Who Is The Worlds Best Marketing Consultant?
Who is the world’s best business marketing consultant? I will tell you exactly who it is!
On average, I charge £20,000 for my business consultancy per year. You might be thinking “that’s expensive, what exactly do I do for that kind of money and what do you get out of it?”
I can confirm from experience that in the dental sector alone, I am not the most expensive business consultant. My clients will vouch for me when I say that I am quite reasonable in terms of price. That’s because the return on investment is at least 5x that within the first year alone.
The reason why dental practices use business/marketing consultant like me is that they are too busy with the day to day running of the practice and they don’t have time to sit down, research, assess, plan and execute any strategies or ideas to help their dental practice grow.
Now, I am going to tell you that hiring a marketing/business consultant can be a waste of time and you may end up wasting your money!
Yes, you heard right, I am saying that you could be blowing your money by spending it on me or any other business consultant. Even the world’s best-paid business consultant is very likely to be a complete waste of your resources.
Some of you may be thinking, “Hassan, why would you write an article to mock your own service?” and yes you are quite right, why would I do such a thing, unless… is this all leading up to something fantastic?
I am here to tell you that the world’s best business consultant is not someone you hire; the best consultants are none other than your own patients!
Did you already know this? If yes then hats off to you, if not then read on…
Let’s look at exactly what I and other paid business consultant actually do. To begin with, we research your practice, and then we look at your whole business in detail, take notes on your strengths and weakness as well as your team. We then move on to look at your catchment area, your competitors, your community, and other local businesses. We look for opportunities, style, personas, buyer’s journeys, internal systems, reporting tools and so much more.
We do all this with the objective of achieving a smooth running and profitable business which is based on quality dental treatments and world-class customer service.
Now that I think of it (after writing up this article), all the work that goes into my work is probably worth more than £20,000 so I may end up increasing my prices!
I mentioned that patients are important. Let me tell you what a patient does for your practice:
- They research your business
- Compare you to your competitors
- Look at the interior feel of the practice, the sense of style and vibe of your dental practice.
- They also assess your customer service levels
- Dental quality
- Communication, whether they feel comfortable and informed.
- What is unsightly and what are your practice weaknesses and strengths including those of individual team members.
They can actually tell you a lot about your dental practice. They experience your service first hand and so they can tell you where the dental practice can be improved or is performing poorly. They are the people who can rightly judge your business for what it is.
Most dental practices have suggestion boxed and feedback forms kept in the reception areas. Patients know they don’t get read and are unlikely to be acted upon so they mostly use them for disposing of their chewing gum. How an earth is a box going to show how serious you are about improving your dental practice? How do you let your patients know that you want to improve to be able to provide the best dental service ever!
Listen to the people!
Show them you want their feedback; show it with incentives to demonstrate you are willing to pay the price for business success. By using online tools such as Survey Monkey you can make it easy for patients to respond and give their opinions. Use basic interactions! Get your receptionist or dentists to ask patients about their experiences directly. Make a protocol of asking all new patients how they felt, give them the security of confidentiality so that they can provide honest feedback to help further improve your business.
Whenever you receive a patient complain, how quick are you to assume the complaint was made by a moody person who never has anything positive to say. The saying “The customer is always right” is not just a statement created by bosses who want to make sure the staff are always pleasant to the customers. Far from it.
Complaints are golden pieces of crucial information that can allow you to create an even better system. The patient is always right, if they were unhappy with any aspect of the dental practice, then that is an opportunity for development.
Just so you know, we are not done yet, this is just the first stage.
The most important stage is what you do with the information you collect and how much importance is given to a complaint or any form of feedback. Most people would send a response, file it away and make sure the practice never discusses this mark on their clean white cloth of a dental practice.
I would advise you change this perspective and have at least two meetings/stages for feedback and complaint handling.
On the first meeting, you should look at and discuss the complaint/feedback, decide whether it is a real concern for patients and what has caused the problem. It is very important not to play the blame game and point fingers at team members. It is the system or protocols that are usually at fault, for example, training protocols and inefficient systems. Once the authenticity and cause have been determined you should look at noting down what can be done to improve the situation. A mode of action should be planned e.g. trying something new, installing a new method/protocol etc.
The second meeting should be to review what has worked and what hasn’t and whether there is room for further improvement or revision. Without measuring, you will be unable to report on the findings so specifically, ask your patients about the changes, ask them the nature of complaints and feedback, and anything else that can help to measure good service and success.
Get valuable insight from your patients, brainstorm as a team for solutions, test/measure/report, revise and repeat for new problems! It is a failsafe method so give it a go and see where it takes your practice!