Friday, August 26, 2011

I am Steve Jobs

Happy Friday to you all,

Next weekend I am going on a little vacation. My wife and I (no kids) are going to Washington D.C. We have friends that have a kid who plays soccer at Georgetown. He is a great kid and is apparently killing it up there.

So we are throwing caution to the wind and just doing it. They have a daughter—who we really like—that is married and lives in New York City and is going to come down and we will make a weekend out of it.

They are all going to be there on Friday morning. I told my wife, why don't we leave Thursday night and stay with another friend up there. So we are leaving Thursday afternoon and getting to catch up with some good friends. Turns out, I have another friend (both of these couples use to live in Orlando and have moved away for work) that just had a massive stroke (43-year-old father of three) and is in the hospital and we are going to see if we can slip away and go see them.

All this to say that I am not going to be in town next Friday. It is going to be okay. You can do this. You can go one Friday without me. And I am giving you a week to mentally prepare.

I wanted to keep with the same Apple theme today. I got a comment from Wednesday's blog that I really liked.

"This is one of the AMAZING things about Apple that I think a lot of people could benefit from in the dental industry. One thing that everyone knows about Apple is that they design the user experience down to the last detail. Steve Jobs has been known to say that even the way someone takes a MacBook out of the case is designed and thought out in a way that will give the person the best user experience possible. The store is the same way. Every little detail from the fact that there seems to be 100 employees in the store to the fact that they can take payments right on their decked out iPhones is thought through.Could we bring this level of detail in the user experience back to dentistry? I think if we did we would see practice retention rates skyrocket."

Details, details, details.

This is what I am talking about. Apple worries about how we open our boxes. How are you with details? I am not talking about micromanaging, I am talking about putting you in your patients shoes. Walk in the front door and see what they see. Does your staff look up from what they are doing to greet YOUR patients. Even if they are on the phone.

Is it a warm environment? Sit in one of your chairs. Is it comfortable? Do you dirt? What about when you lay yourself back in the chair. Is there crap on the ceiling?

And listen, I know. I know for us older guys, it gets old. Not old like, "I hate this profession." Old like, "I am so tired of changing things." It seems like it was yesterday that I bought new furniture. I just painted this stupid office just a couple of years ago.

You sit back and say, "That is it. I am not changing anymore. If people don't like me or my office the way it is right now then...tough." But then, you know what happens is that you and your practice get stale. You start to resent the profession that is giving you so much.

Okay so we are going to walk into our office and sit in that chair with our eyes open now. We are going to see the dirt piled up in the corner. We are going to see the scuff marks on the runner. You are going to see the worn carpet. We are going to see the cuts in the "leather" on our chairs. We might even see some duct tape.

People are getting ready to spend a crap load of money at your office. How are they feeling? And you want them to tell others how great they feel after spending so much money. I mean, I just spent way too much money on a freaking laptop (I saw an ad for a HP laptop for $499. I spend $1,200 more than that) and I told all of you how awesome it is.

I mean really, is it that awesome? To me, it is a brand new laptop, they are always awesome when they are brand new. Is it $1,200 better? I don't know. I am off the subject (what a surprise), what we are talking about is how people are feeling when they walk into your office and how they feel at your office. I mean, we all know that our patient pools are shrinking. So we sure as heck better be WOWing the ones that come in. And if we have the attitude of, "I hate making changes," or "I am so tired of this," you are certainly running the risk of them looking elsewhere for that Apple feeling.

And you know what, I think it helps with complacency. We all know this job, as well as most, can be a grind. I think it helps in keeping things (and you) fresh and less stale. It gives us something to talk about. It gives the patients something to talk about. People come in and see the changes. The changes in you and the changes in office. I am not talking about breaking the bank either. I am talking about $500 for paint. I am talking about $1,000 for crown molding.

Think about it this weekend. What can you do to make your product a little bit better. Make the box patients are opening better. While I was typing this, I took a break and called a re-upholstery place. I bought the MAX package. This is premium ultra plush leather, ultra foam, and the new pads has a heater in them and a massaging system.

I have been wanting to do it for years, it is going to be about $1,400. I know, wow! I am tightening up as we speak, but....

I just bought it for one chair, but this is what I am talking about. My boring chair now just became a throne. And maybe I'm just one step closer to thinking like Apple and Steve Jobs.

Let me know what you think,



Anonymous said...

Hopefully the place won't be mess when you get there because of the Hurricane.

I hear what you are saying about the wow effect, but reality is it is a fleeting feeling and the bottom line is always money and insurance. It is a good feeling and if you can make it last that is even better. I got an Ipad 2 I like it and was wowed at first. But now I just use it for convinence and I about threw it in the trash when it locked up and would not turn on though.

Julie said...

What great thoughts. Innovation especially in dental service is always a must. Finding a way to make your patients feel like more than just someone in your waiting room is doing more than just bringing them back. It's providing them with something worthwhile. I think your thoughts are spot on.


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