What Dentists Can Learn From The Hospitality Industry

We recently had the pleasure of hosting dentist and practice management consultant, Dr. Duke Aldridge, at the Patient News head office.  We’ve worked with over 7,000 dentists, and honestly I’ve never met a clinician with Duke’s background. He left a senior role at Hilton Hotels, pursued his dental degree, and didn’t stop there.  He is among a select few who possess MAGD, MICOI, DICOI, and FMISCH designations, not to mention an MBA.

So what happens when you combine an extensive hospitality background with outstanding clinical skills? For one thing, in 6 short years you can build one of the most productive and profitable dental practices in the United States.

Successful hotel chains have one thing in common – exceptional customer service. Duke outlines this extremely well in his AGD blog Mastering the Business of Dentistry with a Hospitality Flare. For dental offices, understanding service isn’t a “nice to have” in 2016 – it is absolutely essential.

This brings me to the phrase Moments of Truth. Jan Carlzon defined this concept and later used it to turn around Scandinavian Airlines, making it one of the most successful airlines in the world.

A Moment of Truth can be described as any time a patient comes into contact with any aspect of a practice, however remote, and has an opportunity to form an impression. Carlzon said that Moments of Truth could be good or bad.

At Patient News we have the opportunity to listen to thousands of Moments of Truth each month though our Marketing Performance Dashboard. These conversations are especially relevant as they are often the First Impression for a prospective dental patient. This is what successful hotel chains understand intimately, and is what Duke was able to apply to his practice.

Draw on your own hotel experiences and those Moments of Truth. It usually starts with reservations, followed by check-in, and then twenty or thirty other moments while receiving service. That first welcome is so crucial (not to mention the smile that goes along with it) in making you – the guest – feel valued. World-class hotels have this nailed down through extensive training; right down to the use of phrases like “How was your journey”.

We’ve listened to over 100,000 calls and have heard world-class greetings as well as greetings that leave us – and practice owners – in a catatonic state. In fact, it’s so critical that we’ve dedicated an entire Phone Power booklet to “The Greeting”. Eighteen pages dedicated to that one Moment of Truth!

Providing exceptional service is not easy, but the payoff both personally and professionally is unbelievable. If Dr. Duke Aldridge can build a multi-million dollar practice from scratch in 6 years – what are your possibilities?

At Patient News we can help. With 24+ years’ experience we understand the challenges that dental practices face on a daily basis. Give us a call; we’re here to help.

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