True that, right? All buyers are influenced, good and bad, by emotion.
connections with your patients can determine the strength, length and
profitability of your relationship. Positive emotions build loyalty,
trust and referral based growth. Everything that happens in your
practice, from answering the phone, to what your restroom looks and
smells like, affects patient emotion. Every single thing.
about it. You go to a furniture store... clothing store, knick knack
store...... Where ever you can envision. You have something in
particular that you are looking for. What directly affects your purchase
tendencies that day?
If the store is dirty, cluttered and smells
when you walk in, BAM - negative emotion. You see three sales people
huddled in the corner all looking as if they a) just rolled out of bed
b) haven't washed their hair in days c) their clothes are a wrinkled
mess and d) they don't even acknowledge your existence - You tentatively
approach to ask where the item you are looking for might be located but
have to wait for them to finish discussing their drunk fest the night
before. When they finally look at you, with that "WTF do you want" look
on their faces and ask your question kindly, your negative emotion is on
HIGH now as they sigh at your existence and "help" by a pointing a
narly, nasty, half painted fingernail clear across the store and an
annoyed "Its over there" response. All within 30 seconds, your sight,
smell and emotions have been negatively charged, most likely to the
point where you will turn around, walk out and tell your friends to
NEVER bother going there, right? You shut your purchasing, feel good
emotions down quicker than ice cream melting in hell.
lets reverse. You enter the establishment to be greeted by a soft
soothing scent, everything within your eyes span is in order, clean,
organized and coordinated. Hmm. Different emotions going on right? You
are immediately greeted with cheerful hello's from the sales team, who
appear so friendly and warm that they might have actually been
anticipating your arrival. Not overbearing, but kind and letting you
know that YOU are their priority. WOW. These are some feel great
emotions, correct? They approach and ask what they might be able to help
you with... You notice they are professionally tidy - neat hair,
clothes, seem to have bathed recently, and SMILE. You tell them what you
are looking for and they offer up a friendly "Yes, we have that item -
please follow me and I will show you where it is located" and they
proceed to walk you to the exact item. Now, you are pleased. Here's the
item you are looking for, you are being treated as a valuable customer
should be and WOW! Now, the sales person also mentions the item next to
the one you were looking for... How it will complement your original
item. They ask what this item might be being used for (personal
connection) and offer up a few more suggestions to present a whole
package. They chat pleasantly and by the time you leave, you realize
you've purchased everything they recommended and willingly forked over
the dough. You go home to show your best friend your purchases, and
proceed to talk about how awesome this store was.
the kicker. These were the SAME stores in two different towns. They
carry the same merchandise and have the same price points. How on earth
could they be so far apart? And guess which store you will most likely
frequent again... Positive relationships build loyalty.
"Friendly makes sales – and friendly generates repeat business."
It funnels down from management making emotional connections with team
members, and the team members carrying that forward to the customer.
Clearly outlined expectations of the job/service to be delivered; by
whom, by when and how.
So, what emotions are you building in your
practice? Are you focused on building relationships, or just scheduling
appointments? I called an office last week, to be greeted by the
nastiest FD person I have EVER encountered. She answered the phone with a
clipped, cold "Dr. Smith's" and then just sat there. I was not only
appalled, but stupefied at the thought of how could this dentist NOT
know this crab was the first insight to his practice from the outside
world? Seriously? Her nasty greeting instantly put my emotions on
"negative". She did not, by the way, get any nicer throughout our short
conversation. Bad day or not, THAT type of behavior is unacceptable in
about when, as a new patient somewhere, you go in, sign in, sit down
and not one person greeted you? They call you back up to the desk in the
most unfriendly tone to gather your information - hand you back your
insurance card and then turn and walks away. Ok - you guess you are
supposed to go sit back down - you've been waiting for 15 minutes and
it's now 10 minutes past your appointment time and yet no one has said
ONE word to you, or welcomed you to their office. You realize that NO
ONE in this whole office is glad you are here. Negative emotion
side - you are greeted as if they have been personally awaiting your
arrival with a warm WELCOME! and a handshake. You are guided through the
necessary information and asked to please have a seat and even offered a
refreshment. You are told that the office is running about 15 minutes
behind, but reassured that your visit will not be rushed because of this
and asked if this will still work with your schedule today. Your
comfort and emotions are being attended to. This is positive emotion
Here are a few crucial points to review and possibly revamp within your own practice:
Who is answering your phone? HOW are they answering your phone? If you
have Mrs. Crabbipants answering, you are going to seriously want to
consider re-training or re-assigning positions. This is THE point person
and you cannot afford to settle for anything less than FABULOUS! If you
have had numerous patients complain about crabby pants, or worse yet
tell you they won't be coming back because of specific employees you
have a RED ALARM that needs immediate attention.
2) New patients
(well, ALL patients) should be greeted upon arrival as if you have been
personally awaiting their arrival. A handshake and a warm welcome to new
patients, an offer of refreshments and possibly a quick office tour.
Every single new patient. Every single time.
Every team member should make a point to greet the new patient -
Doesn't have to take much time but as they are walking by the treatment
room they can pop their heads in and offer a quick "Hi Mr. Smith! I am
Erin, Dr. Smith's assistant! It's a pleasure to meet you"... Can you
imagine the positive emotion overload from every single one of your team
mates doing that? This behavior creates the emotional connection - It
shows the patient that it matters that they are here in your practice.
(That is all anyone if life really wants to know is that they matter)
Patients are more likely to move forward with recommended treatment
when they trust you and have formed that emotional connection with you
and your team. I spoke with an office a few weeks ago, where the
hygienist had been discussing the patients undone treatment with him -
The hygienist casually mentioned the treatment, and sat down, looked at
the patient in the eyes, and said "What is preventing you from moving
forward with this?" As she continued her honest and earnest conversation
she found out that the patient was really worried about how the
treatment would end up looking as it was his front teeth. The hygienist
helped the patient understand and educated him to the point where he was
HAPPY, excited and ready to schedule. The hygienist walks the patient
up to the FD and lets the admin team know that he is ready to schedule.
Ok. Here's where it gets good. The admin person looks at the patient and
asks "Do you want to go home and think about this some more and call me
back, or did you just want to schedule now".
Oh. My. Gosh.
Facepalm. The point of this story is that the whole team must be working
in unison on creating the emotional atmosphere and keeping it flowing
from all points within the office.
Your goal should be to have the patient leaving feeling better, and
happier than when they arrived at your office. A genuine THANK YOU goes a
6) Post op calls - even to new patients who have been
presented with an overwhelming treatment plan to ask what questions they
might have. Go the extra mile - you'll run into less competition there.
How is your office represented in appearance? Not only your office, but
your team? Sloppy anything builds apprehension. Clean, organized and
professional builds trust and assurance.
8) Never, ever
under-estimate the importance of you and your teams smile. Be that
practice that your patients can't quit talking about how you guys are
the nicest, happiest group of people on the earth. Yeah, be THAT
Remember, they may not remember what you say, but they WILL remember how you made them feel.
together as team and focus on reading information on how to best build
these emotional connections. You will notice the direct impact on your
practice immediately. Personal connections that build positive emotions
are the stuff success is made of.
Here's to implementing the
challenge of building relationships in your practice. It takes
consistent hard work, but oh the rewards you shall reap.
post is in tribute to the most fabulous motivational speaker ever, Zig
Ziglar. He impacted so many lives, and still does. His impact is all
based on emotion. RIP Zig!)
Thank you for taking the time to read :)