For all the good dental marketing you do…one bad move can hurt your reputation.
We read about personal and business breakdowns everyday. In our web based world of instant communication…nothing goes unnoticed or unreported.
Take the story about the Southwest Airlines pilot who mistakenly left his mic open to reveal some pretty awful things about the way he thinks.
Not only did he let slip his homophobic feelings but he left his employers with a marketing mess that will take a lot of time and money to clean up. An Internet poll showed that 50% of people thought that the pilot was “just awful.” Southwest only disciplined the pilot, and that led to an outcry for his release.
Anthony Weiner anyone?
At a more local level the same thing can happen in our practices, because everyone in our practice is a marketer.
And I mean everyone…Look, we generally do not interact with the pilots on the planes we fly. We just deal with the ground and flight crews. Yet this employee who rarely deals with the public caused a lot of problems.
Why am I telling you this?
Because we usually focus on our immediate staff and ourselves when we think of marketing, yet anyone who interacts with us or our patients can make us look equally good or bad.
Think laboratory technicians and specialists…hey, even the Fed-ex guy.
I used to take it personally when patients would do something that I didn’t like. Somewhere along the line I realized that people don’t see us as individuals in the business but look at us as a collective. When something goes wrong they usually refer to our practice as “those people at.”
When the case comes back from the lab late…what does the patient say?
When the Fed-ex guy doesn’t deliver on time?
When the endodontist hurts your patient?
Or the staff member at the periodontist’s office that says something inappropriate?
Yes…Everyone on Your Team Markets.
So how do you train your team?
1. Lead by example. You are the CEO…become the change you want to see in the world, as Gandhi told us.
2. Make sure everyone on your staff understands your mission and purpose. The Pankey Institute teaches a principle of giving your specialists a “position paper,” describing your philosophy. The same could hold true of your laboratory. Every staff member should be acutely aware of your mission and purpose.
3. Everyone’s marketing role should be thoroughly explained. People shouldn’t be led to believe that their responsibilities end with completing their job. They need to be cognizant that their job has meaning to every customer…internal and external.
4. They are working with real people. I am lucky to have my own in-office dental lab. Patients are so appreciative that the lab has such a hands-on role in the practice. A good idea is to bring your tech into the practice to meet some of the big cases you are working on.
This lesson really hits home when you are the victim of apathy or poor service…then you, too, might say the same as the 50% of people polled about the Southwest pilot:
Get expert help with the skills and leadership issues that you face in your dental practice.