Slight Lack of Attention To Detail…

You’ll never guess what happened.

Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.

My wife and I were attending a two-day conference in the USA last week.

Picture this.

We’d arrived late the evening before Day 1.

Day 1 of the conference kicked off at 8:00am, and went through to 500:pm, following which, my wife and I raced back to our hotel room for a quick “freshen up” before meeting some friends for dinner at 6:00pm.

When we arrived at our room to “freshen up” we were surprised that our room had not been made up.

However, on close examination, it was evident that our room had been partly attended to…. our bin had been emptied, and we had fresh towels in the bathroom.

No big deal…. we phoned up guest services to let them know.

We figured that our room attendants had obviously been distracted, and completion of our room had been overlooked.

And off we went to dinner….

But what happened next will amaze you….

When we returned to our room after dinner, can you guess what awaited us?

An unmade bed!!

Nothing had been done.

In four and a half hours!!

And you can imagine, that at this point in time, after travelling twenty-four hours and half way around the world the previous day, that all that my wife and I wanted to do was to curl up in a nice clean bed, and go to sleep….

So we rang guest services again.

Here’s what I was told:

“We can send an attendant up now to make your bed sir, but you’ll have to leave the room while they’re there.”

I replied:

“Yes sure.”

But deep inside I was saying to myself:

“Are you kidding me?”

You see, except for a short one hour period, during the previous fourteen and a half hours our room HAD been vacant and unattended…. so why on earth could it not have been fully serviced during that time?

And so, half an hour later….

You guessed it…

Two very unhappy travelers, tired and now cranky, without a made-up bed to get into.

You see, it wasn’t so much that the bed was unmade. It was more the fact that on the previous night, [our first night] we had discovered that the bottom sheet on the bed was not a full-sized fitted KING sheet for a king-sized bed, but was rather an eighteen inches short of the mark flat Queen sheet, finishing up short of the foot of the bed and leaving an exposed mattress way down under the top sheet.

Was it too much to ask for a properly made up bed?

So I called up to guest services again to find out where our room attendant could be?

They were very apologetic….

“We will credit you with ten thousand bonus guest points to your account.”

And then another twenty minutes passed….

And still no room attendant….

Picture this:

It is now 11:20pm. I am in my pyjamas doing some email clearing…

My wife decides she needs to go searching downstairs for a room attendant.

She returns, followed shortly after by two clerical team members, who have come from the reception area of the hotel.

These two ladies are angels.

Together, they helped to reconstruct our bed, with fresh, but ill-fitting sheets, so that my wife and I could settle down for a comfortable night of sleeping.

Throughout their visit, these two ladies, who were not from housekeeping, were very sympathetic as well as empathetic, to our situation. 

The next day…

The following day, my wife and I had a full day of class, from 8:00am to 4:00pm. We returned to our room at 4:00pm and then went out at 5:50pm to dine with friends.

Upon our return from dinner, at 10:30pm, we were pleasantly surprised to receive a large plate of chocolate dessert, and a bottle of sparkling water.

Along with a hand-written note.

Not from the manager, but from the two wonderful clerical ladies, apologizing again for the disappointment that my wife and I had experienced, and that they hoped that they had been able to be of some assistance to us.

What’s your point David?

And how is this relevant to dental?

It’s easy, during the day to day running of our dental practices, and getting done what we have to get done, to forget sometimes about the emotional journeys our patients are on.

And sometimes those patients have been going through some very serious emotional times.

Do you stop, and say to your patients:

“How are things?” and “How are things, REALLY?”

How often do you stop and chat with your patients about THEM?

How often do you make a pot of tea, or two coffees, and simply sit and visit with your valued patients?

And doctors, it doesn’t have to be you…. this is a very simple task you can delegate to your front office concierge who is meeting and greeting your patients anyway.

Many elderly patients will be more than happy to sit and share, often because nobody in their lives seems to have the time available to spend with them, or because there sometimes even isn’t anybody willing to listen to them.

Have you written a handwritten note lately to any of your customers or patients?

Does your dental office take the time to simply sit down and send out handwritten cards to patients of the day, passing a comment about something that patient shared during their visit?

The handwritten card is a very powerful yet inexpensive tool to have in your dental practice toolbox when it comes going above and beyond, especially in the instances of service recovery.

And it is also a very powerful tool to use on a regular basis to send out warm messages to valued patients for no particular reason….to send out just because….

Are you and your dental office sending out handwritten cards on a daily basis to your valued patients and customers?

Because, if you are not, you can bet that one of your neighbouring dental offices IS sending out those cards.

And guess what?

If you are not, your patients will soon be hearing from their friends and neighbours who are receiving cards from THEIR dentists, and sooner or later, your patients might just switch dentists.

Would they?

Or wouldn’t they?


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My next public speaking presentation showing Dentists how to grow their Dental practices will be in Sydney on November 9-10 and in Melbourne on November 12-13 with Dr Christopher Phelps, Dr Nathan Jeal, Mr Alex Lalovic and Mr Tiger Safarov.

For more information and to secure your seat click this link here.


Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.