Some People Can’t Unsee These Things

A good friend of mine in the United States, Dr Wayne Kerr, just this weekend shared a photo on social media that caused him concern, and I must say, it caused me some concern as well.

The photo was of a sign hung from a supermarket/grocery store ceiling that indicated an aisle number, as well as those groceries that shoppers could expect to find in that aisle.

The trouble with the sign was that it was not hung squarely. In fact, the aisle sign was hung at a distinct angle of crookedness.

The sign was alarmingly crooked.

In his social media post, Wayne asked this question:

“How does this reflect on your business?”


In my world, a crooked sign, a crooked painting, a crooked tie, a crooked collar are all indicators of a LACK OF GENUINE CARE.

Because those who do care will always make sure that signs are hung squarely, that paintings are never askew, and that ties and collars are always straight.

When your business allows signs to be hung poorly, and allows employees to repeatedly walk past crookedly hung pictures and signs without straightening them, it sends a message to the customers of that business that maybe the employees don’t care about things as much as they should be caring.

I know I used to say at my dental practice that if our signs were crooked, some patients might wonder as to whether we could create new smiles for them that weren’t going to be crooked?

I also used to say that if our patients saw things in the practice that looked dirty, such as dusty tables and counters, or dirty glass doors, or light fittings that needed cleaning, then they’d possibly wonder whether the important things in the practice, like the dental instruments and dental materials we were using on them were also not being cleaned?


Sometimes we get so used to the minor failings in our surrounds that we fail to appreciate the negative impact that those failings are having on our business when we don’t attend to those failings.

Now I know this crooked aisle sign at the grocery store in the USA is not a life or death sort of situation…

And on the one hand they may be coming back to straighten the sign as soon as they attend to other more pressing matters [the old “Version One is better than Version None” theory]…

But really, fixing the crooked sign at the time of installation definitely would take less effort than having to haul out the ladder and the toolkit at some yet to be determined point in the future?

In your dental practice…

In your dental practice, crooked signs and pictures along with a lack of cleanliness in your patient areas, definitely could be acting as GAME CHANGER when new patients, and existing patients, are failing to schedule ongoing appointments.

And the dental team, and the dentist mistakenly believe that the patient who fails to schedule their next necessary visit was probably a price conscious shopper.

When in fact all they wanted was a clean dental office to be treated in.

And price was never a deciding variable.

The dental office’s attention to detail was the deciding variable.

In my coaching of The Ultimate Patient Experience, I spend a lot of time during Building Blocks II and III helping dental practices realise that there is so much opportunity lost by the practice before the patient has ever even sat down in the dental chair, and that if a BROKEN WINDOW is missed in these two building blocks, well that patient will be gone forever, never to return…. and they’ve made that decision before they’ve even met the dentist….

And the dental team, and the dentist believe that the patient that fails to rebook was probably a price conscious shopper?

Sadly, no….

So how are the patients’ views at your dental practice?

Are you unwittingly doing yourself out of business?

When uncaring owners and team members of a dental practice fail to take time to view their dental office from their patients’ points of view, it really does become impossible to project that image of quality and care to those valued clients and customers, who have to negotiate their way through these areas of careless neglect…

Are you missing your own “broken windows”?

PS. If you liked this blog article, you may also enjoy these two articles I wrote on the same topic…

Are Broken Windows Killing Your Business?

Are Broken Windows Costing You Money?


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