What is it about the pace of service at restaurants?

Sometimes when I’m eating out, be it for lunch, or for dinner, I feel that the time separation between interactions with restaurant staff is all back to front…

Do you ever feel that way?

When you’re keen to attract the attention of a waiter there’s none to be seen?

Or when you’re wanting to order your food, you can’t find a waiter to take your order?

The opposite is also true… sometimes you get pounced upon by wait staff when you do need a little bit of time to choose your meal options?

And what about timing…. Sometimes your meal courses arrive at your table before your beverage choices do?

It’s the same in retail…

When you’re out shopping and you’re looking to simply browse for clothes, some pesky shop assistant appears from nowhere and asks you if you need any help?

And on those occasions when you do need some assistance, all of those pesky shop assistants that you’re expecting seem to vanish into thin air?

And what about when it’s time to check out, and you’re in a hurry? Of course, there’s only one register open and the line for it is a mile long… And at restaurants, doesn’t it always seem that you have to wait an eternity for your bill to be brought over, and even longer than that again to find a waiter with an EFTPOS terminal to process your payment?

How are things at your dental practice?

Is your dental reception area fully manned and ready to greet arriving patients the moment they enter your office?

Or are your arriving patients being greeted by an unmanned desk more often than they should be?

How’s your patient checkout process?

Are patients having to wait an eternity following treatment so that they can make payment and schedule their next visit?

Or is your reception area well-staffed so that the transition for the patient from treatment room to dental front office is seamless and courteous?

I’ve told you before about the dental practice that I worked with in upstate Pennsylvania that had just opened a seven chair dental office [as their relocation], but had only installed a dental reception area for three receptionists to work at at any one time… the problem with this was that at the beginning of every hour seven arriving patients were needing to be greeted by only three dental receptionists, who were also trying to process payments and book appointments for the seven departing patients…

Talk about creating an unnecessary logjam… like clockwork… on the hour, every hour…

[And sadly there was no easy fix for this office… there was no space in their fit out to add in extra reception facilities. What this office had to do was this… every hygienist in the practice had to have an EFTPOS machine in their treatment room to process patient payments and reduce congestion at the dental reception.]

How is patient movement at your dental office being managed?

Are patients waiting too long at reception to process their payments?

Are arriving patients waiting too long to be greeted and welcomed by your front office staff?

Are patients about to spend significant money being left to wait alone in treatment rooms, and at reception?

When patients feel ignored, or undervalued, either due to apathy or perceived apathy, by dental practices and dental office staff, their first choice of solution is to find another dental practice.

How are patients being treated and respected at your practice?

Isn’t it logical to staff your practice with enough team members so that your practice runs on time, and on those rare occasions where patients are being asked to wait a little longer, your patients are always attended to by a team member and so they never notice that they are being having to wait?

I was told many years ago…

I was told many years ago that children spell “LOVE” T. I. M. E…

And your patients spell “LOVE” exactly the same way.

Respect your patients’ time.

And spend time with your patients… and give generously.

It truly is time well spent…


Dr. David Moffet BDS FPFA CSP is a certified CX Experience coach. David works with his wife Jayne Bandy to help SME businesses improve their Customer Service Systems to create memorable World Class experiences for their valued clients and customers. Click here to find out how David and Jayne can help your business