Was it Amex that first coined that phrase?
In Edinburgh at the moment for our Business Club meeting – and when I arrived yesterday and passed my Diamond VIP loyalty card across the registration desk at The Cally, I was upgraded to one of the “newly refurbished rooms with a view of the castle” in a rather grand way.
That’s what I expect, because I am a loyal client of Hilton, as evidenced by my “points” tally.
Interesting then, that the ensuingÂ conversationÂ with a practice owners revolves around how they can positively differentiate themselves in a world of increasing competition and “sameness”.
We are evolving an important theory as to how the “membership scheme” has to be elevated to a new level.
I asked one of our clients what benefits were associated with their in-house scheme.
He quickly replied, “two exams, two scale and polish and some emergency cover – PLUS a 20% discount on fee per item work (but that’s not really a discount if you know what I mean) nudge, nudge, wink, wink.”
It’s a familiar mantra – and I want to challenge perceived thinking and suggest that this will not be enough going forward.
When you are competing with Tesco, Virgin, Superdrug, the semi-private corporates and the new phenomenon of jobless VT’s and associates backed by family money or idiot banks – the traditional explanation of membership scheme benefits may no longer cut the mustard.
Especially not as my utility bills rocket skyward and the need for general dental “maintenance” (how horrible a word is that) gets pushed on to the “round tuit” list.
So what will a 21st Century dental membership scheme offer?
Here’s a clue…
7. member’s price list
8. two dental examinations
9. two hygiene visits and
10. worldwide emergency cover.
The real question is – what will the first 6 “knock ’em dead” offers be – soÂ irresistiblyÂ attractive that there will be a waiting list for membership of your practice?
Answer that question successfully – and you have a survive and prosper plan for the next three years.
Fail to answer it – and that rumbling sound is “everyone else” – just behind you.
Want a clue?
Start with the following:
My room at The Cally is lovely:
- only a few have been refurbished so far and I’m amongst the first to experience them
- beautiful bathroom, fancy plasma TV, exquisite bed providing a wonderful night’s sleep
- my upgrade is free of charge
- the view of the castle is stunning
- the complimentary wine and chocolates will be travelling home with me
- I’ll enjoy my quarterly breakfast of haggis shortly
- I feel appreciated, privileged and rewarded for my loyalty