The Mystery Shop – An Invaluable Tool For Catapulting Your Business Success

One of the most valuable tools in any business, and especially in Dentistry, is the Mystery Shop.

The Mystery Shop Process involves the creation of a false customer to trial the protocols and procedures of a business, often your own, with the intention of spying, or analyzing, or information gathering.

Mystery Shopping a competitor is a great way of checking on what processes they are doing right, and also finding out what processes they may be struggling with, in their day-to-day business.

Mystery Shopping a competitor then allows you to use this information gathered to compare back with your own processes and make valuable changes to your own procedures.

Mystery Shopping your own business provides you with valuable checks and balances for your own processes. It gives you insights into which processes your team is performing well, as well as where they might be falling down and where they might need additional training and improvement.

There are some businesses where being a Mystery Shopper is not very practical…

For example, it’s very difficult to Mystery Shop a steak house if you are a vegetarian.

Similarly, in dentistry, I don’t believe anyone out there wants to Mystery Shop a dental office for their protocols and procedures in Oral Surgery and teeth extraction?

Even the process of Mystery Shopping a dental restoration is really creating an unnecessary physical trauma for the mystery shopper.

A few years ago now, a dental colleague of mine was one of three dentists that were Mystery Shopped for a weekend newspaper article, or exposé, on the Consultation appointment process for a patient enquiring about cosmetic dentistry procedures and options.

In this story, the writer posed at three dental offices as a patient interested in a smile makeover. Although my friend did nothing in the appointment that he felt was wrong at the time, in hindsight, in the written word, he felt there were things said and done that could either be improved upon or even eliminated as unnecessary.

For my friend, who is a successful dentist, this unexpected Mystery Shop was a real eye opener.

One of the easier processes in the Dental Office to Mystery Shop is the process of phoning in for a Dental Appointment.

Firstly, and most importantly, it’s a physically non-invasive procedure and process for the Mystery Shopper. And that’s good for them.

I guess the purposes of the process of Mystery Shopping for a New Patient Appointment is to see which protocols and procedures are being followed by the Front Office phone answering person, and whether all steps and stages of that process are being covered and being performed to an optimal level.

And dare I say, being performed to an exceptional level.

It’s unnerving, when listening to your own office under the microscope.

It’s also quite a traumatic process when suggesting improvements to your own office team members based on the Mystery Shop calls you have had made and recorded for your office.

The reason that Mystery Shopping a dental office front desk is very valuable is that primarily, 99% of dental offices out there, and the percentage may be even higher, yes at least 99% of dental offices *DO NOT* have a check list of all the desired outcomes they would need to have achieved from a new patient enquiry phone call.

And so, in analyzing calls to your own dental office and to other dental offices, be they dental friends and colleagues, or be they your dental competitors, the process of analyzing can be very interesting.

Some offices like to make these calls to their office brief, choosing to schedule an appointment at all costs and then using that appointment itself as a point of capture or filtration as to whether there is a match or not between the patient’s dental wants and needs and which service the dental practice provides.

Other dental offices carefully use the New Patient phone enquiry as a sifting tool in itself, so as not to schedule and waste time for both the new patient and the dental office if their visions are not congruent.

Sadly, the majority of new patient phone enquiry calls seem to fall into a hotchpotch in between these two ideologies.

The content of a new patient enquiry phone call is the subject of a whole new blog posting, and probably a whole book as well.

In summary, at the conclusion of the new patient enquiry call, the following three outcomes need to be reached.

Firstly, the new patient must end the call feeling that this is the dental office for them and that they have made the correct decision to book in there.

Secondly, the dental office needs to have conveyed this exact same message to the new patient. The message that this is the best dental office in town, in fact, the only dental office in town, for that person to choose. The message that this dental office is head and shoulders way better than any other dental office around.

Thirdly, the dental office needs to have collected all necessary and relevant information that they require during that phone call. It is also important that information not required immediately is left until later and is not collected on this call.

Using the Mystery Shop to make a new patient telephone enquiry is an invaluable tool to ensure that your dental office is in fact putting your best foot forward and covering all the bases all the time.

Because if you’re not checking, and checking up, then for sure, your office is not performing this process optimally, and new patient opportunities are falling through the cracks in your office.

And that’s costly. Very costly.

“You only have one chance to make a great first impression”

Use the Mystery Shop process to make sure your Dental Office is making that First Impression a great first impression.


Answering Your Dental Office Phone Correctly and optimally is just one of the  many straight forward and easy to implement  modules  that make up The Ultimate Patient Experience, a simple to build 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.

Email me at

Did you like this blog article? If you did then hit the share buttons below and share it with your friends and colleagues. Share it via email, Facebook and twitter!!