While skimming the Facebook statuses on my Home page, I noticed a colleague’s comment about how excited she was to get an upgrade to First Class on her flight. She went on to say it was the “simple” things in life that make her day. Another friend commented that it isn’t a “simple” thing – “it is what we deserve but seldom get”.
With first class status, you get priority check-in. You get to board early. The seats are roomy and usually a buttery leather with lumbar support. You are greeted immediately and get to choose from a wide selection of complimentary pre-flight beverages. There’s exceptional meal service (love those warm towels!). Some feature individual media players and personal amenities. You leave the plane feeling refreshed and a little more special than when you entered. Is it likely that my friend will think of this moment the next time she books a flight? Absolutely.
In fact, this JetBlue TV Commercial from 2006 took the concept of First Class and applied it to every passenger across the board.
It made me wonder what patients think when they arrive at a dental practice. What have they come to expect? Do they expect an outdated or less than appealing reception area? Have they come to expect to wait for an extended period of time? Are they accustomed to being rushed through? Do they expect to be lectured on their home care? Is it their expectation that they will be “hassled” about doing the treatment they’ve put off? Do they expect to hear dental-speak that doesn’t make much sense to them? In other words, do they expect to fly coach class?
What if your patients came to your practice expecting coach but instead, receive first class treatment? Imagine how they might be thinking as they leave the practice? What would it take to provide each and every patient an upgrade – to provide them with what they “deserve but seldom get”?
As you embark on a new year, why not make this a team project? Each team member could review their own performance and area of responsibility and ask the question; How can I make this a first class experience for my patients?. What additional effort would it require? Think outside the box of dentistry. Think five-star hotel. Think red carpet treatment. Bring the ideas to a group meeting. Brainstorm as a team and experiment with your ideas.
Make sure your patients feel more special when they leave. After all, you want them to book their next flight with you.