Driving Seamless Experiences – Dr. Joseph Michelli

Driving Seamless Experiences – Dr. Joseph Michelli, All-Star Dental AcademyConsumers expect more from professional service providers than they ever have before. In an age of unprecedented customer “choice” and “voice,” quality of care and friendly service are often not enough to assure your patients will stay with you and refer their friends and family. Dr. Joseph Michelli has worked with and written about brands that consistently win the loyalty of their customers. Borrowing from his consulting practice and books he has written, Joseph will offered insights on how to affect the practical and emotional elements of your patient’s journey in receiving dental care. He also helped link seamless experience delivery to greater emotional engagement of patients; thus, assuring their loyalty and advocacy.

We had the honor to interview #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Dr. Joseph Michelli about Driving Seamless Experiences: The Keys to Patient Engagement, Loyalty, and Referrals.

Dr. Joseph Michelli discussed:

  • How effective business leaders make distinctions between product, service, and patient experience strategy
  • That patient experience strategy is relational, viewed from the patient’s vantage point, and focused on both immediate and longer-term needs
  • A customer experience vision or “Way We Serve” Statement™ is essential to forging a “branded” connection with patients
  • Patients crave ease, seamless transitions, and “wow” experiences

Here is an excerpt of our interview (transcript excerpt below for your convenience):

Dr. Joseph Michelli is a nationally sought-after professional speaker, organizational consultant, and a no. 1 New York Times best-selling author. He has consulted with and written about companies such as The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, UCLA Health System, Starbucks, Zappos, and the Pike Place Fish Market. His newest title, Driven to Delight, about the customer service excellence journey of Mercedes-Benz USA, will be released in late 2015.

Click here to watch the interview in it’s entirety and download the audio file. (Make sure you are logged into All-Star to be able to access the webinar)

Excerpt Transcript:

Alex: Now here’s something that I see comes up a lot and there seems to be, and this is going to be more with respect to dentistry or, and I see other institutions, but, sales versus service, right?  So I see a lot of what you write about is, some of these, they’re going out of their way to deliver a service versus just what I, you know, may connote as cold hard sales.  Like, we’ve got to close this amount of people, we got to do this percentage.  How do you, and how do these Fortune 500 companies, balance the need for productivity and looking at numbers as versus those that are just really disserving and…how do you reconcile those two things?  Be productive but still create a great experience.

Dr. Joseph: You know, there’s so much in the whole issue of productivity, you know.  I am convinced that if people are emotionally engaged in doing good work, if you treat them well, if you encourage them to grow and develop, you pay them well, that they will give you more effort.  An engaged employee owns the business as if it were theirs.  They feel like you care enough about them, they’d better take care of it for you.  These are harder to find, there are some people who just aren’t capable of it.  But, assuming you hire reasonably well and you treat people reasonably well, and then you focus on their level of emotional engagement, you’ll find that you’ll outperform your competitors.

I mean, if you look at the difference between Costco and Sam’s Club, they pay extremely differently.  They treat their employees differently and the productivity per employee is just massively different at Costco.  And if you look at it from a dollar spent perspective, it’s massive productivity per dollar spent at Costco.  And this is true in a lot of different industries.

So, what I would say, fundamentally, is, first and foremost, care about the well-being of your employees.  And give them a sense that they should take ownership.  And then I would measure that.  I literally do employee engagement surveys for small businesses and large businesses because I want to know how connected are my people.  And the final message on this is have you ever washed a rental car?  And most of us haven’t because rental is different than owning.  And if you get ownership from your people, they’re not going to just be productive because you’re watching, they’re going to be productive because they want to build equity.

Alex: So, Dr. Tom wants to know, how do you ask for referrals?

Dr. Joseph: Oh, I love this question.  It’s one of my favourites.  Dr. Tom you’re my favorite person right now in this moment.  The answer really for me is that I do say to people that I’m in the referral business and that, you know, I want to earn your trust and if I did earn your trust today and you know someone who has a need, I’d hope that my name would come up.

And I say it often that way because I really, you know, I don’t want to ask them to go out and, you know, go to the phone book and identify three people and make three random cold calls for me.  Nor do I want to tell them, “Who else needs my services that you know?” and then put them in some kind of inquisition.  I really want to tell them that, “Please, think about the notion that your saying my name at the right time could provide something that you enjoyed or had a positive experience with to someone else that you care about.  And it’ll also help in my success and help us be in there.”

The other quick thing I would just say is that sometimes people are afraid if they refer you that they’re not going to be able to get access to you, right?  So, the more I refer you, the less available you are to me.  So, sometimes we have to address that too.  So, you know, “I’ll never get too big so that I won’t be able to take care of you and the referrals you provide.  But I really would benefit from you sharing my name, should that ever come up as a need.  And, you know, if you know anybody who is in need of dental care, I would welcome a referral from you.”  It speaks almost to how much you celebrate and embrace them and hold them to be of value and that you like them so much, they’re such a good person, you would want to have more like them in your practice.  Which is a pretty validating thing to them and it makes them feel like they’re smart for having chosen you in the first place.  And it’s a wonderful synergy of admiration.

Alex: So, here’s a question about how would be the best way to motivate employees and my associate for patient care service?

Dr. Joseph: Well, I mean, I think, to be honest with you, if you’re that problem, you probably should move them on.  I mean, seriously, whose job is this to motivate people at some level?  If people are at that point where you feel like, “Oh my gosh, if I don’t motivate them, what if a patient has contact with them absent my motivating influence?”  You shouldn’t have them in your practice.  I mean, I don’t mean to be difficult here but I often say that if you were to tell a family member before you try to not get them, you try to get this person, you’ve got a problem with your talent because you shouldn’t have to do those work-arounds.  I think really, fundamentally, at some level, if people don’t treat patients well or aren’t motivated to provide care, they should be in another business.  “I understand there’s a lot of technical skill to what you do but, believe it or not, there’s probably somebody else equally patient who will bring a different level of care if you find that to be too much of an expectation.”  And if you treat people well, you’ll tend to be the employer of choice among that talent group.


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