I Had A Dream… “What Would A Dentist Know About Customer Service?”

The night before last I had a dream.

Now this is weird, as I rarely do dream.

And if I do, I rarely remember my dreams….but last night was different…

I was applying for an old job that I had. Not a job as a dentist, but a job I had while a dental student, where I worked in an RSL Club [for my non-Australian readers an RSL club is a licensed club in honour of returned soldiers].

The job that I was applying for was a job that I had performed admirably during my final two years as a dental student…the job of barman and table serving tray steward.

In this dream I was being interviewed by an employee of the Club, but a third party, I think a friend, was also present.  It was suggested by the third party, that I was looking for this work for the money. To which I replied “I’m actually not doing this for the money, I don’t need the money. I’m doing this because I want to.”

In my dream, this shocked both my third party person and the interviewer. They were aghast! They could not believe my reply.

Almost in stunned amazement, the interviewer, in my dream, replied, in astonishment:

“Well what would a dentist know about customer service?”

And this is something I hear all the time. Well, maybe not *ALL* the time, but certainly quite a reasonable amount of the time.

I hear it from people outside of the dental industry.

And I hear it from dentists and people inside the dental industry as well.

I hear them say “Why does a dentist need to bother with customer service?”

Now that makes life tough.

Because life is about customer service. Yes it is.

“In the movie “Remains of the Day”, the character James Stevens, played by Anthony Hopkins says:

“I don’t believe a man can consider himself fully content until he has done all he can to be of service to his employer.”

And in life, to me that means, as a dentist, my sole purpose in life is to be of service to my clients, my customers, my patients.

Ask yourself, as a dentist, are you doing *ALL* you can to be of service to your clients?

Because, if you aren’t looking after your customers, if you aren’t giving them outstanding world class customer service, then they’ll leave your business, and seek out somewhere else that does give a damn, that does care about them as a customer and not just as a number….

The reason it’s easy to provide world-class customer service in dentistry is simple. Because most dental offices out there *DO NOT*. They don’t know how to, they don’t want to. They don’t care.

If they are the least bit customer service focused, which the majority are not, then they think that a please and thank you is going to do their business wonders.

Please and thank you are window dressings. In the whole scheme of customer service they are only lip service. If you think please and thank you are “cutting edge”, well you’re in for a rude shock…they are not!

In the general population we have four types of people. According to Wikipedia, the DISC profiles are defined at the end of this blog.

With high D and high I people being outnumbered by high S and even more high C people, the demands for better customer service are less because the high S and high C people are less likely to ever want to “rock the boat”…

That’s not to say that high S and high C people don’t want and long for the first class and fine dining cuisine options that are out there on offer…..it’s just that they are a lot less likely to speak up and ask and demand the world class service…..

Also, for some crazy reason, the noble profession of dentistry is weighted heavily with C type people, meaning dentists, a s a whole are more likely to be procedure focused, which of course is a good thing but are less likely to stray or diversify into a world of customer service, let alone a culture of world class customer service.

And I guess this is where that comment in my dream comes from then…. “Well what would a dentist know about customer service?” Sadly, it’s a generalized public perception, and expectation….

What this means is that there is great opportunity for any dental office out there that stretches itself to provide a culture of world class customer service to its clients, customers and patients; an opportunity to differentiate itself from all other dental offices in its neighbourhood, vicinity or town.

Providing world-class customer service differentiates your dental office. It creates a “bond” between your clients and your office, so much so that the service you provide them is so “world class” it allows you to raise your prices way above those of your competitors, making price irrelevant.

I know, because I was able to create such a dental office in an average area of Sydney, with average patients on average incomes.

And I can teach you how to do the same in your dental office…

The DISC categories, as explained in Wikipedia, are reproduced below.

  • Drive
    People who score high in the intensity of the “D” styles factor are very active in dealing with problems and challenges, while low “D” scores are people who want to do more research before committing to a decision. High “D” people are described as demanding, forceful, egocentric, strong willed, driving, determined, ambitious, aggressive, and pioneering. Low D scores describe those who are conservative, low-keyed, cooperative, calculating, undemanding, cautious, mild, agreeable, modest and peaceful.
  • Influence
    People with high “I” scores influence others through talking and activity and tend to be emotional. They are described as convincing, magnetic, political, enthusiastic, persuasive, warm, demonstrative, trusting, and optimistic. Those with low “I” scores influence more by data and facts, and not with feelings. They are described as reflective, factual, calculating, skeptical, logical, suspicious, matter of fact, pessimistic, and critical.
  • Steadiness
    People with high “S” styles scores want a steady pace, security, and do not like sudden change. High “S” individuals are calm, relaxed, patient, possessive, predictable, deliberate, stable, consistent, and tend to be unemotional and poker faced. Low “S” intensity scores are those who like change and variety. People with low “S” scores are described as restless, demonstrative, impatient, eager, or even impulsive.
  • Compliance
    People with high “C” styles adhere to rules, regulations, and structure. They like to do quality work and do it right the first time. High “C” people are careful, cautious, exacting, neat, systematic, diplomatic, accurate, and tactful. Those with low “C” scores challenge the rules and want independence and are described as self-willed, stubborn, opinionated, unsystematic, arbitrary, and unconcerned with details.

 PS. Last night I had another dream. I dreamt I was on a driving golf holiday, in Australia, with left handed golfers. In my dream, my beaten up old Ford Falcon XD wagon was stolen, with my clubs in it. Stolen outside the golf club on the first day of the trip….
[Sad face]





There are many straight forward and easy to implement  protocols and procedures that make up The Ultimate Patient Experience, a simple to build system 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

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