Why Are You Keeping Your Good Patients Waiting?

Who likes being kept waiting?

Not me.

I’m very tolerant of delay, but I can be very intolerant when delay is obviously being caused by system breakdowns.

If you go to Disneyland, you know there will be lines.

That’s demand.

Demand exceeding capacity.

Lot’s of people wanting to ride the rides.

You have to line up.

You have to wait.

But waiting because of laziness or meanness?


I’m over doing business with businesses like that.

Last weekend I spent four nights staying over in my hometown, in Sydney.

We had some workshops to perform, and as we do, I like to be there the night before and the evening following my workshops.

So, being away from home, we needed to eat. We needed to dine out.

And on one occasion, one night, my wife and I dined at a restaurant that sadly, got the waiting all wrong.

We had had very high expectations of this restaurant.

It had come highly recommended by friends.

It was well ranked on Trip Advisor.

And it was a new addition to stable of already well-ranked and great restaurants.

So here’s what happened….

The food?

Three dishes. One that disappointed.

Two that were good, but not great.


Nice. Authentic. Well presented.



Full stop.

Fail? In what way?

After our meal we sat with dirty plates in front of us for over fifteen minutes.

In a busy restaurant with what seemed like plenty of wait staff.

And we also sat there with empty glasses.

Actually, it was our one glass, from our one *PRE DINNER* drink.

So finally, we just stood up, went to the front desk, and asked to pay the bill.

“How was your meal?” the greeter asked.

We told her about our wait.

She immediately disappeared, and found a manager, who returned with sincere apologies for our disappointment, and without asking, offered us a fifty percent concession on our bill.

Which was nice.

But I’d have much rather been schmoozed with good service and not been subject to this dereliction in the first place.

What lessons can we learn from this dining experience and take back to our Dental Offices?

Firstly, despite the perfect décor, just because the place looked like an authentic Asian restaurant, appearances amounted for nothing.

In dentistry, it’s the same.

If your practice looks spick and span, with all the bells and whistles, you’ve still got to back it up with a product that matches the hype and the pizazz, or else there’ll be disappointment.

And you have to back it up with the service as well.

Now I’m not sure whether it was a manpower issue or a system failure that left my wife and I thirsty and staring at our dirty dishes for over fifteen minutes?

But whichever, or both that it was, it needed to be fixed.

Despite the fact that our greeter had been pleasant when we arrived, that our barman had been friendly and prompt, the actions, or dare I say inactions of one or two wait-staff had let the whole team down…

Secondly, the product needs to match the hype.

Our old local Chinese diner is still the best Chinese food in town.

In Sydney.

We expected more from this City restaurant on the weekend.

But to us, there was no *WOW* coming from the dinner plate.

And if our point of reference, our standard, is our old local Chinese diner, that we still drive twenty five minutes across town to visit now and then, and have patronized for twenty eight years now, I don’t believe that that’s too high a bar for this new whiz bang place to jump over.

Thirdly, and most importantly, never keep the customer waiting too long.


They just get antsy.

Always have enough staff, have enough systems, have enough facility.

At your Dental Office are you keeping your customers waiting?

Could you be employing more staff to serve your patients, so that time is inconsequential?

Could you have a second chair, and work alternate rooms, so that there was never any waiting, for service, while rooms were torn down and made up?

I’m always surprised by Dentists who say they provide great Customer Service, yet they operate out of only one chair, so patients are rushed out, then the room gets torn down and made up, and the next patient gets hurried in….

With alternate rooms, the next patient is already seated and being pampered by the other staff, as the Dentist glides in.

The waiting time, for the Customer, is never ever that.


I must commend the Service Recovery at this city restaurant.

Without being asked for, the fifty percent concession was certainly a nice touch.

But was it enough?

Would a future concession on our next meal, valid for six months, have been an even better sweetener, guaranteeing our future custom?

Will we be going back there?

In a big city, already overflowing with fine dining, I’m expecting it will be a while.

And when we want good Chinese, we’ll trek across town back to our old local, where the food and the service are still A1.


My One-Day Workshops cover in greater depth how to address simple changes that create BIG RESULTS.
For more details about my Australian workshops in August 2015, CLICK HERE.


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

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order



The Ultimate Patient Experience is 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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