain a menu, successfully disguised as a gift voucher.

Who was the gift from?

I know we’ve been regular diners there for a very long time….

On close examination, the voucher was a gift organised by an American colleague and came totally out of left field.

It was a gesture of thanks to me for an action I took that I thought nothing of, because what I did was the right thing to do…

Let me tell you…

A few months ago a friend of mine in the US told me he was writing a new book and wanted to run the title of the book by me.

You see he was a little worried about the title he had chosen because the sub-title of the book he wanted to use contained the word “Ultimate”, a word which has been synonymous with me and my marketings, writings, and teachings for the past six years.

It is indeed a long stretch to think that anyone could think that they are entitled to claim worldwide exclusive use of one word in the language, so I felt honoured that he thought to be ask me for my permission.

I told my friend this, and I told him to go forth with my blessing.

I suggested to him that I could possibly pen an endorsement for the back dust cover of the book, if he so wanted?

To my surprise, my friend, who I have known for some seven or eight years, asked me whether I would write the foreword for this book.

I was honoured to be asked, and so that’s what I did for him.

It’s what friends do….

Story Two:

I was recently contacted by several friends in the USA to let me know that my IP and TM were being used in someone else’s marketing.

Sadly, this happens from time to time.

Low life gutter snakes will appear and will feel that it is their right to steal and copy and reproduce and repackage any or all content and IP developed by others, with brazen hide and gay abandon.

In this case, this serpent in particular, who has been around for a long time, has chosen to ignore my letters, phone calls and correspondences asking for an explanation.

If you’ve ever googled “enter a room without opening the door” an image of this little reptile comes up.

Story Three:

A colleague of mine in the US posted a rant this week on social media about someone whom he had mentored and who he had then invited into his inner sanctum only to have that person start to copy his business model and then also start approaching my colleague’s clients.

I understand my colleague’s feeling of betrayal.

I had a client who I helped for a significantly long time to grow their dental practice substantially. Within five months of ending our long-standing coach:client arrangement, my ex-client then launched their own dental coaching business, putting themselves up as a “self-made” success.

History [and google] will show that this ex-client was not much more than a frustrated and disillusioned nomadic generality before engaging my services. However, as a writer they are not, and their postings do include clear examples of cut and paste theft and plagiarism…

C’est la vie. Karma will have its day…

Out near my farm, I never feel sorry when I see the remains of a snake flattened on a roadway…

On a brighter note, I’m really looking forward to receiving the finished product when my friend in story number one gets that book published.

*****

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 protected]

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Want To Prevent Cancellations?

By | Business Coach, Customer Service, Dental Coach, Dental Consultant, Dental Practice, Dental Practice Efficiency, Staff Training, UPE Blog, World Class Service | 2 Comments

05267 the ultimate experience logo 

Last week I read a very long discussion on a chat forum that began with a dentist asking a question as to how to reduce “Cancellations and No-Shows” in his dental appointment schedule.

What ensued in this discussion was a distinct polarisation of viewpoints.

On the one side was the group suggesting that more appointments would be kept and less would be cancelled or conceded if the patients were made more aware of the urgency  for their treatment and the consequences of delay.

On the other hand, there was a significant group of respondents who adamantly believed that patients cancelled appointments because they were not made aware of the dental office *Policy* and that if time was spent outlining and going over the policy or policies with each and every patient then these patients would certainly never consider missing an appointment.

Such policies that were suggested was to provide written copy of the *Cancellation Policy* to each patient, to have said copy on the practice website and to direct all patients to said page, and to even sit with the patient and read the policy to the patient, presumably until the patient cried for mercy.

Really?

Thank goodness there are dental practices out there offending their patients and driving them away by lecturing and scolding them in this manner.

Those actions of pre-scolding simply create a wave of dissatisfied patients looking for a dental office that will treat them with respect and courtesy.

I really could not believe what I was reading.

On top of this, these offices made it clear to each and every patient that they would be billed a “Cancellation Fee” if they ever failed to attend their appointment or rescheduled with insufficient notification in advance…

Here’s my take:

Every time that you find that you have a patient who does not want to go ahead with their next scheduled visit, and who cancels or no-shows, then take a look in the mirror.

Firstly, it is you who has failed to create sufficient urgency and concern in that patient for the state of their mouth, or specifically, their next tooth to be treated.

It’s your fault. You did not tell them enough for them to be motivated to take the necessary action.

Secondly, you and your office may have attracted the wrong patient.

It’s a fact. There are idiots out there who do not see reason.

If an idiot finds their way into your dental office and fails to possess even a skerrick of sense or reasoning, then simply send them on their way.

Don’t make them another appointment that they are most likely never going to attend.

Finally, don’t become reliant on automation to schedule and confirm appointments.

Use your voice. Not an SMS.

The cost of employing the right person to engage personally with your patients is insignificant compared to the cost of broken appointments that do not get filled, and usually block others being put into those times.

Punishing and threatening patients does not work.

People do business with people they like. Patients will keep appointments if they are made to feel valued and understood.

It’s about the service.

It’s not about the lecture….

*****

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 protected]

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Darwin’s Theory Of Profitable Dentistry

By | Business Coach, Customer Service, Dental Coach, Dental Consultant, Dental Practice, Dental Practice Efficiency, Staff Training, UPE Blog, World Class Service | No Comments

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This great quote from Brad Sugars came across my desk this week….and like all good quotes, I’ve seen it before…

“If you want to make more money in business … FIRE all your D-grade customers.”

It’s really the Pareto Principle in action again.

Your bottom eighty percent of your customers will take up eighty percent of your time but will only produce twenty percent of your income.

These are your D-grade customers.

They take up a lot of your time.
They cause you a lot of your grief.
And they remunerate you poorly.

Look at it logically.

Even if it was the 80:20 rule, twenty percent of your time is spent generating eighty percent of your income.

And conversely, eighty percent of your time is spent earning twenty percent of your income.

So, why not sack or dismiss or FIRE the bottom eighty percent of your customers?

You would work one fifth of the time, and only experience a twenty percent drop in your income…. Would that be worth it?

Of course it would!

You’d free up more time, to do more of that profitable work on those customers who value you for your skills and the experience of working with you.

Do this.

Free up your time and put yourself into the Top twenty percent of your industry.

And don’t worry about those D-grade customers that you set free.

They will naturally gravitate towards the lower eighty percent of dentists out there.

It’s really all part of Darwin’s theory.

Except you get to choose….

*****

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 protected]

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!!

Three Simple Customer Service Reminders Following A Visit To The Local Supermarket

By | Business Coach, Customer Service, Dental Coach, Dental Consultant, Dental Practice, Dental Practice Efficiency, Staff Training, UPE Blog, World Class Service | No Comments

05267 the ultimate experience logo

Last Sunday morning just passed I had reason to visit my local supermarket to collect a handful of groceries.

Well, actually five things.

The visit provided me with some thoughtful reminders about Customer Service, that as business owners and employees we sometimes overlook during our day-to-day running of our operations.

And we should not be overlooking anything.

Because it all matters.

Every tiny little piece matters.

I heard an observation yesterday that Disney Imagineers are trained to look at every scene and every picture from three perspectives:

Wide shot

Medium shot

Close-up shot

It would pay everybody in business if they looked at every step or stage of their business from the Customers’ Point of View as well as from the Business’s Point of View.

Here’s what happened at the Supermarket:

The Locked Front Door.

I drove down to the supermarket after completing my one hour dawn walk around my local suburbs.

When I arrived at the glass front doors of the supermarket they were locked closed [they are usually automatic opening] and an employee inside looked out to me and raised his hand towards me gesturing that the store would open in five minutes time.

I had arrived early.

There were two other shoppers already outside the doorway, and in the following five minutes that we waited for the doors to be unlocked a further three shoppers arrived.

Now, I wrote about this “accommodation factor” last year in discussing a restaurant in Northern England that closed off its kitchen at a specific time despite the fact that travelers were still arriving and searching for a later lunch. You can read that article here.

And it’s the same sort of thing here.

It wouldn’t do any harm to be able to open the doors for business five to ten minutes early as a gesture of goodwill to customers.

After all, the staff needed are already inside the store anyway, and with self-serve checkouts now, it’s not as if customers are going to be lined up at the cashiers’ register [Real live cashier. Not a robot.].

There is Lesson #1. Is it easy to do something that encourages customer loyalty?

You see, I was in a bit of a hurry, so during that five minute wait, I debated whether to drive to another nearby market that I knew was open, or whether I should use the five minutes to run my car through the carwash next door to the supermarket. [I was going to the carwash straight AFTER collecting the groceries anyhow].

Any message that your business sends intentionally or unintentionally to your customers that has the customer questioning their loyalty to your business and whether it is more convenient to do business elsewhere in the future, is not a really good message.

Who Does What?

I’m a pretty straight up and down sort of guy. I know what I eat, and I know I don’t eat much.

I don’t stray away from my staple, core supermarket items.

So, I had to pick up six items on this trip to the supermarket. Some of the items were for my children.

So, I was a little lost looking for the margarine. I’d just located the chocolate milk [for my son] which had now twice been relocated inside this supermarket in recent times.

But I could not locate the margarine.

There were several employees working around the aisles, stocking and restocking shelves and also sweeping floors.

So I asked for directions.

Sadly, the employee I asked, was a floor sweeper who let me know that he did not have a knowledge of the location of food items in the supermarket, and that I needed to seek out another employee to help me find the Lurpak.

To his credit, this floor sweeper did go out of his way to locate another employee to help me with my directions.

Lesson #2. All floor employees should be trained in assisting customers with the location of products.

Supermarkets should take a lesson from Disney. The number one employee type who is sought out for directions at Disney parks is in fact the rubbish collectors and the street sweepers.

And all these employees at Disney are also trained to stop what they are doing and to walk the Park guests right to the attraction for which they are seeking directions.

Walk This Way.

Back at the supermarket, the floor sweeper located another employee to help me locate the margarine. Here’s what happened:

Me: “I’m looking for the margarine, thanks.”

Floor employee: “It’s down the end of this aisle.” [Motions with hand and arm.]

I walked the twenty metres to the end of the aisle and located the margarine. There was no Lurpak. Only an empty shelf space. I left.

Lesson #3. If a customer needs assistance, give them assistance and ensure that a result is achieved.

Passing off a directional wave as a “task completed” is really an incomplete task.

What does this all mean for dentistry?

Could we open our front door early to allow patients to sit inside? I hope so…. I used to see a neighbouring dentist of mine who had a queue of patients waiting to enter his office after lunch because he locked his front door at lunchtime.

Does everyone in your dental office have the skill and the knowledge to discuss possible treatments and sequelae with patients, so that the patient is better informed?

And are the team members instructed to lead the patient to areas in the dental office where they could find out more about what they are asking?

I hope your dental patients aren’t being given the virtual “brush off” at your dental office….

*****

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 protected]

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!!

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