Is Your Dental Office Dishing Up Just Plain Old Vanilla?

Last week I travelled interstate to visit a client.

When I booked my accommodation on line, I had the option of staying at a serviced apartment, or for only $100.00 per night more, which included my breakfast, I had the option of staying at a boutique luxury hotel just five minutes walk further away.

What would you do?


Firstly, there’s an important lesson to be learned right here.

When discussing the price, or the fee for something we are purchasing, we must consider the base price and then the *DIFFERENCE* in price, rather than only looking at the whole price.

I do this also when renting a car. The difference in price between renting a small car and a larger car may not be that great. But the peace of mind I feel when I’m driving on a freeway in a larger, safer car is priceless.

For only a few dollars more.

It’s the same with restaurants.

Sometimes the *difference* in price between a meal at a regular diner, and a meal at an upmarket steak house is not that big a difference.

And come to think about it, you have to eat anyway.

It’s the same in dentistry.

The cavity needs filling anyway.

Do your patients hunt around for the best rock-bottom fee they can find, or do they feel value in the service and experience they receive from you, so that the *difference* in your fee is of no consequence really?

So let me tell you what else I received at my boutique hotel.

When my taxi pulled up just after 11:00pm, I was immediately welcomed and greeted by a professionally dressed female hotel employee who helped me unload my small suitcase and then waited for me to settle with my taxi driver.

When I entered the hotel and approached the reception desk, another female employee greeted me by name, although I had not offered that information about myself to anyone there yet.

How powerful is that?

Are we using this sort of power in our Dental Office?

Are we taking the opportunity to greet our arriving patients by name, when they arrive, before they have the opportunity to volunteer up that information?

After all, we already have their name and booking in our appointment schedule.

Why not use this information to make an indelible impression, especially on those clients visiting us for the very first time?

“Welcome to ABC Dental Mrs. Smith. My name is Jenny. I spoke with you on the phone. How’s your morning been so far?”

And if we can’t greet our patients at the door as they arrive, do we have the opportunity to stand, and walk and welcome them on their side of our reception area?

Rather than staying seated, awkwardly, behind some fancy reception desk upstand?

Once my documentation was completed, one of these two female employees walked me to the elevator, pulling my suitcase, and took me up to my room, where they then explained some of the features of my room.

She also told me that the front reception area of the hotel was attended 24/7, should I need anything at all.

Do we do that in our dental office?

Do our reception staff avail themselves to the patients on a 24/7 basis?

Most dental office staff slip back to hiding behind their desks.

Literally hiding.

How powerful would it be to offer the patient a tour of your dental office before their treatment begins, and then offer them the ability to contact any of your team 24/7 should they have any reason whatsoever?

We know that hardly any patient is ever going to abuse this offer of access.

And yet the power of the offer is again priceless.

I call this an *Offer The Offer*TM type offer.

This is where the power of offering the offer is several order of magnitudes greater than the offer itself.

What other times during the patient visit do we have the ability to offer them an *Offer The Offer*TM type offer?

Finally, my room was well presented, and there on the centre table was an envelope, along with a welcome gift of a locally produced non-alcoholic wine.

The bottle was accompanied by a small explanatory card.

The separate envelope contained a handwritten card welcoming me to the hotel and reaching out to me should I need to request anything at all in order to make my stay more comfortable. It was signed by the hotel manager.

How often do we offer a welcome like that to our patients?

How would our new patients feel if they were greeted with a handwritten welcome card from our dentist, rather than simply being slapped with a clipboard?

At breakfast the next morning I asked for a dish that was not listed on their menu.

I asked if it was possible to order the eggs benedict, but be able to substitute some smoked salmon in place of the regular ham.

This was not listed as an option on their menu.

My request this morning was greeted with a very warm, confident,


What a welcome, pleasant surprise.

In the past, when I’ve needed to ask for this option in other hotels I’ve been greeted with many different reactions ranging from a flat out “No”, to a “let me go check”, to a “yes we can but it will be $5.00 extra”.

It was obvious that this hotel had rehearsed and trained and anticipated all possibilities of non-regular breakfast requests.

For the extra $100.00 per night I was reminded of several invaluable lessons that are just as applicable in a dental office as they were in this hotel.

And this is why I made the booking here rather than at the serviced apartment.

Because I knew there would be a significant difference.

It doesn’t take much to go from average to good and from good to great when it comes to service.

What it does take is a commitment to carry through with those necessary improvements on a regular and consistent basis.

When I visit dental offices and observe and train teams I’ll sometimes hear a team member say:

“Yeah, we do that”

with monotonous regularity throughout my visit.

But if they do indeed do the things I suggest, why are they not doing them when I’m there and why has their employer sought to bring me in in the first place?

There are always lessons in service to be learned all around us.

Are you looking out for these lessons?

And are you able to take advantage of them?

Or do you need some professional assistance in making the necessary changes at your office?

Changes that will take your Dental Practice from good to great….


My upcoming two day workshops will be held in Manhattan in April.

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.

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