Do you know what experience your dental office offers to your patients? Every business, including dental offices, is defined by the experience they offer their clients and dental offices are no exception. The experience is what defines the business in the minds of the client and becomes the businesses brand. The experience is what clients talk about to their family and friends.
Michael Gerber in his book, “The E-Myth Revisited” says that consumers do not really shop for products or services but instead are shopping for an experience. Whether they know it or not every business is in the business of selling an experience and the sooner the business owner figures this out the more successful they will be. If you don’t believe Mr Gerber and me on this point, just think of the last car ad you saw or clothing ad. Did the ad say much about the car or clothes or was it really invoking a lifestyle – an experience that the owner of such car or article of clothing will have by virtue of owning the thing? Think, too, about Starbucks. Is Starbucks really about a $4 cup of coffee or the total coffeehouse experience that the $4 buys you?
Now, what is the experience of your dental office? Think about the experience from the moment a potential patient first finds your website on the Internet all the way through booking an appointment, visiting the office for the first time, having an exam, to checking out, paying, and booking their next appointment. What do your patients see, hear, smell, touch, and taste? Are the sights, sounds, textures, and tastes ones that you would want to experience? What are they saying about you as a business? How does your website and your staff interact with the patient? Are all of these things that you want your business to be known for? When you were opening your dental practice initially did you think about each and every one of these experiences and decide what you wanted them to be or did some or all of them just happen to evolve?
If you are like most dentists you probably were focused on getting your dental office up and running and worried more about the technical side of the business and not on the experiential side, but that doesn’t mean now that you’re in operation you can’t go back and fix things.