Is Your Cashier Spitting On Your Clients’ Cakes?

You’ve read me quoting Laurie Guest before:

“It doesn’t matter how good the baker is if the cashier spits on your cake.” 

And it is so true.

It doesn’t matter how nice everybody is at your Dental Office if there’s one person, one policy, one “broken window”, that undoes every bit of good, and more, that everybody else is doing in your Office.

It only takes one thing.

One little thing.


I’ve often said that the Dentist can be doing all this really good and cool stuff over one side of his Office, but if a patient has accidentally left a dirty tissue under one of the chairs in the Client Lounge, and if other patients see that, then those other patients might start to think that the Office isn’t as clean as it should be…

[Maybe the people who work at the Office can’t see the tissue while they’re standing up? Only the patients seated in a certain chair can see the tissue underneath another chair?]

You know what I mean?

Have you ever stayed in a hotel room and found the cleaners had not done a one hundred percent job in making up the room?

You know it…

You start to think that maybe that hotel is over-rated…

Have you ever been in your hotel room working or relaxing and watched how quickly some times [sometimes *too* quickly!!] the hotel maid staff have made over your room, including the bathroom?

It gets you thinking negative thoughts.

And like Laurie Guest says:

“It doesn’t matter how good the baker is if the cashier spits on your cake.” 

You’re not going back for those pastries if that cashier’s going to be doing bad things, undoing all the good work of all the other people, including the baker.

Do you have a person or policy or a thing at your Dental office that’s undoing all the good work of everything else and everybody else?

It could be killing your business.

And that’s why you need to have a *Complete* evaluation of *Everything* that is done in your Office sometimes, or even regularly, so that these sort of unexpected and initially unrecognized incongruences don’t eat away at your reputation or your status, without anyone from your organisation knowing or realizing what is going on.

As you know, I fly a lot.

And I see these little incongruences when I fly, now and then.

And often they are no big deal.

Well this week I got hit right between the eyes by a major incongruence.

I was at Portland International Airport, to check in for my flight to Cleveland via Chicago.

And on my itinerary I had read the flight number as being American Airlines.

When I went to check in with American they informed me I was actually on an Alaskan Airlines flight, Code Shared, and they directed me to the Alaskan counters a bit further down.

No big deal, I had arrived with plenty of time, and I had not lined up too long.

I had also, a few days earlier, flown Alaskan Airlines from Los Angeles into Portland, so I was not about to experience anything new, so I thought…

As I approached the Alaskan Airline check in, I was greeted by a woman who was paid as a greeter, asking me if I’d like to check in at a kiosk or whether I’d like to check in at the counter the old and regular way.

This was an immediate, positive point of difference for me.

Most, nearly all other airlines, do not employ a greeter.

At all.

Not at all.

With most other airlines you have to take potluck some times, and hope that you check in OK by yourself.

So the presence of the greeter had me believing that this was indeed going to be a different sort of experience.

And it was.

As I joined a very short line of three people it moved very quickly, and as I reached the head of that line I was motioned or beckoned immediately to the check in counter by not one not two but three different ladies working there at their check in stations.

And that was different.

Often you’ll reach the front of that line, at other airlines, and all of a sudden it’s as if you’ve become invisible, and the people at the counter become engrossed in their screens as if they’re standing at an ATM.

But here, at Alaskan, it was palpably better.

Palpably different.

Twice in two minutes.

Very good.

My check in lady was a very pleasant young woman.

She worked efficiently, engaging me in chat, while she processed my two boarding passes for my two connecting flights, and then while she tagged my one check in suitcase.


Until she told me my one bag was eleven pounds over weight.

I informed her that I was on a First Class Ticket.

First Class Flyers can have extra baggage and extra weight allowances.

Not at Alaskan it seems.

That’s their policy.

My bag weighed sixty-one pounds.

It needed to be fifty.

She asked if I could take out some things and put them in my carry on.

My carry on was already full.

And full of paper and books.

Which is heavier.

She offered me a heavy-duty plastic bag.

She said I could take an extra carry on bag on board, if I was willing to remove eleven pounds of clothes and stuff them in this clear heavy-duty bag.

The thought of me walking round an airport, boarding a plane, running through the O’Hare terminal with a large bag of laundry, flashed before my eyes.

It was not a pretty image.

I did not want to become part of that picture.

The young lady mumbled something that if I had an additional suitcase I could have checked that, and redistributed the offending eleven pounds into the extra bag and all would be O.K.

Which made no sense.

Because her solution would have taken up far more cargo space.

To move a measly eleven pounds.

She mumbled something about distributing the weight in the hold, but in reality, they could have easily balanced it up with other luggage being checked by other people.

So that did not wash with me.

Then she hit me with the Fine.

“Seventy five dollars.”

And I said:

“You know what? I don’t like it. I don’t agree with it. But I’ll pay it rather than open up my luggage here and now, stuff some of my dirty laundry into a clear sack and carry that sack through this airport and halfway across the country to Cleveland.”

She generously reduced my penalty to Fifty Dollars.

And processed my payment.

And in so doing, she spat on my cake.

All of a sudden, it did not matter all the niceties that I’d recognised and committed to memory of all the greeters and others involved in the check in process.

All of a sudden all that other stuff did not matter one little bit.

One company policy had brought it all undone.

And for what?

For a measly fifty dollars.

Yes, congratulations Alaskan Airlines.

You’ve just purchased Fifty Dollars of bad advertising.

Now I know it’s a First World problem…

And I know I was flying up the pointy end of the plane.

But if there was no First Class Cabin then the rest of the Coach Tickets would rise in price considerably.


Do the math.

My point is that if your company, your business has one policy that’s incongruent or upsetting, then all will be undone.

And Alaskan Airlines did it.

For a measly eleven pounds of First Class luggage.

Worth it?

Alaskan Airlines bean counters obviously believe it is.

How’s your Dental Office?

Do you have an “Excess Baggage” policy that’s undoing all your great Customer Service, without you even knowing that it is?

I think you may…

My One-Day Workshops in July cover in greater depth how to address simple changes that create BIG RESULTS.
For more details about my Australian workshops in Melbourne in July, CLICK HERE.

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.

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