Have you seen ‘The Singing Dentist’? If you haven’t, you’re missing a treat – check him out.
The Singing Dentist is Dr Milad Shadrooh, the Principal Dentist at Chequers Dental in Basingstoke. Over the past year or so, he has carved out a niche for himself and boosted his profile by recording dental health related videos of him singing parodies of well-known modern songs, like ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams, which he translates into ‘Gappy!’
It’s funny, entertaining and engaging and Milad’s patients love it – they’re tweeting and posting all over social media. On the back of his singing activities, he’s now become a go-to dentist for daytime TV and makes regular TV appearances.
Milad’s approach is a great example of making something happen by doing things differently, and that’s what I want to talk about in this blog post.
Let’s face it, when it comes to brand and communications, dentistry is a sea of sameness. Similar practices with similar messages, using similar images and colours. It’s a tough market to stand out in. But it can be done.
“Let’s face it, when it comes to brand and communications, dentistry is a sea of sameness.”
Of course, I’m not suggesting that dentists up and down the country should start singing to their patients, particularly those who are not as tonally attuned as perhaps they could be! It’s the principle of what Milad is doing that is the key thing here. He’s been prepared to think outside of the box and come up with something that gives him a competitive edge.
So, how can you do it in your practice?
Well, firstly, it’s important to remember that you only need to stand out in your immediate vicinity – your local town and surrounding area. This makes the task a lot more manageable. To get started, make it your business to find out what your competitors are up to – check out their websites, pop in and pick up their leaflets or perhaps give them a call to see how they handle telephone enquiries.
This will give you a feel for what you are competing against.
Secondly, turn your attention to your customer journey and plot out each step along the way – your website, the way you answer the telephone, how you welcome patients into the practice, the waiting area, the transition from waiting area to surgery, the in-surgery experience, the completion back at reception and the follow-up.
“Get the team together and, in a very positive way, challenge the way you currently do things and see if you can come up with different and better ways of doing them.”
The chances are that these things are ingrained within the team and haven’t changed much in recent times and that’s where your opportunity lies. Get the team together and, in a very positive way, challenge the way you currently do things and see if you can come up with different and better ways of doing them.
The ideas don’t have to be big and ground-breaking, in fact, it’s often the small touches that patients remember most and then talk about with their friends and relatives.
It could be the language or tone of voice that you use on your website – could you make it friendlier and less stuffy? Could you answer the telephone in a more positive and engaging way? Do you have Wi-Fi in your waiting area (what do most people do these days when they sit down for ten minutes?). Could the communication with patients in practice be improved so that they feel better informed and involved? The more creative you get, the more differentiation you create between you and your competitors.
The accumulation of all of these small things will eventually paint a picture in the minds of patients of a practice that goes the extra mile and is totally focused on patient wants and needs.
So, you might not have to revert to singing, but you can still strike all the right notes with your patients and your marketing. All it takes is a little time and the willingness to challenge the status quo and deploy a little creativity.