Getting to A: What You Need From Me
My first column for this newsletter was a little hard on dentists. (Well, on some of them, anyway.) I told you how I’d left a practice recently because the people there seemed indifferent to me as a person, and for that matter, seemed barely interested in me as a patient. I was asking for more, and because I couldn’t get a better level of care there, I left.
Like a lot of patients, I have a customer’s sense of entitlement and if it’s not fulfilled, I shop elsewhere. You are in the business of customer service, and that’s a reality every practice has to face. I’d like to offer you something better than the prospect of my leaving, though. If I leave your practice, it’s not just your problem or your failure. It’s mine too. It’s my missed opportunity. It’s time I can’t get back. I want to be more than just another revolving-door customer for you; I want to be a collaborator and to join you in a mutual effort that improves us both.
A Patients, B Patients, C Patients
I say I owe all these traits to you, but it’s more accurate to say I owe them to our collaboration. If I’m indifferent to my own well-being, then I can’t fault a dentist who meets me with the same lack of concern. I want to be your A patient. I need to give you what you need so we can achieve that together.
The next question is: how do we communicate all this with each other?
On behalf of McKenzie Management, David Clow consults with dental professionals on practice culture, case acceptance, and patient expectations.
David Clow is a writer/consultant for Fortune 100 companies. His book, A Few Words from the Chair, is the first book written by a patient for dental professionals and students and is available here. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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