How to become a consultant blog

Consulting Lesson from 2 Dentists

This is a tale of two dentists. There is an important business lesson in this which I’ll get to in a minute…

This is a tale of two dentists. There is an important business lesson in this which I’ll get to in a minute…

I’ve been with the same dentist for at least 10 years. He’s friendly, personal, generally punctual, and knows his way around the mouth.

He does what I expect a dentist to do and he does it quite well. For that reason I never thought about changing dentists.

The story is about to get good…

Then one day my dentist moved to a new office. A larger one. And now there are 3 dentists all working under one roof.

The design of the new office is great. The staff friendly. It even has the latest technology with flat screen TVs, remote controls, computers…the whole shebang.

Luckily not too much had changed. But something was about to…

I had called to change the date of my next appointment as I was going overseas. My dentist was unavailable, but one of the other dentists in the office was. Sure, I’d give him a try I thought.

That next appointment changed everything.

This new dentist was younger. Albeit “less experienced.” But it didn’t seem this way. He was much more personal, asked important questions, spent more time with me, and did a more thorough job.

That experience opened my eyes to the quality I was missing from my current dentist.

I had come to expect quality and service that was good. But the new dentist provided something great.

Now every time I book an appointment I ask for the new dentist. He’s won my business.

The lesson: Don’t become complacent. Don’t accept standard, average or just good enough. Because the day someone provides better results, service or quality than you do…is the day your client’s loyalty will dry up. Left unchecked and not corrected, so to may your business.


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17 thoughts on “Consulting Lesson from 2 Dentists

  1. Great post – and I would add that it’s important to identify a consistent customer experience so that the customer doesn’t have to stumble across better (or worse) levels of support.

    Think of it outside the dentist office example – and imagine you’re responsible for purchasing $500,000 worth of computer hardware and software for your employer. You work with the same rep for years but, one day, he’s out of the office and you get the person covering your rep’s accounts. And you find out that you haven’t been benefiting from a lot of things that the company offers…because your rep didn’t tell you!! (My favorite example was the rep that was charging rates from several years earlier…at about 30% higher prices!!)

    Focus on what the business needs to deliver all the time…so the customer gets the same great experience no matter who is filling in for whom.

    Best, Pat

  2. Luisa Baldeschi says:

    Oh so true! I need to remind this to myself. Sometimes, especially with long time clients it is quite easy to insert the automatic pilot and invest as little as possibile. It can be dangerous though. It is true that with this biting crisis we all are more ready to do our best to gain a client and make him/her happy. We are a micro business of four women partners and we have a trick not to fall into this trap. We rotate when visiting old long established clients, so that we listing to them with new ears! A new perspective is always helpful.

    • Exactly Luisa! That’s a great trick you use as long as you all communicate the results of each meeting.

  3. Col Mutch says:

    I love this too and add that this is true to all relationships in life. I had the experience not too long ago when I got a new chap to assist me in my garden. My gardener of 12 years had become unreliable and did things on ‘my day’ because he knew me and knew that I would not become angry as I had always been understanding! Sadly the time had come when this was simply done too often. So, to the new chap. In one day, he did more than the one with 12 years experience of working for me, did in a month. No grumbles, polite, willing assistance. Made me realise that I had settled for familiarity not realising that the quality and quantity of work had decreased. All relationships need nurturing to ensure efficiency and mutual respect increase over time.

  4. Mandy Temlett says:

    Absolutely something that has frustrated me for so long. It is rife, particularly in small businesses where owners / managers become complacent or arrogant and believe that because they have a loyal customer base, they will always keep them. That is why regular customer / consumer research is vital to ensure that a product (or service) is continually meeting the needs of their consumers.

    This is the reason that I’ve gone into Marketing consulting for Small Business as there is a huge need for small businesses to really get to know their consumers again. As entrepreneurs they often start of with great ideas and are close to their consumers, but as time goes on, they think they can continue doing business in the same old way.

    Think of how Hairdressers have changed over the years. They used to supply a basic benefit of having hair cut and styled. Now they offer the benefits of beautifying, indulgence and relaxation. Of course you still get the ones that offer the basics, which is all good and well as there are still many customers who still want that, as long as pricing reflects this service. Unfortunately many hairdressers who offer a basic service, feel as if they can charge the same prices as hairdressers who have moved into a different segment and offer more benefits than they do. 2 Years down the line when their salon is suddenly empty, they can’t understand why!!

    • Mandy – great comment! It’s important that it not only be additional benefits that are provided by also constant attention, interest and communication to keep the relationship and bond with the client strong.

  5. Kat @ Crunch Marketing says:

    So right, in my profession as marketing consultant is important to satisfy the need for personalisef service as well as quality performance. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to the next tip. 🙂

  6. Terrific post Mike! Great take-away and link to be emailed to… you guessed it, my dentist.

  7. Dario Viegas says:

    Just to say that most Clients are not eager to try less experienced consultants and most of the time they’re missing out.

    You might get higher quality, lower prices and better Service. So how do we open the Clients eyes and get more business?

    I think this is the most important question that surges from this lesson.

    • Dario – clients want to believe that you understand their problem and know how to provide them with the solution. Put the focus on the value you can deliver and why you are in a unique position to do so. Get the client to believe you can provide more value than the other people around you and you’ll be headed in the right direction.

  8. Beatrice Ochwo says:

    Thank you for the thoughtful article

  9. This post is definitely enlightening! It’s true that, for most of us, we just accept the standards that society has presented us. It is quite a blessing that you have stumbled upon a dentist who gives you great dental services and is very good at what he does – even better than your current dentist.

  10. This is a great post. Thanks a lot for sharing this amazing information.This is just amazing. I really appreciate all your effort and hard work.

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