I believe most women in dental management positions will agree, you don’t wake up one morning and say “hey, I think I will become a dental office manager”! My dental career started in 1981, in a small one doctor, one hygienist, and one assistant dental office. I was hired as the “receptionist”. I learned how to schedule in a book, always used a #2 pencil, wore out my share of “pink pearl” erasers, learned about patient ledgers and handwritten recare cards. Going on to ten years in retail management, two years in hospital management and over twenty-five years in dental management, I have enjoyed my share of customer service, satisfaction and loyalty. But nothing could have prepared me for this…
When was the last time someone excitedly jumped into bed with you, while your spouse is with you; then cuddle up next to you telling you how much they love you? What if this took place in a very busy shopping mall with many onlookers? Would you think you were on Candid Camera?
Bed shopping! Enough said. I really don’t like shopping for beds. The simple truth is, I don’t like laying on a bed, in the middle of the store and having commission paid employees asking me, “so, is that one good”? “Should I write it up? How the heck can you tell in 5 minutes if you like a bed or not? I don’t sleep flat on my back, but I feel weird laying on my side, curled up while strangers are watching me.
It had been almost 20 years since our last sleep number bed purchase but we were in no rush to replace. So, on a cold January afternoon, my husband and I went to our local Mall to visit the Sleep Number bed store. We enter with no preconceived plans of walking out as new bed owners. We were just going to see what was new and what kind of payment options were available.
As we entered the store, the atmosphere was very comfortable. The lighting and noise levels were very soothing. Clean linens were set up next to each bed and the beds were a respectable distance from each other, I’m sure to offer some level of privacy.
My husband and I were warmly welcomed to the store and asked if we had any questions. We let the young lady know that we were looking and if we had any questions we would certainly ask. We looked at the various beds, the various options and models.
We started discussing the possibility of actually purchasing a new bed. But not just any bed! We would be trading up from our basic “Sleep Number” bed to the Rolls Royce model. This bed has all the bells and whistles! Individual heating and cooling preferences, fully adjustable head and leg positioning, the supreme comfort of finding my individual sleep number, and a 100-night full refund if we don’t like it for any reason.
I was getting excited at the thought of having this bed. With a bed like this, I may never want to get up! But we can’t stop there! For the month of January, the company is offering financing for 48 months, interest-free!!! I’m hooked!
While laying on this very comfortable bed, located at the entrance area of the store, my husband and I were discussing the purchase with our wonderful sales representative, Jessica. Jessica left to find some additional information for us and as I lay in total comfort I sensed a strange feeling that we were being watched. Of course, shoppers are always looking in storefront windows as they pass by, but this was different. As I lifted my head and looked toward the entrance into the mall, I see this petite lady leaning sideways, head cocked to the right, and looking right at me. I recognized “Donna” from my office and when she realized it was me she came bouncing into the store and stood at the foot of the bed. As I introduce her to my husband, she jumps full-body into the middle of my husband and me. She tells my husband how much she loves me and all I have done to help her. I laugh and excitedly say to my husband, “Happy Anniversary honey! Isn’t this every man’s fantasy”? While we are all laughing a good belly laugh Jessica returns, as well as a few of her coworkers, to hear Donna telling my husband how wonderful she feels going to the dentist and that she will never go anywhere else because she feels this comfortable with everyone in the office. She tells everyone about our office, the doctor and all of the team members. She looks at all of the salespeople in the store and tells them they should make the trip to our office for their dental care because we are so wonderful!
Holy Cow! You can’t buy that kind of advertising! No amount of money could have produced such a wonderful, authentic referral to my office. My Doctor and Team are genuinely and consistently concerned about our patient’s comfort and wellbeing. Our patients are more than teeth, paychecks and production!
After big hugs all around, Donna left to continue her shopping. The energy in that store, at that moment, was electric. I pull out my personalized business cards and give a couple to each of the employees. So far 3 of employees and their family members have made our office their new dental home. Do each of your team members have personalized business cards?
You can’t buy this kind of advertising! The ultimate goal of any dental practice is to have patients entering and leaving your dental office feeling like they are the only person in the world that matters! That they are memorable and part of your dental “family”.
A glowing recommendation to our dental practice and 8 new patients, all because I wanted to buy a new bed, which I did!