Stop banging around!!

Last week I returned to sharing with you some of the ideas that I have implemented during my practice of dentistry over the last thirty years that have impacted significantly to separate me from “other” dentists in the provision of dental services in my area.

Today we’ll visit the third in the series of five simple changes that I know you can implement in your office straight away. These changes will impact immediately on how your clients and patients perceive your dental office as *THE* dental office that cares, rather than being seen as just another dentist.

These changes, which I like to call *MAGICAL MOMENTS* are simple to implement points of difference that made my dental office *THE* Dental Office of choice in Parramatta, in Western Sydney, and allowed us to command great respect from the community as being *THE* Dentist to go to.

CHANGE NUMBER THREE.

Eliminate banging around

Sometimes we send negative buying signals out to our valued clients, patients and customers and we don’t even know that we are sending these negative signals.

These negative signals can have a significant impact on the decision of the customer to do business with us or not…..if we are unaware that we are doing this then we may be left scratching our proverbial heads as to why these customers have stopped spending with us….

Here’s an example: a while ago I used to be a member of a golf club where I observed regularly one of the most bazaar business bloopers that I believe a lot of businesses perform unwittingly. What I mean is that at this club the employees actions sent messages to the club members that were indeed harmful to the business of the club. Let me explain.

 

At this club, the bar area, for security reasons was protected by a roller shutter that used to have a pole track between two shutter grills. When down, these grills obviously were locked to protect valuable liquor from being stolen by unscrupulous cleaners and other employees that may have had access to those premises during times that the bar was not operational.

So here’s what used to happen…on a Saturday after golf, while patrons were still present in the lounge, staff behind the bar would start assembling the track pole and rolling down one half of the shutter grill. To me this was absolute insanity. All this did was send an immediate signal to patrons that the staff wanted them out of there. The noise, and clanging and visual image of the obtrusive shutter sent a negative message to the relaxed patrons that it was time for them to go. Really, the club bar should have stayed open until the last patron was ready to leave. I would have thought that putting up the shutters was the second last thing that needed to be done at that club every night. The last thing obviously was to lock the front door….

In a business that relies heavily on sales [of liquor, in this instance] it seemed absolutely ludicrous that staff would be empowered to send out these negative buying signals to their customers.

In the dental office we also send out negative buying signals, unwittingly. Here are two examples:

Firstly, in the treatment room, the banging of drawers and cupboards opening and closing send negative signals to the supine patient. Confused?

Well, think of it in this way. You’re the patient. You know you’re booked in for a procedure. You know you’ve had that appointment for some time.

Now, while you are there, ready, they seem to be rooking around for instruments and materials that you would expect them to have gotten out well ahead of time, since, as you said, they knew you were coming and they knew what procedure you were having…

 

Similarly, at the end of your appointment, the last thing you want to be hearing is stuff being put away and drawers and cupboards being closed loudly around you. Ever been in a restaurant where they start putting chairs up around you, or resetting tables for tomorrow’s diners….it’s unnervingly annoying and sends out a negative signal to you the diner to hurry up and get on out of there.

Secondly, toward the end of the day, you will find that those staff members cleaning up will diligently mop floors and bang around in other parts of the dental office without any care or concern for the noise pollution or negative signals that they may be sending or exuding to patients or customers still present and being treated in other treatment rooms within the office.

As mentioned in previous blogs, patients in the chair are more attuned to auditory stimuli because their visual is limited. They *DO* hear all the banging around of brooms and mops and autoclaves, far more than we as dentists do.

 

Similarly, the last patient of the day should never be greeted by the “slippery when wet” signs across the hallway. These are negative buying signals that tell the last patient to get out of here, we want you gone, we’re in a hurry to go home, what are you still doing here, cant you see we want out of here….etc. etc.

It’s absolutely imperative that your last patient should feel as welcomed as your first patient, and earlier patients during the day…

On a similar note, staff or doctors that say to patients that they hate Fridays, or Mondays, or Thank God its Friday, or that they are not morning people, or that the afternoon is dragging on…these staff need to be alerted to their negative buying signals that they are sending to your customers.

Each patient deserves one hundred percent attention from doctors, team and ancillary staff, no matter what day of the week or time of the day they attend for treatment.

Start analyzing your language, and analyzing your movements, motions, and sounds in your office. There is no reason at all to insult patients unintentionally by sending them negative buying signals. All customers deserve the same level of service. In a peaceful and fully relaxed environment.

Your patients deserve the absolute best, no matter what time or day they are booked in. Nothing less than the best will do…

 

These are just some of the many straight forward and simple to implement *Magical Moments* that make up The Ultimate Patient Experience, a simple easy to implement system I developed that allowed me to build an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb.  If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

david@theupe.com

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