A practice lesson from the Beatles!

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Many people (including us) say that the Beatles are the greatest band in the history of modern music -- but what can they teach you about your dental practice? Turns out a lot!

Richard H. Madow, DDS, and David M. Madow, DDS.Richard H. Madow, DDS, and David M. Madow, DDS.

Recently, a friend of ours had the opportunity to meet both Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the two surviving Beatles and two of the most famous people on the planet. He was struck by a huge difference in the way he was treated by them.

Let's face it -- neither of these guys probably remembered our friend five minutes after they chatted. But here's the big difference -- and a great lesson for your office.

In the short time our buddy had with Paul, the legendary bass player gave him his undivided attention. He looked him right in the eye, listened closely, and asked great questions. This was incredibly memorable.

His brief meeting with Ringo was totally different. The whole time, the famous drummer was looking around, seeing who else was in the room, nodding to his handlers, and visibly not paying attention. Same amount of time spent; completely different vibe.

“In the short time our buddy had with Paul, the legendary bass player gave him his undivided attention.”

The same thing frequently happens in dentistry. Sometimes we only have a few seconds to spend with a patient. It could be a quick hygiene check or possibly a patient is asking way too many questions, causing you to run behind. Maybe it's a patient at the front desk trying to find out insurance information while two lines are ringing and three people are waiting. Dental practices can be very busy places! But it is still our job to give patients a great experience.

Sure, it can take a few extra minutes to add that personal touch, but it can make a huge difference to your patients. In these days of lightning-fast electronic communication, going retro can often mean getting noticed and appreciated.

That's why one of the most effective ways to communicate with your patients is the old-fashioned handwritten note. (Ringo might shoot a text message, saying stuff like "ur a gr8 patient. K?" Paul would be much more gracious. He'd write an actual letter and use real words.)

If you don't have them already, get some personalized office stationery with matching envelopes (they are available online from Vistaprint and many other sellers). Then make it a goal to write one handwritten note per day.

  • Mrs. Smith sends a referral? Send a handwritten note to thank her.
  • Want to congratulate a patient on finishing his treatment? Send a note.
  • Want to tell a kid how great of a patient she is? Doing it in writing will really go a long way with the parents!
  • Screwed something up and want to apologize? A personalized note is incredibly sincere.

Hopefully, you get the picture. Marketing begins with how people feel about your practice. Warm, personal, and caring are good ways to feel!

You get many chances in the course of your day to provide truly personalized service. So now it's up to you. Who are you going to be -- Paul or Ringo?

In 1989, Richard H. Madow, DDS, and David M. Madow, DDS, founded The Madow Brothers with the goal of helping their fellow dentists achieve success and happiness in their practices. For more information about their e-letters, audio series, New Patient Mail marketing program, Dental Powerhouse group, their live presentations (including "How To Love Dentistry, Have Fun, and Prosper," "The Ultimate Dental Boot Camp," and especially "TBSE"), and more, check them out at www.madow.com.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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