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Apple's Lesson For Dental Offices
Several years ago, when my Mac laptop still had a battery that could be taken out, I called Apple to order a new one as my old battery had stopped holding much of a charge.
I was leaving town the next afternoon to consult a dentist and was hoping to get a new battery sent to me overnight so I’d have it before I left.
Unfortunately it was too late in the day for next day delivery so I figured I'd make the 45 minute drive to the Apple store to buy a new one. Before I could get off the phone the Apple employee I was speaking to checked to see if my old battery was still under warranty. As it turned out it was so I was transferred to a tech guy who had me put the battery through a series of diagnostic tests. At the end of doing the tests the tech dude said the battery was indeed shot and he’d have a new one sent out to me at no charge. He said I should expect it in about a week.
So instead of having to pay over a $100.00 for a new battery I was getting a free one due to the initiative of the Apple employee I first spoke to. Pretty cool. I figured for a hundred bucks I could survive another week with my old battery.
The next day as I left my house to head to the airport I found a package on my front door step. It was from Apple. I opened it up and lo and behold it was a new battery from Apple. Wow! Not only had I gotten a free replacement battery but Apple had somehow gotten it delivered to me by the very next morning.
Now that’s service! And that’s what creates customer loyalty: Exceeding expectations. Probably explains why I’ve been an Apple customer for 25+ years.
The moral of the story: Do everything you can to exceed the expectations of your dental patients. That's just good practice management. If you do, you’ll have loyal patients who will stay with your practice for a long time and who will be glad to refer friends, family and business acquaintances to you.
Kevin Tighe, Cambridge Dental Consultants, Senior Consultant, got bitten hard by the business and marketing bug during long summer days working at his dad's Madison Avenue ad agency. After joining Cambridge as a speaker in the mid-1990s, Kevin went on to become Cambridge’s senior consultant and eventually CEO. Cambridge Dental Consultants is a full-service dental practice management company offering customized dental office manuals. Frustrated? High overhead? Schedule a chat with Kevin at
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There is the good, the bad and the ugly of dental practice management, but many dentists will still tell you the probability is your dental consulting will work if you and your consultant are on the same page. It stands to reason that if a dental consultant had little value, worth or benefit that consultant could not stand up to harsh economic realities for long. A veteran dental consultant is also a "personal coach" who shold bring management wisdom based on "in the trenches" experience along with systems and protocols to that have been successfully implemented in other practices. Top dental consultants talk and network with each other. They pay attention to what systems work and don't across many dental practices.
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What gets monitored, gets managed. It is as simple as that. The only way to monitor what gets done is with daily stats especially for your weak areas. For example, one employee should be specifically responsible for calls to patients who are unscheduled, overdue for re-care or need reactivation. Other staff can and should help in coordination with the accountable employee.
What most practice owners are lack in knowledge is not how to book an appointment, but rather how to be an effective leader. The best systems in the world are useless if the staff do not comply. Good leaders know how to get staff to willingly follow through and comply.
Questions To Ask
Do you and/or your staff have to travel or does the consultant come to you?
Is the program mostly one on one consulting versus seminars or courses with multiple clients in attendance?There are advantages to both.
If the dental consulting is one on one who will actually deliver the consulting? I recommend knowing who your specific dental consultant will be prior to signing on the dotted line.
Is program based on a specific dental practice management system? You want to avoid cookie-cutter programs. Ensure the program will be tailor-made to fit your practice's specific needs.
The cost (including travel expenses and downtime) is certainly not the only factor, everything else being equal, it is still a major factor to consider. It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little.
Top Dental Practice Mangement Consultant
My name is Kevin Tighe. I am Cambridge's CEO and Senior Consultant. Before joining the Cambridge team I was in charge of setting up workshops for large nonprofits throughout the United States and Canada. During that time, I was fortunate to receive mentoring from several world-class business consultants, including a dental practice management guru, which led to a position at Cambridge as their seminar organizer. In time, I began crisscrossing the country delivering seminars myself for the better part of a decade. Subsequently, I moved up to senior consultant and eventually owner. Contributing writer to Dental Economics/DIQ, JADA, AGD Impact and Dental Town Magazine.
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