Under Promise and Over Deliver

One of the most disappointing things in life that any person can experience is the feeling of being let down.

Being let down, by someone who says that they’ll do something, and then they don’t, is so common place in this day and age that we tend to take this behaviour almost for granted.

In dentistry, by behaving in a contrarian manner, and not letting people down, you can really make your Dental Office stand out. And not just stand out from other Dental Offices in your area, but stand out above other businesses in general that your clients and customers do business with.

Here are a couple of examples of how easy it is to look good to your clients by a process known as under promising and over delivering.

1. Laboratory work:

Your crown and bridge turn around time from your lab is eight working days. So why not schedule your patients out to twelve or fifteen working days, and offer them this:

“Mrs. Smith, if your dental work returns earlier from our laboratory, would you like me to give you a call if we are able to see you sooner?”

We know that there’s a good chance that the lab work will be back early.

Mrs. Smith will be so grateful for the consideration of the offer of bringing her appointment forward. And it gives our office the opportunity of making an extra “touch” or contact with Mrs. Smith.

On the flip side, if we do not allow this flex time with our issue or seating appointment, and the lab work is delayed, then we can be left with no option but to reschedule Mrs. Smith to a later appointment.

This would not be good.

In the above example, by being able to bring Mrs. Smith’s appointment forward, we have set up an opportunity for our office to over deliver.

Here’s another example when scheduling:

2. Scheduling with too much haste:

Here’s the scenario. You have a couple of one hour production appointments vacant in your appointment book for tomorrow that you need to fill.

Mrs. Jones is emerging from hygiene where it has been discovered and diagnosed she has a couple of large restoration s that need replacing with porcelain crowns.

Our initial reaction is often to jump up and slot Mrs. Jones straight in to one of those vacancies tomorrow right there and then.

My suggestion, to under promise and over deliver, is to not do that, but to do this….

My suggestion is to make Mrs. Jones an appointment for a few days time, but with urgency created…

With the following proviso:

“Mrs. Jones. Doctor has said he’d rather do this crown for you as soon as possible, because he is concerned that what you have in there at the moment could break away at any time. Now I may have a vacancy come up in my schedule for tomorrow, but I won’t know for certain until this afternoon…. If a time does become available, and I can get you in tomorrow, would you like me to give you a call this afternoon?”

Straight away you are under promising. And the offer to over deliver is there.

Mrs. Jones will jump at the opportunity to come in tomorrow. You have created some more urgency for her.

You know that you can call Mrs. Jones early in the afternoon and slot her in for tomorrow to fill that spot.

But you have also kept that slot available for a few hours just in case you need it for a true emergency.

The other thing, by doing this, rather than giving Mrs. Jones that time for tomorrow then and there on the spot, is that Mrs. Jones doesn’t ever entertain the thought that Doctor found that work just because he had a vacancy to fill for tomorrow.

By putting Mrs. Jones on standby for tomorrow’s vacancy, we’ve been able to easily make our office look good by under promising and over delivering.

And think about it. This is no different to when you go to a restaurant, and they ask you to wait in the bar because there’s going to be a twenty-five minute wait for your table? And then they call you after fifteen minutes?

Or at Disney, when you are waiting in line for a ride, there are signs there letting you know how much longer your wait will be? But the wait is always less than the sign says…

You know how you feel when your wait is longer…

It’s all about Under Promising.

And Over Delivering.


Learning the art of how to Under Promise and Over Deliver is just one of the benefits of using  The Ultimate Patient Experience, 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.

Email me at david@theupe.com

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