How often have you loved a movie right up until the predictable (or incomprehensible) ending? Or gone to a fine restaurant, recommended by your friends, and had a fabulous meal. Great service, unusual dishes, worth the money, terrific atmosphere, and then you waited 35 minutes to get the check! It wiped out the whole positive experience. Now when people ask you about the place, you say, "Yeah, great food, but..." It?s that "but" that changes everything.
If you're aware of the fact that most patients are evaluating your dentistry by the experience of being in your practice as much as or more than by your clinical skills, then you should be thinking about what the last thing is that the patient experiences in the visit. There are 2 critical times in any service experience: what happens first, and what happens last. I speak at length about the first experience?how you answer the phone, how you greet new patients?and those moments are very important, but I want to talk about what happens last.
The problem is that we make this mistake all the time in dentistry. The last few minutes of the appointment often involves someone trying to get the money out of the patient, and even worse, having to explain why the insurance doesn't cover it. Or trying to get the next prophy appointment scheduled while they're trying to run out the door to get back to work. You can have the sweetest people working in your office, in a fun environment, with great technology and wonderful chairside manner, but then the last taste in the patient?s mouth is money issues, insurance confusion, and your scheduling needs. Tainting everything...
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This blog post was re-posted with permission from 1-800-DENTIST.
Fred Joyal is the Co-Founder of 1-800-DENTIST, and author of the book Everything Is Marketing: the Ultimate Strategy for Dental Practice Growth. He has worked in the dental industry for 26 years, and has helped thousands of practices grow with new patients and with marketing guidance. He speaks all over the country on dental marketing, social media, and practice management.