Mary has a dilemma.

I was speaking with a dental team member – we’ll call her Mary – who posed an interesting dilemma.

“During a social dinner, a friend complained of a dental problem she was experiencing. For the first time, I didn’t feel comfortable in recommending the practice where I work.”

Mary had worked at this practice for 9 years. When she had first joined, the team participated in many training programs which focused on high-level customer service and patient communication. The team worked with high energy and encouraged each other to maintain the path of continual improvement. Along with her colleagues, Mary had enormous faith in her team and actively recommended friends and family to the practice, knowing they would be best served there.

However, as the years rolled by, there was a gradual turnover in staff and slow evaporation of the alignment and purpose that once cultivated the high quality experience offered to patients.

Mary’s dilemma may be one that some of your team members are grappling with. Do you know which practice, or which dentist, they recommend to family and friends? Is it to you? If not, I suggest that it is time for the team to sit down for a candid discussion.

The Discussion

Premise the meeting with an assurance that your team’s honesty is valued and there will be no ‘cost’ to the individual team member for expressing their honest opinions.

Then, ask the questions:

  1. If a friend needed a dentist, would you recommend them, with complete faith of being served best, to us?
  2. If yes, what are the specific reasons you have high faith in our practice’s service?
  3. If no, what are the specific reasons you do not have faith in our practice’s service?

It is difficult to maintain perspective over your practice when you have been a member of the team for several years. Becoming curious about how others perceive the service you offer to patients may be your next best step.  And you will thereby solve Mary’s dilemma!