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The Best Internal Dental Marketing Advice - Take Care of Your Best Patients

Jun 13, 2008
Last week I went into the local Salem post office. It's right down the street from our World Headquarters here on Shipping Street.

I had sold an item on eBay over the weekend and I wanted to get it shipped off to Australia pronto.

Anyway, I get there, box up the camera and buy some packing material at about twice what it should cost (nothing wrong with this I guess, I am a captive audience member, right?).

I address the box. Fill out my customs form. No tape. I didn't have the box taped up.

Gal behind the counter, Amanda, says, "It's right over there on the wall."

Over on the wall is a display rack with $4.00 rolls of tape (a whopping 20' at that - which will barely contain the box).

I say to her, "You know, I'll just go back to my office and seal this up."

She could tell I wasn't happy. But, I thought I'd save it for when I got back, that way, a little steam will have escaped.

Arriving about 10 minutes later, box in hand, taped up, with proper postage affixed, I end up in her line again. She smiles, takes care of my box securing all the necessary labels and I pipe up, "Amanda, I'm the third largest mailer here in Salem. My company spends tens of thousands of dollars each and every month on postage. Why is it you have no idea who your good clients are - your top 10% or 5% or even 1% so you can be sure to take care of them - you know 'great' customer service - with something as simple as tape? I wasted 30 minutes of my day on a 2 cent item. Amanda, there ARE other choices for shipping boxes. I guess in the future I will just use them instead since being a top spending customer of the postal service really doesn't matter or count."

Her response, "Well, if we gave you tape we'd have to give everyone tape."

Come on... What kind of ridiculous mentality is that?

Does your team know who your best patients/clients are? Do they get deferential treatment? Are they handled with kid gloves? Or, lead-lined gloves? Do you know? To me, something as important as your best clients ought to involve a system of how to treat them.

If I ever caught or catch one of my team giving anything less than top-notch service to any of my clients, top spender or not, they're on the way out the door. They can find a job better suited for themselves at the post office. Don't you think?

Action-To-Take Tip: Put together a list of your top patients; the ones that you would consider to be the most loyal and who spend the most time and money at your practice. Share the list with your staff and stress to them the importance of treating these people extraordinarily well. The retention of these patients (and their great referrals), should be a good enough reason to put a little more focus on them.
About the Author
James Erickson is the President of EMC Dental Marketing which gives Dentists a resource for turn-key dental marketing programs and dental practice marketing education including new patient attraction, and internal marketing systems. Visit www.EMCdental.com and get a free practice
building kit sent directly to your home or office.
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