When you think coffee, which company pops into your head? How about if you need a package delivered overnight? Alright, what if you needed to book a room in a nice hotel?

Starbucks, FedEx, and the Ritz-Carlton all have one thing in common: consistency. When you walk into a Starbucks, you always know exactly what you’re going to get. I buy a $5 latte almost every single day. Why would I spend that on a cup of coffee? Because Starbucks has perfected the art of consistency. I walk in; they know my name. I walk up to the counter; I know what I want to order, and I know it will taste the same every single time.

But highly successful companies like these three are not consistent for the sake of consistency. They are consistent in the delivery of their product because they have appropriate systems and processes in place. The reason why you can go to Starbucks and get the same tasting drink regardless of where you are or who is making it is because they have a system in place to make it. The same is true for FedEx and the Ritz-Carlton. You know you can rely on their service because it is delivered through a predictable, consistent process that has proved over the years to work.

Main goal

This should be one of the main goals for your practice. When potential new patients call your practice, you want to know that these calls are being handled consistently and are producing the right results. You want to have a system in place that guarantees these calls are being handled exactly the same way every single time. And, most important, that the call results in a scheduled appointment.

“If you change nothing about your systems, then you will never change the results.”

The initial patient experience should be so systematic and consistent that team members are literally interchangeable and the results remain the same. This also applies to the quality and consistency of your office visit, once you get patients in the door.

I obviously don’t know what system you have in place to bring in new patients, but I do know that it will always produce the results you are getting. In other words, if you change nothing about your systems, then you will never change the results. That, too, is predictable.

So how are your current systems working for you? Are they producing the results you need for success? Are your new patient numbers on the rise? Or are they stagnant or declining?

Implementation

I recently went to a local bagel shop to get just a bagel — no toasting, butter, cream cheese, etc. As I stood in line, I noticed a handwritten sign that read “Skip the line! If you are getting a ‘naked bagel,’ go straight to the cashier.”

I thought great, that’s me! So I skipped the line and went straight to the cashier. She expected me to hand her an order, but instead I said I wanted a certain bagel and asked if they had that. She said, “I don’t know. You’ll have to ask them,” and she pointed back to where the line was. I said, “But the sign says …”

She just shook her head and apologized. I then had to go back in line and order. What a mess. They attempted to set up a process but couldn’t implement it, and the result was confusion, frustration, and dissatisfaction. I likely won’t go back.

Are your processes implemented correctly so that you have a consistent product from the initial call to the experience in the office? Do you think your patients will want to come back? Will they want to refer their friends and family?

Let’s say I surveyed your patients and I asked them one question, similar to the question I asked you at the very beginning of this article: When you think “dentist,” what name pops into your head? Do they think of you? Or is your name just one of a few different names that’s stuck somewhere on the tip of their tongue?

If you want your practice to become the “Starbucks of dentistry,” you’ve got to provide consistency through a process that works and is implemented correctly. You’ve got to be the practice that your patients can count on for high quality every single time.

 

This article, authored by Jay Geier, was originally featured on DrBicuspid.com.