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Edition 429 – Pearly Whites

I’ve just had the best experience with a dentist, ever. I can’t believe I walked out of there with no discomfort, and having had a chuckle with him on the way out the door.

As a 7 year old, on Christmas holidays in Brisbane in the mid 70’s, my poor experiences with dentists started. He was a gruff old bloke – and rough with it. An abscess in one tooth was dealt with by the savage removal by old mate to the point where it came out in three pieces. It’s a trauma I can still vividly recall today.

My immediate past dentist was a miserable sod. Like the one in Brisbane, he was rough. I appreciate that I’m a bit of a sook, and have a very low pain threshold, but the number of times I ventured out of his practice with tears in my eyes, and blood drooling from my mouth, I can’t remember. I simply thought that was normal.

This dentist, just down the road from home in Camden, is brilliant. And, I can see why he’s successful and, seemingly, happy with his lot in life. My 60 minutes with him was a study in business and professional success. Here’s what I observed:

  1. Systems – were in place everywhere. From the appointment confirmation by phone the day before, to the forms you filled in on the day, to the rebooking process at the end of the appointment, what could be predicted was systemised.
  2. Layout –  the dental surgery was minimalist in it’s furniture, and functional in its layout. No clutter. No old dog eared magazines in reception. Everything was in its place, for a reason.
  3. Equipment – from the overhead lights that changed with the wave of his hand, to the “dental gerni” as he referenced it, to clean your teeth, this was a business owner that invested in the best equipment to make his job easier and the patient’s life more comfortable.
  4. Demeanour – throughout the appointment, the dentist and his staff were calm. Nothing was hurried. Walking into the next room to have some X-rays taken was a gentle walk, not a race to get it over and done and back into the dental chair. They’ve recognised that most people hate the dentist and are doing whatever they can to alleviate your anxiety.
  5. Professional Limitations – one of the X-rays identified a potential issue near a wisdom tooth that is recessed. He showed me on the computer screen over the top of the dental chair and explained the potential issue, in plain English. He also willingly offered up that it’s beyond his level of expertise and that he’s referring it onto an Oral Surgeon.

When I look back, these are some of the characteristics of the successful businesses I’ve worked with over the years, irrespective of the industry. In my opinion, these would be some, but not all, of the reasons why this family business is still doing well after 25 years in existence.

This Week’s Tip

“What do you see, when you venture into other businesses, that you could learn about your own?.”