Just back from a quick 2 days of workshops in Bristol and Bracknell – and I’ve been hearing some horror stories about NHS dental practice that I’ll share in next week’s newsletter – there’s going to be blood on the streets in April.On a more positive note, I keep on saying that I work for the money BUT do this work because of the people I meet.
The last 2 days have been a pleasure – working with existing clients, new clients and tasters – just such lovely people.
We have always had firm boundaries as to the type of clients we will work with – those that we trust, respect and like – and it certainly pays of in terms of job satisfaction.
So my mini-angst after last Friday’s mystery note scribbler has been replaced by the rosy glow of knowing that I’ve been delivering my “Unique Ability®” these last few days.
One point is in my mind.
The number of dental teams who tell me that they offer “private treatment options” to their patients – or, for that matter, that they are “going private”.
What does that mean?
In the mind of the dentist/team, “private” often means:
- Better quality materials
- More time to deliver the treatment with the patient in the chair
- A chance to engage the services of a better technician
- A higher quality “finish” to the work – all margins and microns.
When they choose “private”, is that what the patients are really looking for?
I’m not so sure.
When I’m travelling, I use Hilton – and not Travellodge. Why?
It partly because I want a bigger room, comfy bed, a desk to work at with wifi, more soundproofing. But it’s also because I want some customer service – and don’t want to hang out with a bunch of obese, £20,000 a year reps eating egg and bacon with a copy of The Sun on their lap.
When I’m at Bristol Airport I pay to wait in the business lounge. Why?
It’s partly because I want an easy chair and a cappucino. But it’s also because I don’t want to sit with 100 Neanderthals waiting to go on stag and hen parties in Dublin or 500 yokels pissed up at 8.00am, waiting for a flight to Malaga.
I pay “private” because I want:
- Better customer service
- To hang out with better people (yes – I’m a working class snob)
- To feel special and “individual” (remember my thoughts on individuality?)
- To be treated like royalty (21st Century English, not 18th Century French)
So I’m asking you to embrace the possibility that the patients don’t give a “monkey’s” about your clinical doo-dads, your qualifications, the courses you have been on, their margins and microns.
What they care about is how they feel when they visit.
And if they feel like royalty – then that’s what “private” means.
Try this one on for size..
“We offer NHS and private service – which would you prefer?”
Stop using the word “treatment” – private treatment reads “more expensive treatment”.
Or “a more expensive way of doing the same thing”.
Start using the word “service” – private service reads “higher quality service”.
Or “a more customer-focused service”.
Or “no riff-raff”.
Which would you choose?
I was surprised that my best business coaching comment of the week came from no less than Jermaine Jackson.
“Class and no class don’t mix.”