Dr Mark HassedI travel a lot and go into many airport lounges.

My favourite airline has lounges that are 5-star — the best of everything. A lesser airline (I won't mention the name) has lounges that are like a budget 3-star motel — quite mean.

Of course, whenever possible, I always fly the airline with the 5-star lounges.

In dental practice there are things you can do that patients perceive as mean and that might drive them to your competitors. Let me give you a few examples.

  • When a patient needs a special tooth brush do you give it to them for free or do you add it to the bill?
  • When a patient pays with credit card do you add a surcharge?
  • Do you have tatty old magazines in your reception room?
  • Do you make patients wait without offering them a cold drink or a coffee?

If you want to inspire patient loyalty you need to be perceived as generous. If necessary increase your fees very slightly and then treat patients well. Treat them with grace and generosity.

There is no doubt that acting in this way will inspire patient loyalty.

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