I had the not so wonderful experience of waking up recently to what turned out to be a kidney stone. After mulling around it a bit not really sure where the pain was coming from or what it was, I checked in to the emergency room at Lahey Clinic in Burlington, MA. The check in process was actually pretty good. They asked for some basic information, took my vital signs, and I waited in the waiting room for about 15 minutes before they escorted me to the triage room. I was there for a total of five hours and here are my key observations:
- Not once in five hours did anyone ask me if I needed anything.
- When I called for help, there was no response.
- When I asked for food, they refused to give me anything. Now part of this was because they wanted the CT Scan on my stomach to be clean. Even after the CT Scan and even after I asked again, I was still not given anything to eat.
- The staff did not proactively update me on my status or next steps; it wasn’t until I asked.
- If I had a question, I had to get up and go to the nurse's station to ask.
I share this with you not to ask for you sympathy, but to raise your awareness of the service that you provide.
Let me share another quick story with you. I am writing this article from the Ritz Carleton in Bachelor Gulch, CO. The check-in experience was simple, and when I was not satisfied with my room, they sent someone up to show me another. When I asked a passing worker where the meeting room was, he didn’t tell me or point, he walked me there. A guest can tell from the moment you enter to the moment you leave, that it is a service experience, a WOW experience.
If you are familiar with the Ritz Carlton at all, you may be familiar with their Credo: “The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is a place where the genuine care and comfort of our guests is our highest mission. We pledge to provide the finest personal service and facilities for our guests who will always enjoy a warm, relaxed, yet refined ambience. The Ritz-Carlton experience enlivens the senses, instills well-being, and fulfills even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests.”
Further, they live by a set of Service Values:
- I build strong relationships and create Ritz-Carlton guests for life.
- I am always responsive to the expressed and unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests.
- I am empowered to create unique, memorable and personal experiences for our guests.
- I understand my role in achieving the Key Success Factors, embracing Community Footprints and creating The Ritz-Carlton Mystique.
- I continuously seek opportunities to innovate and improve The Ritz-Carlton experience.
- I own and immediately resolve guest problems.
- I create a work environment of teamwork and lateral service so that the needs of our guests and each other are met.
- I have the opportunity to continuously learn and grow.
- I am involved in the planning of the work that affects me.
- I am proud of my professional appearance, language and behavior.
- I protect the privacy and security of our guests, my fellow employees and the company's confidential information and assets.
- I am responsible for uncompromising levels of cleanliness and creating a safe and accident-free environment.
How is your Dental Practice? Are you an emergency room or are you the Ritz Carlton? Everything you do is about service, from answering the phone to checking out the patient, and this is what keeps patients coming back. Think about the following:
- How is your telephone greeting?
- What does the patient see when he/she walks through the door?
- How is the hand-off to the clinical team?
- How and where is the treatment plan presented?
- How does the office smell?
- Who must you BE in 2011 to realize your vision?
When you think about dental practice management, service is a great way to distinguish your dental practice. Commit to C-A-N-I ® – Constant and Never-ending Improvement – for yourself, your co-workers, and your patients.