Instant “Unique Selling Proposition” – Better the devil known, than the dentist unknown:
Better the devil known, than the dentist unknown:
I absolutely hate going to the dentist. I hate it the same way most people hate going down to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
It’s the kind of transaction that simply feels like a complete waste of time. Kind of like paying for homeowners insurance – you shell out a bunch of money, with no tangible benefit or happy experience.
And on top of this, the service at my dentist’s office absolutely stinks. Here, check this out:
* Unless you make the first or second appointment of the day (at 7:30 or 8 am), you’re going to wait… and wait… and wait…
Friday I had an 8 o’clock appoinment and I got in at 8 sharp.
But three weeks earlier I had a 1pm appointment, and I didn’t get in until 1:45pm
This is the standard over here, which is why, at one point… I stopped going to the dentist for 2 years.
Imagine how the hygienist would feel if I made her wait 45 minutes to see me?
On top of this, the 5 minutes the dentist does come in to see you (and it’s always a different dentist every time):
* Outside of the cursory look at my teeth – which the hygienist just looked at, for 35 minutes… the dentist says or does nothing…
* No one calls you by your name – not even the dentist
You’re constantly reminded that you’re just a body. Could be you, or someone else – doesn’t matter to them, at all…
* If you have to reschedule an appointment, you can’t do it online
Here’s what I mean: They once sent me an e-mail confirming my appointment time about a week in advance. I responded “Thanks for the reminder – I won’t be able to make that appointment (I scheduled it 6 months earlier at my last appointment, so this isn’t uncommon). Do you have something around the same time this Thursday or next Thursday?”
They responded: “No.”
I e-mailed them back, “No problem. Can you please have someone call me when you get a chance, so I can re-schedule.”
Never heard another thing.
No follow up e-mail… no phone call… nothing.
* They also don’t take American Express. They say it’s because they don’t like how Amex handles their merchants, but they are full of crap. They’re too cheap to pay the extra 1% merchant fee.
How do I know this – I once asked the person at the counter who collects the money, “Hey, I bet the dentist uses American Express to pay his own bills, right?”
To which they responded, “Of course.”
So not only does he place his own selfish needs ahead of his customers, but he has no rapport or loyalty from his employees – who are ready to dish out the dirt on him at the drop of a hat.
So, you’re probably wondering, “Craig, why don’t you just get another dentist?”
And the answer is simple. Every single dentist I’ve ever worked with is pretty much the same. So to me, it’s “better the devil known, than the devil unknown.”
What a way to keep your customers, huh?
Their bedside manner is awful, or zero… they treat their patients like farmers treat cattle… and customer service means “sending you a reminder to come clean your teeth every six months.”
The thing is, if you’re a dentist – this is great information to have, because all you’d need to do is create some kind of a differential, or some kind of a Unique Selling Proposition, is to set your office up completely differently:
* Treat people like people – speak to them, call them by their names maybe even…
* Spend time with your patients. Let them know you care about their teeth, their overall health, and even them as people.
Honestly, this is such basic stuff here, it’s actually an embarrassment I even have to discuss this…
* Set your business up so your patients feel like you’re doing things to make THEIR life easier, not YOUR life easier. Take as many different forms of payments as possible… allow your patients to book appointments online… and treat your staff better.
If you treat your staff better, they’ll treat your patients better, and everyone wins.
The ONLY reason I go to this dentist is because they’re close to my house. If another dentist opened up a practice a half-mile closer, I’d go there.
Having said all this, if you’re a dentist or if you know a dentist… then you should meet a client of mine. His name is David Moffet, and he made a small fortune as a practicing dentist himself, exclusively by creating systematic customer services processes.
These systems are incredibly easy to implement, but make a HUGE difference in the kind of interaction you have with your patients. In fact, it’s the Ultimate Patient Experience.
You can check out David’s material on his blog at http://ultimatepatientexperience.com/
Have a great week.
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
P.S. Free: 12 Special Marketing Reports – download ’em here
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The Big Country – Talking Heads (1978)