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August 24th, 2022

Episode 158 – Building Patient Loyalty with Shawn Zajas (Part 2)

“I’m trying to get a paradigm shift with patient care. It’s not about the toothbrush…it’s about the patient experience.” -Shawn Zajas

How can I create loyal patients?

If you’re like most independent dentists this question is on your mind a lot. After all, you bear the burden of meeting or exceeding your patients’ expectations from the moment they walk through your door.

But perhaps a better question to ask is: How can you stay top of mind in patients’ minds?

In our last episode, we dove deep into how you can stand out so you’re not viewed as a commodity. Today, we get into the nitty gritty about ways to extend your care beyond the chair and into your patients’ lives.

We here at Everyday Practices Dental Podcast believe you deserve patients who are loyal to your practice. You’ve attracted awesome patients. Now, let’s make sure you keep them!

Today we bring you the second part of our fast-paced, applicable conversation with Shawn Zajas that covers:

  • Frequently missed opportunities for capturing patient loyalty
  • What your giveaways are telling patients about the quality of the care you serve
  • How to know what patients are returning to your office

Never miss an episode! Subscribe on iTunes & Spotify. Visit us at http://www.everydaypracticespodcast.com

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Dr. Chad Johnson
So when you’re helping dentists out what do you see as missed opportunities for them? Like, you know, when you’re meeting with them in the hallway, to talk about your services and product? I don’t know if exactly you call what you do a product even though there’s a product associated with it, but it almost is a service altogether, or you know, like what you offer? How do you define it, I suppose would be a good question to ask.

Shawn Zajas
Yeah, I mean, ultimately zonas, the company name but the brand that the patients would interact with this care beyond the chair and we refer to it as a care program and basically, we just say, hey, as a practice, you really are trying to be meticulous about what that patient is experiencing. The second that they come into your practice. The second they come into your door that they’re in the chair and the OP and all we’re saying is extend that care even beyond the chair, through what our program is and back to what you were saying chat about what is it that I see sometimes that they miss in relation to when I’m sharing things with them. Like, people asked me, why are you wearing a shirt that says stop selling electric toothbrushes?

And basically, it’s because I’m trying to get like a little paradigm shift here where it’s not about the brush, you know, oral Bian Sonicare are great products, great brushes, you know, there are clinical studies on them and they’ve done such a great job marketing, that the professionals choose our brush, and that if you have that brush, too in your practice, it’s gonna make consumers view you as a professional, well, you know, Costco has it, and so does Amazon and so does every retailer because, at the end of the day, the real partnership is their partner with those companies and the economics of it make it that way, you know, they’re a great company but I didn’t, I never wanted my brush to be about the brush. It’s an amazing brush, you know, you guys have brushed with it. It’s great. I wanted it to be about what it could do to elevate the patient experience and in turn, really set the practice apart and that’s why I ended up creating the whole care beyond the chair ecosystem around it.

Dr. Chad Johnson
Just so the listeners know too. I’m a huge Sonicare Philips fan historically, and I was reluctant to meet to talk with you about your program because I was in love with mine now after I got done talking with you. It’s funny because sometimes at a workshop we ask which brands are you loyal to. I would answer Ford. I would answer Philips you know, like a Philips Sonicare it’s like I’m pretty loyal to Philips Sonicare because I have been selling them exclusively in my office for 15 years. Wow.

Before I met you and I and so I gave it a try. really liked the brush but we also like being able to offer that to patients and, and we offer it to our perio patients as an adjunct for them to take home and get started, you know, we don’t even well, we build it into our charge for scaling and root planing and I’m saying this for the listener’s sake and so it’s kind of neat to that, that we let them know you keep coming back and we’ll replace your, your toothbrush had no charge and that’s a cool supplement to let people know that we’re taking care of them and I think one of the first conversations that we had number one, I walked up to you and I don’t know how well you embraced my nerdiness let’s just say that because number one I went up and I was like, is Donna is that German or something for tooth and you’re like, Yeah, how’d you know that? I was like, I don’t know, like zine and there’s a lot of different brands that you know, like within dentistry that has C him and so I was like, that kind of just reminds me and you’re like, yes, you get it and then the next thing I said was that care beyond the chair that the lettering looks like Carebears

Shawn Zajas
Your memory is impeccable.

Dr. Chad Johnson
Yeah, but do you? Do you remember like that was that was on purpose, wasn’t it that you use the fonts of Carebears? I think there’s there’s a childlike trust nature to people seeing that and ragged, you have to be like herding out over some of that isn’t interesting Have you seen the care beyond the chair? Did you ever put that together?

Regan
So I didn’t take care of her together with this. Oh my gosh, although I was like, Yes, I see it now and I was a huge Carebear fan and this is a fan freakingtastic marketing technique. Car companies will do it often so especially with high-end luxury cars, Corvette is famous for it, they will pull colors from their target demographics’ childhood say the 57 Chevy, for example, had this certain particular red to it and they will pull it through in an anniversary Corvette model because they know their target demographic is going to recognize even subconsciously that color too. Happy childhood memories. You want to connect with your demographics, happy childhood memories, and careers perfect for it. Yeah, how you blew my mind with that. I didn’t even know that you notice that Chad, but that’s really cool, Shawn, that you did that.

The other thing that blows my mind with this is to think about when you give someone a disposable toothbrush so it’s nice, it’s nice to get a gift and you think okay, well when this one’s out, right? It’s a nice, it’s, it’s yes, it’s so they might be blind to it so there’s a bit of blindness that goes with it but it also is subconsciously saying you know, this is just gonna wear out and you just throw it away so it’s got a very disposable attribute to it. That is in the transactional level of conversation. That’s that commodity style of conversation. If you’re giving something that you know, you can use again and again and again, that subconsciously builds that layer of trust, meaning, you know, your smile will also be durable. Your smile is not a throw-away. We are going to continue to keep your smile in great health.

Dr. Chad Johnson
Okay, that’s new to me. That’s pretty cool.

Shawn Zajas
So hold on to the fact now we know when Reagan gets like completely blown away. She uses the word fan freakintastic. Yes.

Regan
Freakintastic. That was pretty cool.

Dr. Chad Johnson
I hate when she swears like that it just

Shawn Zajas
we’re just gonna give an awkward pause after that.

Regan
I accidentally sent one of our team members a text I meant for my husband, and it had a swear word in it and she was like, What’s going on Reagan? And I said, Oh, I meant that for my husband and she said, I’ve never heard you swear and I was like, well, when the microphone turns off, Baby,

Dr. Chad Johnson
what is the text you still haven’t heard?

Regan
Yeah so there’s a lot of psychology that goes, you know, behind exceptional marketing and creating value and really, that’s what you’re doing. I think, Shawn, as you’re taking something that everybody knows exists, that anyone can get pretty much anywhere, but you’re attaching value and you’re attaching a conversation to that What gave you that idea?

Shawn Zajas
Okay, so specifically what part would the idea be? I think I think it’s too, too much of an abstract question.

Regan
I understand care beyond the chair. Because to create an exceptional patient experience, there needs to be a brand experience that’s outside of the operatory so I understand that but why toothbrushes and how did you marry the two together? Instead of giving away a disposable toothbrush, we can provide, you know, top patients with this as a gift or perio patients or whatever patients we want as a gift, and then invite that conversation of you to know, I’ll give you the Free head and you’ll be it’ll be our recurring gift to you.

Shawn Zajas
So to quote Victoria, which is kind of funny that she said that she’s like, wow, Sean, you are given lemme lemons, and you made lemonade, which is interesting that she was viewing electric toothbrushes, lemons, but basically, yeah, my dad has a dental supply company and along the way, we ended up creating a really amazing electric toothbrush but I didn’t want to just sell it as an electric toothbrush and here I am and I have all these friends that are dentists. I’m in dentistry, and I’m like, Hey, guys, what, what bothers you?

What problems do you have? What keeps you up at night, and some of them were like, I don’t know which patients are coming back so this whole time, I’m thinking, Okay, I have an electric toothbrush. There are now programs like Dollar Shave Club, and Harry’s that are hitting the market where there’s this subscription model, direct to consumer, and I’m thinking with the new model, and with the pains in dentistry, how do I create something that’s a win for the practice and the patient?

I don’t want gonna to be the one that’s getting all the credit. You know, when when the patient gets free replacement heads for life, they don’t think is Ana, they think Dr. Johnson, they think chat, they go thank you for taking care of my oral health. Because Chad’s the one that looks like a hero, not my company so my whole thing was how can I get in the background, and make practices look like heroes to their patients, instead of it being something where the practice introduces the patient to my company and then now all of a sudden, that’s the end of the relationship and now it’s just me and the patient directly? I didn’t want that so that’s pretty much how it came about. I was just trying to figure out how I could innovate with a new model, and how it can make practices like heroes.

Regan
What has so Chad you used on it in your practice? Correct? We do. What’s the feedback been so far? Do you have a hygenist handed out? Do you hand it out? What is the conversation been so far?

Dr. Chad Johnson
Okay, so this is where I fall short and describe it. This is where I fall short and describe it because my hygienists have more hands-on with this. Hands-on Zhan the year it Yeah, sorry. There’s somewhat of a joke in there but, um, so I asked them before Sean, we had you on you know, and yeah, so we, we are, we’re charging, you know, fee for service for our scaling and root planing and so in order to bring an extra value, when we give them the toothbrush and we actually have it in a veranda bag that looks like a shopping bag so it’s not just like a little, you know, cheap, thick plastic bag, which I wouldn’t be against it, not me per se, but this, it looks like something that you could reuse at the grocery store and so it’s got our brand on it, you know, with that in there and I feel like it brings a lot of value but, you know, the best conversations for that, honestly, would be with the hygienist because they’re getting to be the ones that you know, gift it but we’ve had a good response from it. I mean, you know, we’ve had good loyalty to it and again, I’m, I’m a big fan of it. That it’s got a higher frequency than most of the other brushes, which is also a nerd kind of thing, you know, because Sean asked me is like, which set did you use? And I was like, it’s not it’s

Regan
oh my gosh,

Shawn Zajas
literally, we don’t even know each other that well and I asked him that and that’s the fact that he responded that way. I was like, wow, this guy is unbelievable. His

Regan
the brain is very big Sean so he plays the piano he sees Okay, he’s very athletic. He’s gifted at languages. I don’t know. Yeah, he’s a gifted he, he’s figured out his brain is wired in such a way that he can just absorb information quickly.

Dr. Chad Johnson
So I’m no surprise that I love you guys so much because you’re like peas in a pod with me.

Shawn Zajas
So Chad, I don’t know if you know, but we changed. We didn’t change things up. We added one dimension to the program that wasn’t around when we first met when you guys signed up and that is based on the fact that what you guys were just saying about manual brushes is that patients simply expect it right. Yeah, so I’m thinking how is it that I can create this patient experience that is the most unexpected so like pioneers like Chad like originally, we didn’t have it set up in our program where it’s like, oh, incorporated into perio with SRP. It was just forward-thinking dentists like Chad that are like, Oh, this is what I’m going to do and I’m like, That’s a great idea so taking it a step further.

What we do now is We found a way to actually put the patient’s name on the brush as well so what practices are you did gay? Yeah so So what practices are doing is a patient completes treatment, or whatever point and they just signaled to us, this is a patient we want to give the brush to. Now, I don’t know about you guys, but I love receiving packages in the mail and 99.9% of them, I know, I’m getting them because I’ve ordered them right like Amazon’s coming and I’m still excited to open the box. Well, now this patient opens a box from their dental practice, and they’re not expecting that so that’s one unexpected, they open up the box. It’s this beautiful a box again, that you know, the product that looks great unexpected, they open it up and on the insert, it speaks directly to them from that practice, telling them that they’re not just a patient, but their family.

Another thing unexpected and then they remove that insert, and they don’t just see the practice logo there but they see their own name on the brush, like patients for Mark in a good context on what is remarkable and this was just us saying, Hey, if you want to give your patients the best, now, now imagine could you take a patient that’s indifferent and make them care because of this? I don’t think so but imagine a patient that already likes you guys already likes the practice, maybe there’s a patient that already is kind of has this fire, they’re already telling their friends about your practice and then they received a gift in the mail. It just lights a fire under those that are already predisposed to like you and now all of a sudden, imagine the organic referrals you’re gonna get because you’re just increasing that intensity, you’re equipping people that are going to share with an easy story to share about your practice. Right?

Regan
You know, when we mentioned that branding is tangible and intangible so the name the experience of getting that completely unexpected moment with your name on the brush itself, is huge. I mean, go Google Starbucks case studies on personalization, Coca-Cola on personalization, when they started putting these you know, names on the soda cans and how popular that was. Remember that? Yeah, what I didn’t think about before but I can easily think of now is the internal influence and the intangible effect that that has on your team chat as well so for example, my last dental visit, I love disclaimer, I love my dentist and I love his team, very much.

They said at the end of my appointment like do you want Did you want the toothbrush and the floss? Did you want that? Anyway, that was the tone? And I was like, Yes, I do. Of course, I do. Like, duh and I just remember thinking she’s not excited about it either. Like she’s not excited about it. I think she’s probably blind to it dental teams are blind to it but what does it say from an owner’s perspective, we’re going to do this for the patient and now I’m going to make it fun for you like Chad handy delegating that to the hygienist and having them have that conversation and getting them to present with something that’s unexpected, that actually takes the hero from you to the team to deliver that so you’re infusing an intangible brand asset in that as well by sharing the unexpected moment with your team and getting them excited about it again.

Shawn Zajas
Okay so here’s some trivia. Let’s see. Self-help authors chapter four or five of their book said that the sweetest word to a person is their own name. Oh,

Regan
is it it’s not a good degree. I read it so I know I have it. Gift ology is it reciprocity is that

Shawn Zajas
I don’t know what it is. It goes way back further. It’s all still Carnegie. How to Win Friends and

Regan
Influence. Yeah.

Shawn Zajas
And it’s just this No, no sound is sweeter to someone’s ears than their own name and it’s just like, you know, I was thinking like, what would that word be? Would it be love? Would it be pleased? Would it be yes and then all of a sudden, just drop that it’s their own name and I’m like, wow, that’s so true and that’s why the case studies with Starbucks and Coca-Cola. That’s why personalization works. Because if you have a great brush, and you have another great brush that’s gifted to you, and all things are pretty much equal except one has your name on it. Chances are you’re going to use that one.

Regan
You’re definitely going to use that one. It has to be a pattern interrupt. I wonder where in your brain when you hear your name, specifically, something must light up. I’ll tell you growing up I never heard anybody else named Reagan. Never other than President Reagan. There were no Regan’s around me at all and now it has become quite a popular name so when I’m out in public, I hear Reagan every time I do because I never heard it. Yes, I immediately snap. Some like me, me. No, it’s not and it’s not me so there’s gotta be something there too that there’s a science behind it. It’s got a trigger something. The sweetest part is the nice emotional way to say it, but It neurologically, there’s gotta be something going on there and it’s brilliant that you’ve brought that into this experience.

Shawn Zajas
Thank you and Chad, thank you for the curveball of honoring me. I appreciate that. I didn’t get to say thank you for that.

Dr. Chad Johnson
Yeah, you bet well deserved, man. Well, that’s a natural wrap. We’ve had too good of a discussion, we’re gonna have to just cut this down, because this is just

Regan
we’re gonna have to have Shawn back. That’s two episodes.

Dr. Chad Johnson
Yeah, no, yes. Shawn, thank you very much for coming on and bringing good content from a different angle. I think it’s, it’s always cool it well, no, it’s always difficult when we’re talking authenticity. Because at that point, it puts people’s authenticity feelers up and I hope the audience today could sense. The authenticity of you, as we’re talking about authenticity and I’m not trying to purposely overuse the word but my intention is to say, you know, like, as people start to think about it, and then they go, I don’t even know if this guy’s authentic, you know because we’re so jaded about being sold but, the derivative of authenticity was, was saturated today and wait to bring it. Regan. Likewise. Thank you.

Regan
Absolutely. This has been fantastic and when I see you, Shawn at the next productivity workshop, where we will bring our podcasting equipment and we can follow up with our conversation. There’s a lot of gold there. Oh, boy. The guys are putting up their guns, listeners, just so everybody knows.

Dr. Chad Johnson
Figuratively speaking

Regan
musculature. Yeah.

Shawn Zajas
We can’t Okay, you’re in Washington, Reagan. We can’t just throw out the word guns and think everyone knows.

Regan
That is not politically correct for me at all. Not weapons. No.

Shawn Zajas
So the next topic will just be about the aggregation of marginal gains and how that’s an important mindset to have

Dr. Chad Johnson
in 220 threes.

Shawn Zajas
Atomic habits Just dropped that I was reading it last night and I’m like, that is genius. Everyone’s looking for a big breakthrough but it’s all about those marginal gains and continuing to be consistent about that, though. It’s the 1% in all these areas that move you forward professionally, personally, in your practice. Right.

Regan
That’s our next episode. You have all been given a hint so we will be back with Shawn in the future in the meantime, go check out Shawn’s podcast, the authentic dentist you can hear Shawn as many times as you like and any other way how do we get a hold of you? How do we get a hold of you otherwise, Shawn, how do you want listeners to reach out?

Shawn Zajas
How’s your day? I have my pay my What does it call my

Regan
shot at

Shawn Zajas
my Zona perfect Yeah.

Regan
Well, thanks, John, for being our guest today, and thank you, Chad, for being a wonderful co-host as always. Thank you for listening to another episode of the Everyday Practices Podcast. Chad and I are here every weeks. Thanks to our community of listeners just like you, and we’d love your help. It would mean the world if you can help spread the word by sharing this episode with a fellow dentist and leaving us a review on iTunes or Spotify. Do you have an extraordinary story you’d like to share? Or feedback on how we can make this podcast even more awesome? Drop us an email at podcast@productivedentist.com And don’t forget to check out our other podcasts from Productive Dentist Academy at productivedentist.com/podcasts See you next week.

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