A Dental Office Parable
Dr. Rich‘s dishwasher just stopped working (or as we say here in Baltimore, it “went up”). Even though they wash the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, Rich and his wife don’t like not having a dishwasher, so this felt like a bit of an emergency.
They originally purchased the dishwasher (and many other things) from a mom-and-pop appliance store that is owned by a friend they have known for many years. Their pricing and service were always great, but more importantly, it felt good to deal with a local store and have that personal connection (as opposed to a Best Buy).
Online scheduling for repairs was not available, so Rich called at 10:00 AM, right when they opened and learned that the first available repair appointment was not for a week. Something about the transaction also felt more corporate, as if they had sold out to or merged with a larger chain. Yikes!
So Dr. Rich booked the appointment. Then a few minutes later he was walking down the hallway of his condo building and ran into Alexis, the resident liaison.
Rich: “Hey Alex, is there an appliance repair person you recommend?”
Alexis: “Well, who do you usually use?”
Rich: “We have been using Glass Appliances* for years, but they can’t see us until next week.”
Alexis: “Glass Appliances? Never heard of them. You should give Allied Appliances a call. Or you can book right on their website.”
Rich: “Sounds good – thanks!!”
Well, you can guess the rest. Or maybe you can’t.
Dr. Rich booked a next-day appointment with Allied on their site. About five minutes later a super-kind rep from Allied called back to confirm the details, and asked a great question:
“As long as the tech is there, are there any other appliances that need to be looked at?”
“As a matter of fact, our dryer has been making some funny noises. Let’s give that a look-see as well.”
Wow! So many things just happened here that apply to the dental office. Let’s review.
- Glass didn’t answer the phone until 10:00 AM. This is unacceptable when you are trying to get service. The world opens before this.
- Glass could not get us in the same or next day. So Rich asked around and called a stranger. Your potential patients (those who don’t really know you yet) will do the same thing.
- Rich asked for a recommendation, and was given (according to our friend Dr. Mitchell Josephs) the four most dangerous words in dentistry about Glass – “Never heard of them!”
- Allied made it easy to schedule; Glass didn’t.
- Even with online scheduling, Allied called back immediately to give great personalized service.
- Allied asked a totally genius question: “As long as the tech is there, are there any other appliances that need to be looked at?” Now the possibility exists that the Madow family will be having a $2500 “case!”
One of the biggest no-brainers when scheduling a new patient is asking “Do you have any other family members who need an appointment?” It takes five seconds and could double, triple, or quadruple the number of new patients from that call.
So that’s our dental office parable for today. We’ll keep you posted on the results!
* All names have been changed!