Mammals tend to retain (and shout out) negative experiences more readily than positive ones – something to do with that whole survival instinct thing.
This certainly rings true when I taught my dogs how to respect the perimeter of their invisible fence. They both got zapped by their collars and the little one wouldn’t even venture off the front porch for months (the buried wire is about 50 feet from the house). That one unfavorable moment has had more of a lasting impact on their behavior than getting a nice treat after a “sit” request.
We find the same pattern with some of our new patients who come in after many years of self imposed exile from the dentist after a bad experience in childhood. Of course, the rule doesn’t always apply. You’d think after being quilled in the mouth by a porcupine, my yellow lab would stay away from them. So if there are any recommendations for a good vet office, I’m all ears.
Supporting Local Business
Local businesses thrive when people patronize them, and we all try to catch potential new customers’ attention, and then win your loyalty, in different ways. This is where you will see everything from print advertising in the Sun-Journal and inserts in Uncle Andy’s Digest, to sponsorship of local events like the Dempsey Challenge and Androscoggin County Chamber functions, to listings in the Yellow Pages of the phone book (here’s ours).
For dentists like myself, serving communities like Lewiston and Auburn, the reality is there are enough patients to go around. The goal is to find the right “fit” for you (and your family).
For some people this means finding out whether or not an office is in their dental insurance network, for others it’s finding an office in close proximity to home, school or work. For others, finding a good fit can be less about tangible factors. For example, we recently had a patient tell us that she liked coming to our office because it felt more “homey.”
Many employers change contracts with dental insurance carriers every year in order to manage their budget costs. Therefore, January often sees the annual dental office merry-go-round as some patients migrate to practices accepting their plans. However, it can be hard to tell if an office is ‘homey’ when looking through a provider list or booklet.
We realize that people set up ‘blind dates’ with a new dentist office by picking one off a provider list, choosing one based on suggestions from family or friends, or by going online to pore over dentists’ websites, bios, and reviews to help them make an informed decision prior to setting up the date.
In fact, over 80% of our referrals come from ‘word of mouth’ or from people googling for online reviews. While we’re not sure how many of our patients have seen this website, we’d like to think it’s somewhere near the 100% mark.
So supporting locally owned businesses is more than just having a place to spend your discretionary dollars, it’s also about letting other people know about the local businesses you like, you frequent, and you’d recommend as a good fit for family, friends, and neighbors. I try to support local wherever I can, whether it’s the dental labs I use, the produce I buy, the doctors I choose, or the places I take my staff out to lunch (like Guthries or boba).
Keeping money and momentum “local” – in order to support the growth and development of small business – makes it a far more vibrant and interesting community for everyone!
Why We Value Your Opinion
A negative review is something every business dreads, whether it’s posted online or discussed in the cereal aisle at Hannaford. We’ve found the best way to thwart negative reviews is to treat each and every patient like we’d treat a member of the family – except maybe my mother by the end of a long Thanksgiving visit.
The most meaningful referral, and really the biggest compliment, is someone saying, “You should go and see my guy; his office is clean, the staff are super friendly, you can tell that keeping up with continuing education and the latest technology is important to him, AND he’s really funny, charming and good looking.”
To those patients who have kindly referred us to their dental-phobic friends, family, or co-workers, or who may have taken time out of their busy schedules to write a glowing review on paper or online: Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
Sharing your opinion helps support a local business, informs others who may have just moved to the area, or have finally got brave enough to come back to the dentist, and gives us valuable feedback to ensure we’re doing everything we can to achieve excellence in serving our community. We sincerely appreciate your loyalty.