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a blog by Chris Barrow

CRM best practice in action

As you know, we are focusing on CRM – customer relationship management – this week. Marketing is everything you do to get them in the door. CRM is everything you do whilst they are there. CRM embraces the experience the clients have in the common areas of the building as well as the clinical areas. CRM is:

  1. Environmental

  2. easy parking

  3. an attractive exterior to the building

  4. a concierge class entrance lounge and welcome area

  5. patient toilets that have been cared for as much as other areas

  6. the ambient noises – chill out music and other audio visual mood setting – art/photographs/flowers

  7. interior design fanatically “on brand”

  8. Tactile

  9. the leather sofas

  10. the carpet/wood/tiles

  11. the toilet seat, mirrors and lighting

  12. the choice of hand soaps

  13. the Dyson air-blade to dry my hands

  14. the well kept magazines and newspapers

  15. Language

  16. the way you answer the phone and handle enquiries and questions

  17. the way you welcome

  18. the new patient induction

  19. the treatment co-ordination

  20. the after sales and after treatment protocols

  21. the way the team communicate with each other

  22. Confidence

  23. the pride in work demonstrated by everyone, all the time, no exceptions

  24. the direct advice given to patients who require leadership

  25. the “ownership” of the patient experience that every team member manifestly understands and demonstrates in their behaviour.

Its not about the dentistry. CRM is about the attitude of your people, not their aptitude. I’m writing this during a trip to the North of Scotland by train. Earlier in my journey by car, I called at Hamilton Services, just South of Glasgow to fill up at the BP Service Station. The middle aged lady serving at the till used some time-worn phrases with me.

  1. would you like a VAT receipt?

  2. do you have a Nectar card?

  3. would you like to take advantage of any of our special promotions today?

  4. thank you for calling and have a nice day

Serving petrol – not complicated or perhaps exciting – and she must say the same thing as many times in a day as an air-stewardess demonstrates “safety procedures” in a year (and for a lot less money). But she owned that counter, she spoke to me with enthusiasm, kindness and eye contact and she made me feel appreciated by BP for buying my petrol from them – lets face it, an organisation that needs a huge shift in its PR and CRM over the years ahead. Well forget expensive consultants (like me) – take that lady out of Hamilton and send her on a world-wide mission to show others how to do a relatively menial task with the vigour of an Olympic Gold Medallist. She is a CRM Champion, one of Seth Godin’s “Linchpins”, an ambassador for her employers – more use than a thousand highly-paid executives, managers and advisors. I wonder if her line manager has ever told her? People like her need to be working in every position of your business – the quest is to find them – they are out there. I would put this lady on a dental reception in a heartbeat. I’ve had enough of hearing about staff members who bitch, moan and whine about premises, pay, patients, promotions, principals and practice. As of now – if you don’t like the job – bugger off and I’ll replace you with a petrol station attendant with the right attitude. There you go – I’ve just constructively dismissed about 60,000 people in UK dentistry – the tribunal will be fun. “have a nice day”

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