If your office is stuck in a “one size fits all” process of bringing new clients into the practice, it is time to take a few minutes and watch some of David Arvin’s videos on the customer experience on You Tube. Our clients come in all ages, sizes and experience levels. It is our obligation and opportunity to meet them where they are on an emotional intelligence level. The moment your client understands that you recognize their individuality and are listening for their concerns, mental and emotional, doors begin to open.
Consider the different mindset of a sixty year old looking for a new dentist and a twenty five year old. Both clients probably found you by asking friends about their dentist. But, while the sixty year old will show up for an appointment and then determine whether they like your office, the twenty five year old will have made many judgements about you before coming in the office door. The sixty year old may not want to fill out office forms on line, while the twenty five year old will expect that as a given. The twenty five year old will have checked your website and be looking for reviews on line.
Both clients will judge the telephone skills of your staff, but in different ways. Your older client may be slower to respond to questions and be pleased to speak about the person who referred them.. The younger client will be interested in whether you can text them with appointment reminders. Both clients will respond well to your staff if the staff has the emotional intelligence skills to grasp the difference in the person involved and respond to that difference in the proper way.
As professional we all recognize that there is a significant amount of data that should be gathered with a new client to meet the professional standard of care whether at age sixty or twenty five. However, the explanation and education of your client about why you need this information may be radically different. You can only move forward with this process when you and the team have established a relationship that allows you to understand the outcomes the specific person is looking for in your office and you have asked for, and received, permission to move ahead.
What makes your office special is the ability of you and your team to ask the “right” questions that allow you to understand your different client’s perception’s and to then respond in an appropriate way. The more you and you team work on developing these active listening and emotional intelligence skills the better your reputation will be in the community you serve. This reputation is really your brand. You don’t own it. It is earned. It exists only in the mind of your clients.
You and your team need to spend time together working on your “aspirational brand” – what you want to be known for. You also need to agree as a team about key philosophical and technical elements that you will say no to.
You want to be recognized as the very best at whatever it is that you and your team aspire to. That is what makes you special.
1 Arvin, David, www.visibilityinternational.com, Customer Experience