Dentistry is just a small consumer driven business. Consumers today decide where they go and where they spend their money and you as a dentist are no different.
Dental practices seeking higher patient return rates should look to embrace consumerism.
There is a dentist on every corner, and every potential patient has an invisible checklist of what they are looking for in a dental office. So what are you willing to do? What are you willing to change? How will you adapt to this ever-changing consumer demand? In the end, success in dentistry will be defined by the relationships you can make and keep with your patients. Embracing consumerism should be job one in this new dental economy.
Consumerism Defined: Giving people what they want, when they want it at a price they can afford.
In Dentistry, we have should have a specific goal. We need to produce this goal in a consistent manner over the life of our practices. The sooner we realize what a consumer wants, the more of these we will accumulate.
The Goal: Someone that shows up, pays for treatment, and refers everyone they know.
“Most ailing organizations have developed a functional blindness to their own defects. They are not suffering because they cannot resolve their problems but because they cannot see their problems.” - John Gardner
As I look at the numbers, trends, and results in various practices, I see a curious phenomenon. It is called the “rhetoric-reality gap." This is a contradiction between words (rhetoric) and actions (reality). It’s as if we all know we need to act or do something different (read a book, listen to a lecture, etc.), yet still fail to act. It is this lack of implementation that will define you and limit your success. There is no real learning without application.
As each of us look for direction and begin to look at the changes we need to embrace in this new Dental economy, we should realize that true leadership is not a matter of saying things right. It is actually a matter of consistently saying and doing the right thing!
So, how are you self-sabotaging your practice? What is keeping patients from saying yes and referring everyone they know?
Could it be that despite the time, effort, and money we spend to improve, the first place we should look is in the mirror? It takes intentional living to become the catalyst in your office that will take your practice to the next level. Far too often we put our attention on marketing or advertising and forget that advertising brings patients in, but if we do not deliver they won’t return. (Front door/Back door both wide open). Practice growth is the natural result of practice health. Growth occurs when our message and our methods are balanced.
Consumerism is delivering what the patient wants, when they want it, at a price they can afford.