How to get your end of treatment protocol embedded as a successful habit

Once upon a time, I was visiting a dental practice whilst one of their patients left the building at the conclusion of his Invisalign treatment.

It just so happened that the patient had almost a million followers on Facebook but, sadly, the team in the practice were too busy doing other (important) things to capture any form of patient recommendation.

I hasten to add that following my feedback on the missed opportunity, the very same practice have become marketing champions, perhaps galvanised by the event (or my incredulity).

I was motivated to do something about the end of treatment protocol that seems to be lacking (or overlooked) in many of the practices I visit.

Out of that adversity came opportunity, in the form of a template conversation to hold with patients at the end of any significant course of cosmetic treatment.

Today, I’m sharing with you a first draft of a new “sales aid” that I’ll be developing over the days ahead with my existing client base and our talented freelance graphic designer Jamie Cottrell. My purpose is to invite constructive feedback as I want to get this right.

Here is the first draft of what I hope to evolve into a check list for individual patients:

EOTP 2017

Please feel free to download (remember, it’s a draft) and comment either here or direct by email to coachbarrow@me.com

This will be a developing document during October.

As a bonus – here is a guideline to the end of treatment conversation that I use with my clients:

Dentist or TCO:

So Mr. Patient, now that we have arrived at the end of your course of treatment, I’d like to ask a couple of questions:

  1. Are you happy with the clinical outcome?
  2. Are you happy with the customer service that the team have delivered?

If so, I’d like to ask for your help.

  1. we are growing the practice at the moment, we are looking for new patients and would love to see more people like you, because we like you! Would it be OK to give you three of my referral business cards to pass on to any family, friends or colleagues who may be interested in visiting our practice?
  2. Is it possible that we could take a selfie photograph of you with your dentist and nurse, to celebrate the end of your current phase of treatment?
  3. We have noticed that online reviews are growing in importance and would like to invite you to submit a review of your experience on Google, Facebook or any other review site that you may be connected to. We have a brief printed guide showing how to create those reviews and I’d like to give you a copy of that guide now.
  4. In particular, if you have an active Facebook profile, we would love to ask for your help in raising money for a local charity X. Don’t worry, we will not asking you for money but simply support. We’ve challenged ourselves to raise £1,000 for Charity X and have pledged to donate £1.00 for each of our patients who checks in to the practice on their Facebook profile and a further £1.00 if they write a brief review when Facebook remind them 24 hours later;
  5. we also love to collect testimonials from happy patients, they are great for our marketing and can also give confidence to others who may be nervous. We find that 90% of those who do consent to a testimonial prefer a written commentary, as they are uncomfortable if there is a video camera recording, whereas 10% are happy to be filmed and photographed. May I ask – are you a 90%’er or a 10%’er?
  6. If a 90% I’d love to organise a written testimonial from you by letter or email;
  7. If a 10%, we would like to invite you to one of our quarterly video testimonial evenings here at the practice. Every 3 months we set aside some time early evening and invite 4-6 of our 10%’ers to come along for some light refreshments and to have their photograph taken professionally (at our expense), then to be filmed for 4 minutes or so. The questions we ask on video are
    1. How did you find us originally?
    2. what was it that had you looking?
    3. How was your customer service experience?
    4. What difference did the treatment make?
  8. It would be lovely to invite you to our next event – the dates are……

Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.

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