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Thinking Long Term

May 12, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mayer A. Levitt, DMD @ 9:33 am

How I wish I could be as eloquent as Seth Godin. Godin is a marketer, an extraordinary successful entrepreneur, the author of 17 best-selling books, a world class public speaker, and a committed  philanthropist. He writes a daily blog that is read by millions of people around the globe. I am a big fan, and normally start my day by reading his posts. I am continually amazed at how relevant his advice is and how sage his observations are regarding what is important to be successful in business.

The over-riding message that I hear and take away from Seth – and one which I totally embrace and share with my clients – is the need to think long term. How you must resist the temptation of taking short term profits at the expense of long term relationships.

As a dentist, if you agree with the statement that the lifetime value of a patient is significant – and if you agree that in our crowded and competitive marketplace that value is only increasing – then it behooves you and your team to think long term. Godin commented on this very topic in a wonderful post called “Thinking Lifetime – Don‘t Break the Chain” where he remarked that “a customer is never out of warranty even if his product is.”

Always ask yourself how you – if you were a patient in your dental practice – would feel by the solution offered to “fix” your problem. Whether it was a scheduling conflict, or a financial misunderstanding, or a dental insurance issue. Was it done quickly and expeditiously?  Was it fair?  Was it convenient? Was it generous? Would it have exceeded your expectations?

Empower your staff to offer solutions that are more than fair. Ritz Carlton has pioneered this philosophy and is considered the gold standard of exquisite customer service. The customer is always right. You never want to say “no”.  Be very careful about taking a “line in the sand” mentality. You never want to give a patient a reason to leave your practice.

And above all else, never abuse a patient’s trust. It takes time and effort to earn that trust. And as Seth says “while trust is expensive – trust is worth it.”

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