Closing Ceremonies

August 6, 2021
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While the Olympics might have lost some of their previous glory and luster, the closing ceremony always draws a large crowd.

What does such a ceremony tell us?

What is it supposed to convey?

In his book, “Setting the Table”, restauranteur Danny Meyer discusses how leaving patrons with a “good taste in their mouths” is an important ingredient in a restaurant’s success.  Follow-up business is way easier (and less expensive) than trying to get new customers.  He points out how giving people something at the end of their restaurant experience, generates both repeat customers and word of mouth advertising.

We know that it’s less expensive to keep an existing customer than it is to get a new one.  And so, perhaps it’s time for YOU to evaluate your closing ceremony and what kind of ‘taste’ your patients leave when they exit your office.

Is the last thing a patient receives as they leave your office a BILL or STATEMENT?  You probably don’t need to wonder what kind of ‘taste’ that leaves.

What are YOU doing to encourage repeat visits and generate word of mouth referrals?

Is the last thing a patient receives from your front desk is a plea or text message asking for a Google review?

The number ONE reason customers don’t return to a given store is INDIFFERENCE.

What are you doing to prevent patient indifference?

By the way, at Danny Meyers’ restaurants, patrons start their experience with an “Amuse Bouche”, a little bite, as a gift from the chef.  They leave with a gift, usually something they can eat on their way home or even over the next few days.

Patrons begin their experience with a gift and end with a gift.

How can YOU emulate that experience for your patients?

The same factors apply to EMPLOYEES.

What are you doing to make your team excited about tomorrow?

What are you doing to show that they are appreciated?

Employee retention today is a necessity, as I’ve previously written.  Monetary rewards are not necessarily all that motivates people.

Closing Ceremonies also include handing off the “TORCH”.   Literally, the torch is passed to the next hosting Country.  In this case, from Japan to France.

In dental practice, such a transfer of authority is rarely planned.  Doctors work had to build a practice only to hit a wall when they try to bring on an associate, a partner or sell the practice.  When a plan to transfer authority hasn’t been crafted and implemented, the likelihood that patients will feel obliged to continue care there or leave for ‘greener’ or more convenient pastures goes up exponentially.

The problem is that most dental practices grow ORGANICALLY.  In these cases, organic isn’t healthier.  In fact, it can actually be deadly (in the financial sense).

Organic practice growth relies on an “as you grow” attitude and strategy.  Systems are built haphazardly and without common interaction.   Even teams are built with mixed loyalties and uneven relationships.  Organic Growth fails to plan for CLOSING CEREMONIES.

Whether it’s the closing of an appointment, completion of a large transaction (case) or a future transition, CLOSING CEREMONIES are best planned.  And, the sooner the better because you never know what resources might be required to make the ceremony the most effective it can be.

That’s why I developed several, valuable resources, including “The Practice Transitions Checklist” and the “The Practice Evaluation and Toolkit” so that just like an Olympic Athlete, you can prepare for your best future.

 

To Your Podium-Worthy Performance,

Michael

Practice Success Insights

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Dr. Michael Goldberg is one of the leading educators on dental practice management in the United States.

Michael ran and sold a prestigious group practice in Manhattan and has been on Faculty at Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Medical Center for 30 years including Director of the GPR program and Director of the course on Practice Management.

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