Chris O'Donnell - Helping dentists grow, one practice at a time
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My Blog

The Experience

I spent a good part of my weekend helping my wife move her business. She is a group fitness instructor. The amount of people attending her classes outgrew the space. A great problem to have, I know. The downside, of course, is finding a appropriate space with a wood floor and mostly unobstructed views of the teacher. 

She spent months looking around but always knowing there was only one place in our city that fit her needs. Opensquare in Holyoke is an old mill that is slowly being resurrected as a green net energy space that houses businesses, event space and now, my wife's business.

The space that she is moving into is 30,000 square feet of an old machine shop. There is beautiful wood floors, exposed brick, and a fantastic view of the city and the first of its kind canal system. Unfortunately the wood floors are caked with grease and dirt from the years of being a working mill. This is where my story begins.

We rented a couple of orbital floor sanders to try to make the floors usable. We spent 5 hours of our Saturday using the scrub brush attachments to remove the grease and grime. We got very poor results. The next morning I spend a couple hundred dollars on screens (sandpaper) to hopefully cut through the grease and get to the beautiful wood. 6 hours later, we had cleared a small portion of the floor. Most of the the farther reaches were still mostly covered with grime.

I thought that it was good enough. People would have to understand that it was a work in progress and we would eventually get the floors looking good. My wife would just have to instruct her students to only wear their sneakers to this class, because the soles would track the grease anywhere else. I was done, we had spent 11 hours and a good amount of money. It would just have to do.

My wife kept trying to figure out ways to get the floors looking like new. She was researching how to refinish them and testing different degreasers to see what we could use to get the floors right. I said it would just have to do. We almost had a fight over the amount of time and money we would need to get this space perfect by October 1st. Every conversation was about how to clean the floors. I was hesitant to even try anything more. Until, it hit me.

The floors had nothing to do with special sneakers, or tracking grease, or even the safety of her students. It was all about the experience! My wife wanted her students to have a certain kind of experience in her classes and greasy floor was not part of that. This experience could not be compromised. Because without the right experience, her students would come less often and even worse, wouldn't refer their friends. It was one of her non-negotiable.

Now, think about your patient experience. Do you make compromises to your patient experiences? Does the cost or the time investment prevent you from offering an exceptional experience? Does the fear of change come before what is best for your patients?

Digital X-ray is a great example. It is probably now considered a standard of care. Even more important to your practice than that is the experience it provides. Patients now understand what you are explaining and can take ownership of their oral health. This is an experience! A MD that has a digital CT scan so they can educate the patient. The fact that insurance is only covering $37 of the scan is irrelevant. They know they need to provide an experience.

Patients are thinking longer about how they spend their money. They not only want the best health, but they want an experience. Give them more than they want when they visit your dental office. Don't compromise on the experience you offer. The patient is what keeps your doors open. The patient is what pays your bills. Give them the best experience possible.

You will find, if you give them the experience, the benefits will far outweigh the investment.

21 Comments to The Experience :

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I was hesitant to even try anything more. Until, it hit me.
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Unfortunately the wood floors are caked with grease and dirt from the years of being a working mill. This is where my story begins.
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I said it would just have to do. We almost had a fight over the amount of time and money we would need to get this space perfect by October 1st. Every conversation was about how to clean the floors. I was hesitant to even try anything more. Until, it hit me.
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