This months Dental news publishes an article written by Dr Aqib Mudassar DDS on the importance of difference between 99 and 100%. It’s a brilliant food for thought for anyone who wants to become THE ONE in dentistry,
Disruption in the completeness of anything tends to alter it. No matter how minute it is, the quality and integrity of it are compromised. It is no longer 100% whole. The difference between 99% and 100% is everything. It is a huge difference. This is the difference between ordinary and extraordinary. The eliteness of your product lies in that 1%. It makes you “the one” and not just one of them.
An example of a brand at 100% is Apple. It is a brand that the whole world acknowledges. Apple has single handedly revolutionized the technology industry. They have marked their territory by creating value for their brand. The reason for their universal success is the sound base of quality their products are constructed upon. They are all at 100%, consistently. Another very important aspect is that Apple products have a lot of demand, yet they do not diversify their supply. They keep their products limited in models irrespective of the increased demand, but make sure to provide unsurpassed quality with each one of them. Apple charges a lot of money for their products, but people still want to buy it. Many people have to really stretch their resources to buy the new product, but they do it anyway. Knowing that Apple products are unbeatable and supreme, an Apple user feels safe in his investment. He knows it is the best option for him and any faults are accounted for because of the unparalleled customer service.
The dynamics of being at 100% have grown substantially. We can buy clothes from an ordinary place or from a brand but no doubt the quality as well as the whole experience is better in a branded store. We can buy vegetables or any other grocery on the street but many prefer Al Fatah, just for the experience which makes an impact. A lot of people do value the quality of product and also the experience they get.
Another example I want to mention is Starbucks. There are cheaper coffees available but people still spend extra money and wait in line to have the Starbucks experience. You can get coffee for a dollar, but yet everyone goes to Starbucks because they know their coffee is consistent in quality every single time. Therefore, they do not mind spending extra capital on it.
Just like some world class brands, you can also set yourself apart as a dentist. Our product is the dental service we provide and if our quality of work is not up to 100%, nothing else will matter. There is an acceptable failure rate of 5% but it also demands that we must acknowledge it and then fix it or compensate the patient. In fact, we did a study on full mouth X-rays and pictures of 750 patients who came in at ideal smile for their consult and it was found that 74% of root canals and 79% of crowns were substandard. We can create a wow factor with the fancy set up and customer service but it will soon burst like a bubble so better clinical skills are required before anything else. It is our commitment as dentists to ensure that we do the best possible dentistry and are not willing to settle for less. At ideal smile, we never deliver crowns which have overhangs or open margins, both of which will eventually cause tooth loss. A difference between 99% and 100% is the same difference between an obturation 3mm short and one at full length. It is the same as the difference between good crown and bridge margins and overhangs. It’s the same difference as just doing scaling and doing scaling plus follow-ups for recare.
If we are to be at 100% in dentistry, we can replicate the success in our field which Apple or any other brand at 100% has achieved for themselves. When we are at 100% all around, we create value for ourselves which is hard to ignore even by our patients and they appreciate it. It just makes it easier for them to become part of your practice. There is no better space to be at where patients actually want to do treatment with you. When you do everything at 100%, patients can value it too.
You should also be at 100% non-clinically. Are you compassionate towards your patient? Are you cautious enough not to hurt your patient during dental treatment? Is your staff courteous? Are you aware of, and do you cater to extra needs of patients? A lot of practices have a tunnel vision and remain in the age old theory of “the more, the merrier”. They pay zero heed to customer service or creating value. They just want more patients in number. However, that is also the reason why they are just ordinary practices which do not excel or shine out in the society.
One thing we need to understand is that every patient who walks into our door is not an ideal patient. Our long term success depends on keeping only those who value our services and recommendations. Those who know us for not compromising on integrity, will value it and help us grow substantially.
We at ideal smile are intentional with everything but one thing which every patient who walks in mentions is the experience they have with us. It’s our excellent customer service which stands out. We put so much effort on daily basis to make sure that our service quality and follow ups are unique in their experience. Though we always strive for 100%, there are times when we do have some issues but we acknowledge and make up for those. It just happens once in a while.
We had a patient who owns a business worth 400 billion rupees. He was impressed with the work we were offering and scheduled for treatment. Compelled by his aristocratic attitude and habit he would show up late and cancel appointments frequently. When he did finally manage to come for his appointment he wanted me to make amends to the treatment plan I had presented. He argued how certain teeth should not be extracted at that time and that his cleaning can be completed later. However, I told him that if he wants the best treatment he should let me do things as I have planned. There will be no change in it. Secondly, he needs to be on time or he will be charged for treatment irrespective of the fact if he shows up or not. The second he heard this statement, he just let go of his attitude and relaxed completely. He said that I should do whatever I need to do to deliver the promised results. And Alhamdulillah, everything went as planned. I just want to share the fact that if I had succumbed to his social aura I would have compromised on the integrity of my systems, services and setup and I would have never been able to deliver the 100% I promised.
Our excellent customer service should be backed up by our skills and our quality of dentistry should be up to the standard of care. From the moment the patient walks in to our practice till their treatment is finished, everything should be at 100%. Customer service and quality of dentistry go hand in hand in order for the patient to have the world class experience. When I conduct the interview with patients after their treatment is finished, what makes me happiest is the positive feedback they give for the warm welcome, powerful educational experience of our consultation process, how they were made comfortable throughout their treatment and the follow ups we religiously provide at ideal smile. It is only possible because we were at 100% with everything all around. A patient told us that the way we treat our patients, is a priceless service and cannot be paid back in the charges paid.
At the end of the day, it can be summarized down to a very simple rule. You are either 100% committed to providing great services or you’re not. That 1 percent will set you apart from the rest of the community. Be assured that in that 1 percent, the quality of your service and products will be second to none, or be dearly compromised to make you prosaic and dull. When you compromise on that last percent, you are settling to being unimaginative. And that will be your plunge to 99%, 98%, and 97% and below.
“Luck is what you have left over after you have given 100%.”