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a blog by Chris Barrow

The Australia Diary – day 7 – a practice visit

Time to pack on Monday morning as I’ll be leaving Sydney later in the day.

My final day is spent with Lawrence Neville and the team at Spa Dental in the city’s Central Business District (CBD).

I’ll not go into the detail here as that’s confidential but suffice to say that I sat down with the team at around 09:00 to talk about their recall system, reactivation of dormant patients, internal human interest marketing and the patient experience.

At lunchtime we were joined by Krishan and Geeta from Dental Focus, to review the practice’s existing web site, SEO and digital advertising campaigns and also to discuss deeply the impact of Australian regulations on how they build their marketing.

You may recall from an earlier post that patient testimonials are ILLEGAL in Australia and, although some dentists openly flout the law, the majority are treading a careful pathway. There are solutions that will allow practices to make the best of social media but it’s important to know where the boundaries are.

Before we knew it, 17:00 came around and it was time to retire to a local bar for a post-work beer.

Once again, I note that the issues here are the same as in any major city centre practice around the world.

A transient population of Millennials forms the core of the white collar establishment in the soaring tower blocks around the practice but, at the same time, there are older generations who have more complex dental problems and require higher value solutions.

The challenge is to deliver a customer service experience that appeals to both demographics.

My host, Lawrence Neville, is a young and ambitious Glaswegian who bought in to the practice a few years ago and is organically changing everything – pace not race being the mantra.

His biggest asset is a wonderful team, who throughout the day were open-minded, willing to learn and to replace old habits with new.

How much easier is my work when the team are on the bus!

Job done, it was off to Sydney’s domestic airport to catch the 20:00 Virgin Australia flight to Melbourne.

I’m told that the Sydney-Melbourne route is the second busiest in the world and I have to say that my check in and security experience were easily the most laid-back I’ve witnessed.

My flight was packed and, somewhat predictably, I slept through most of it, arriving into Melbourne centre and in to bed by midnight – a long day.

So tomorrow a new chapter in this adventure begins.

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