Okay today's topic,
Last Friday, I woke up and did the usual brushing and flossing of teeth. I kissed the wife goodbye, and set out to go to work. Before I leave, I take out the trash, and this is when I saw it.
I had a flat tire.
Oh, SON OF A B!#$%^. My first patient is in 30 minutes, and it takes me 18 minutes to get to work.
What are my options here? Change the tire...hell no.
Call my roadside assistance...takes too long.
Take my wife's van and let her deal with this problem...I don't think so.
So I got out the bicycle pump and start to pump. After about 5 minutes and a bucket of back sweat, I thought I put enough air in the tire to at least get to a gas station to pump it up.
I jump in the car and make it to a gas station. I pump it up and get to work without incident.
I think about it all day and come to the conclusion that at the end of the day I will do the same thing. I will get to a gas station, pump it up, and then get to the nearest tire place.
So at the end of the day, the tire still had some air in it. It had enough to make it one mile down the road to the nearest tire place (I know what you are saying, "the guy works a mile from a tire place?" Well this is Apopka, I work one mile from four tire places. I love my town. I just think it is funny that the above is true).
I pull into the place and the inside is SPOTLESS. You know, spotless like there hasn't been a customer here for awhile and the front desk person doesn't have anything to do so she cleans the floor and counters so well that you can eat off of them.
So I walk in, and she jumps up to welcome me. I tell her that I have a nail in my tire and that I need it repaired. She told me to go around back and they would take care of me. Well I drove around back and they proceed to take care of it. Now this is a dirty job to say the least. All the guys that they have working there are dirty. Not dirty like with dirt, but dirty with grease and tire black all over them. Everyone smokes, so that just adds to it. And it is hot as blazes out as well.
So I stand to the side and let them do their work, not touching anything. Then a guy comes out. He is clean and wearing nicer clothes, and I recognize him. Wait a minute, that is one of my patients. And this is when, if you are anything like me, you are thinking "What is his name? Where the hell is my assistant when you really need her, she would know?" And again, if you are anything like me, you are saying, "I know I did a crown on #14 on him, and I remember that he has a 6 mm pocket on the MB line angle of #30, but I can't remember his name."
"DON!!!" That's it. I remembered. And now I remember he owns the joint.
"Hey, Don, how the heck are you?"
So we chit chat for a bit, and then he gets back to work. It was nice seeing him again. So the guy fixes me up, and I take the slip of paper back around to the front. The woman up at the front says to me, "Are you the gentleman with the F150?"
I said, "yes"
And she said, "It has been taken care of."
I was shocked to say the least. Thrilled, but shocked. I mean here is a business that looks to be just trying to ride out this storm, and he is giving product/services away. I guess he is thinking of the future. He is thinking one day the economy is going to come back, and I now have just spent $25 making this a customer for life. Because I tell you what, I have not stopped thinking about this all week.
What does this mean to me and you?
How can we create "raving fans"?
I think the same way Don did for me. I see the person with a pain and it turns out to be a canker sore, and I give them some Orabase send them away and don't charge them. I smooth out a chip on a molar that is killing their tongue..."it has been taken care of."
I look at a 10-year-old when the new tooth is coming in and the mother doesn't know what the heck it is. I see them in the reception area (because I already know what it is) and say, "Get out of here, your money is no good here."
But you bet your sweet tush I also say, "Don't forget to send your friends here." It is not the $25. It is the good will you are spreading. It is the "raving fan" you have just made that is going to send their friends, kids, parents, and neighbors all for $25.
My father hates it when I send people out the door without charging them. First, I am kind of old school that when someone comes in and asked me to look at something and I don't even put on gloves and I say, "yeah, that is tori, it is totally natural," I am not going to charge them $75. I still think $75 is a lot of money. And I know most of my patients do too.
I think it will only create the "damn, dentists are expensive" mentality. Or worse the, "usually I like to be kissed before I get that" mentality. So you look at someone, are nice to them, and charge them, and they leave with a bad taste in their mouth. But you say, "Hey, this one is on the house" and their face lights up like it is Christmas morning.
Now, I know what you are thinking, if I let $75 go 100 times a year, I am losing $7500.
But am I? Am I letting $7500 go or am I storing up patients for life that might spend $7500 on veneers someday?
What do you think?
What do you do?
Do you think there is any truth to what I am saying?
I would love to hear what you think.
Have a great rest of the week.