I visited my new dentist for the first time today. Was I dreading the experience?
Is the Pope Catholic?!
On arrival, I noticed that the reception area was spotlessly clean. The receptionist smiled and handed me a New Patient Form to fill in, attached to a clipboard. The form, once completed and checked, was returned to me and I was escorted to the upstairs waiting area.
From there, I was quickly greeted and escorted into a treatment room by the dentist herself, who introduced herself (first name only), shook my hand warmly and also introduced the nurse.
There followed a lively and reassuring conversation: the dentist asked me (referring to the form) what sort of consultant I am, explaining that she aims to use relevant language and analogies to explain any technical terms. (She used a builder as an example – I assume builders have no difficulty with the drill analogy!)
During my examination, as you might expect, the dentist reeled off a sequence of technical descriptions of the state of my teeth, gums and mouth for the nurse to add to my record. What I wasn’t expecting was that, at the end of the examination, the dentist handed me a large mirror, and, with the aid of her dental mirror, showed me exactly what she had been saying to the nurse, explaining what it all meant.
After this, the clipboard was returned to me so that I could book my next appointment with (and pay) the receptionist. I also booked an appointment with the hygienist, as recommended (upsold) by the dentist.
First though, the dentist asked me more about what I do. On hearing that I’m a Customer Experience specialist, we swapped notes on the challenges of maintaining consistent excellence along what she calls “the Patient Journey.”
As I returned to the reception desk I noticed an open visitors’ book. The comments were overwhelmingly positive – words such as “communication” and “explanation” jumped out, as did the comment of my title: “The only dentist I’ve ever looked forward to visiting.”
Was it a coincidence that my dentist (also the practice head, as it turns out) is focused on the Patient Journey as a continuous experience – from website/telephone to reception to waiting room to treatment room and back to reception – and that this practice is receiving such rave reviews (no doubt leading to plenty of upsells and recommendations)?
Is the Pope Catholic?!
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