smile, brands for healthcare

You bet my pearly veneers it can.

I’ve never been a big fan of going to the dentist. Maybe it’s because my parents were such sticklers and sent us so often as kids. And as an adult I’m very grateful for that, my teeth are in good shape.

Or maybe it’s because I still remember exactly what it felt like the day the orthodontist yanked my braces off. I thought all my teeth were coming off too.

Or maybe it’s because my last dentist always acted like a Nazi commando and if I didn’t follow everyone of her every recommendations, she would send me a threatening letter stating that my failing to spend $3,000 on something she believed was needed could cause brain damage and other deathly ailments. Beyond the scare tactics, she and her staff hard pushed products and services like used car salesman. And when I don’t floss, they don’t pour the guilt trip on me, like “Karen, you know this is a team thing, I’m doing my part, you’ve got to do yours.” I don’t remember signing up for the dental team. Bad experience. Bad memories. Bad brand. I don’t go there any more.

My new dentist Dr. Gregory Jacobs is not a pain at all and neither is the experience. In fact, I enjoy going there. They have current magazines that I enjoy, nothing against Golf Pro. The environment is relaxed. There is no tacky, bold faced policy signage posted everywhere. No glass wall implying I’m am disturbing them. The office looks like an interior design studio, not a stinky medical clinic for lab rats. The restrooms are equally as cool and the staff is always nice.

I feel a whole lot less pain, stress and anxiety when I go to the dentist these days. And always tell my friends about my great dentist. All the touch points are thoughtfully provided (music, scent, decor, staff, lighting, restrooms, parking) and geared to my comfort, not the efficiency of the practice.

I always wonder why 95% of health care providers don’t get this powerful connection to the customer experience and their bottom line. And this concept is not restricted to only health care providers, anything that is not organically enjoyable and tilts toward painful, like: buying tires, repairing your AC unit or purchasing insurance can benefit from a really pleasant and memorable experience.

Is there anything you can do to improve the experience you deliver to your customers? Remember, the brand is what the customer thinks, feels and expects about the sum of all you do.

OK, I do schedule my dental appointments right after lunch and usually have a glass wine with my salad too.

For more on strong brand concepts, view: Want to be a standout brand? Avoid these 5 costly mistakes.

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