Dr. Anissa Holmes is voted one of the top 25 women in Dentistry by Dental Products Report. She has effectively mastered the skill of the use of social media with a Facebook following of nearly 50,000 fans. As a Practicing Dentist, Social Media Strategist, Author, Podcaster and Speaker, Dr. Holmes shows dentists exactly how to create a profitable, thriving dental practice which has motivated, inspired team members and patients who are now raving fans. She does this by providing actionable steps to help dentists develop their business culture, their systems and their brand. Dr. Holmes is the host of the iTunes podcast, The Delivering Wow Dental Podcast and is also the author of the book Delivering WOW: How Dentists Can Build a Fascinating Brand & Achieve More While Working Less.
Anissa agreed that there were team members that weren’t agreeable in her vision. She stated that it’s very interesting because she really believes now that she is in a different realm and working with business owners and dentists and a lot of them have fear. Fear that the team is not going to buy into this whole creating an amazing experience culture and so what happens is that they do nothing. What she always says is that if you are a business owner, it’s your business, it’s your vision and her team is very aware for example if they have 100 things that have to happen to be able to create amazing experiences or to have consistency in the quality of work that they do or to make sure they are seeing people on time. These 100 things have to be done and if she could do them all by herself, she would have no reason to hire someone and she can keep that money in her pocket but she made a decision that all of these things need to be done, so there are different people that need to do it and the job has to be done and this is the vision of this company and it’s okay if you don’t feel like this is the right company for you but at the end of the day this is the company, these are the values, this is what we are working for. Anissa stated that when they first decided that they are going to be known for delivering an amazing experience, some people that was working at the practice said “okay, we are willing to try” they are still there and they are happy and they are making more money than they have ever made. This year January they had the entire team write down what it is that they are going to achieve, she put down her dream to go to Europe and have gone to Europe, 4 of her team members actually got cars this year which is a huge deal for people working in small businesses in Jamaica to be able afford a car. They have had amazing things happening and it’s because she aligned with her team members, she told them from the very beginning, if you they help her grow this business, you are going to develop personally, you are going to impact your family, achieve all your personal dreams and those that bought in with her, they are definitely living their dreams and some people it wasn’t for them and that was okay and she was okay to let them go.
Even along the road she has had different people and had to increase her team, just a few months ago they were testing someone for their new Dental Assistant, they needed to add a new Dental Assistant and someone came in, she was an assistant at another practice and she says “You mean I have to give a tour?” And that’s something when they look at their reviews, people constantly mention that – customers say “I can’t believe that I am getting a tour before my procedure”, and so this person was clearly not going to fit into the vision and the culture of the practice and so she just didn’t work out.
Dr. Anissa Holmes stated that hiring for the right profile, they do that and they look at DISC testing behavioral style, for example, if their Hygienist is very outgoing in terms of her behavioral style, they want someone who has the profile of being a very sensitive, very compassionate type to be her Dental Assistant and so they kind of have that balance, the person who does their training of Dental Assistants has a different style and that’s part of it. The other part is that once you start to be knowing for having a certain type of business, those sort of people are going to be attracted to your business and so they are now finding that a lot of their new hires are actually coming to them saying that they know about their business already, they have been following us on Facebook or people are talking about them in the community and they want to work in their practice and so it’s that sort of the mindset of the people and again, once they come in having that training and so most people are not trained on understating that they way you connect with people is not by necessarily talking, it’s about listening and a huge part of their training with all of their team members is understanding the importance of listening, of asking questions, so you can get to the heart of the matter.
For example, in dentistry, a lot of people may say, “I don’t want a crown” some dental offices or dentists around the world will say in their mind, ”They don’t want it because they can’t afford it” or “They don’t want it because they are afraid” but you are not asking them why they don’t want it and you just move on and you miss out on that opportunity to help them. Dr. Anissa Holmes stated that what they do in her practice they will say “Why don’t you want that crown?” and they may say, “The reason why I don’t want it is because my daughter is getting married next month and so I just don’t have any money right now”, and you can say, “Will you be ready in a few months?” and then they say “Sure” and you say “Okay, great, just write it down and when you come back for your next cleaning then we’ll go ahead and have it sorted out then” or they’ll say “I don’t want it because I don’t think I need it” and then you can say “Okay, let’s talk about why or what happens if you don’t do it. In my experience of practicing for so long this is what happens and so if you don’t fix the tooth, what’s going to happen is that you’re going to be out one day and you’re going to bit down and it’s going to break, it’s going to split, you’re going to have to take it out, it’s going to be more procedures, more cost and based on the condition, you are in a 80% chance that that’s going to happen to you, are you okay with that?” The person is going to think and say, “You’re right, I need to do it.” It’s all about training your team, letting them understand how that happens and when they see it happening over and over again, in terms of people making decisions to have a purchase or do treatment because of asking questions, they buy into it.
Joseph Pine is an internationally acclaimed author, speaker and management advisor. Joseph has spoken at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, at Ted in California and today is a Lecturer in Columbia University’s Technology Management Programme. He is not an academic, however, having worked for IBM for 13 years, Joseph specializes in helping people see the world of business differently through his many ground breaking books beginning with the award winning, Mass Customization: The New Frontier In Business Competition, including Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want and most recently, Infinite Possibility: Creating Customer Value on the Digital Frontier. He is most popularly well known for his bestselling book, The Experience Economy: Work Is Theater & Every Business a Stage which was recently name one of the 100 best business books of all time by 800-CEO-Read.
Yanique stated that one interesting fact about a Libran is that they are very free spirited and asked Joe if that’s a true characteristic of his personality and Joe disagreed and shared he believes he’s free spirited in being creative and innovative.
Joseph stated being free spirited is not a true characteristic of his personality, he is however sort of buttoned up and introvert and a free spirit is very much of extroverts, so he would not say that describes him. If you think of characteristics of a free spirit is being creative and being able to think of new things and do things differently and that part he would ascribe to. He feels like his purpose in life is to figure out what’s going on in the world of business and then to develop frame works that first describe what’s going on and then prescribe what companies can do about it. Joseph shared that his birthday is October 22.
Yanique commented that she recently read a study done by New Voice Era that said “up to $62 Billion a year is being lost by companies collectively on a global scale because of poor service.” She stated that assuming that the service is based on the experience they have had, so it’s no longer the price or sometimes the quality of the product, they will work with you if you are willing to make certain amends but how they manage that whole experience with the customer really depends on whether or not they stay with you.
Joseph agreed and stated that it is important to recognize that each of the offerings he’s talking about is distinct economic offerings. You grow an economy based off commodities, the things you pull out of the ground or raise in the ground, animal, mineral, vegetable and then we shifted in the industrial revolution hundreds of years ago into an industrial economy where goods, physical things became the predominant economic offering and in the latter part of the 21st century, we shifted into a service economy and that’s where quality became job one, that’s where services became important and the research that Yanique points to is about services which are the intangible activities that you perform on behalf of an individual and that’s why mass customizing a good turns it into a service because you’re doing it for an individual not inventorying it, doing it on demand. Now what we are shifting into is an experience based off experiences. Experiences are in fact a distinct economic offering as distinct from services and services from goods, they use goods as a prop and services as the stage to engage each and every person and by creating a memory which is the hallmark of the experience. It’s important to differentiate that, you don’t want to talk about the service experience and they are distinct things. You can have a service; you can surround that with an experience and the term you are using “Customer Experience” it’s important to understand what that should mean. Most people use the term they mean “let’s make it things nice and easy and convenient” and all of those are good characteristics but they are service characteristics, you’ve got to go beyond nice and easy and convenient if you want to create a true distinctive experience.
Joseph stated that it’s a very common misconception of acting is that it is fake, that it is pretend, that’s not what real acting is about. You can have people that pretend when they are acting. The book they talk about the real fake makers and basically defines that people can perceive your offering as real – real or fake – fake but also as real – fake or fake – real and acting can be any one of those four as well, so a lot of people that are fake acting which really is pretending.
His favorite example is Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, Fish Market You Tube Video he was just there leading an Experience Expedition with clients 2 months ago. Pike Place Fish Market is a fish market, it is moralizing the fish video, and the most best selling business video of all time and what they do is getting fish out of the sea and putting it on ice in an open market so they are commodity traders but how they sell that fish is with wonderful theatre, they have these different routines to engage guests, often 20 to 40 people around the fish market waiting for someone to buy because that’s when they have their signature moment, when you order a fish, they shout of the order like “7 flying to Minnesota” and all the others shout back “7 flying to Minnesota” and then they throw that salmon across the counter, 15 to 20 feet where somebody catches it and wraps it up for you and people love seeing that happen. These people understand that they are on stage, they understand that they are acting but they are very real, they go home smelling like fish, so the fish video goes through 4 different principles, they are all acting techniques. They talk about play, the notion that you are on stage, you are there to have fun and give a great experience for the audience. They talk about “be there” which is a standard acting technique that you need to be there in the moment, you need to forget about everything else and focus on the task at hand and that’s what actors have to do. The other is chose your attitude, acting is fundamentally about making choices, about choosing what parts of yourself to reveal to those in front of you, we all know we act differently in front of our boss than we do our subordinates, we know we act differently in front of our friends than we do strangers, in front of our parents then we do our children, it’s not that we are being fake or phony, it’s just choosing what part of ourselves to reveal and that’s what real-real acting is.
Yanique stated that she is a big fan of the movie “the Fast and the Furious” and Vin Diesel has a very jovial personality and she has been watching him offline in some of his snaps he puts up on Snapchat as well as Instagram and even on Facebook and he seems like a very relaxed, easy going and jovial person but he doesn’t play those characters in “the Fast and the Furious” he’s serious and person in the family who doesn’t smile too much. She said that is very interesting that if you get a role that epitomize your true character, it makes it that much easier and more believable for people to connect with you.
Kay Valenzuela is an international award winner, founder of CXchange Institute, business entrepreneur and a recognize strategist of Customer Experience Design. Kay has been revolutionizing the Spanish speaking market with her own programme that focuses on customer experience, mastering the strategic competitive advantage of customer experience and she has implemented this certification in a number of Spanish speaking countries and is looking for great opportunities to launch into the English speaking market as well.
Yanique commented that this may be a whole lot for a small business owner to take all in – she asked how do you move the small business owner from the mindset of training being an expense and rather an investment.
Kay shared in getting business owners to understand that training is not an expense but more of an investment and is directly linked to their bottom line. Kay stated that from her point of view, what happens before is that they are absolutely right, they have been training people but on the wrong issues so they don’t see the outcome of that investment and that’s why everybody thinks it’s an expense but when you figure out that it’s a perspective issue everyone knows and does what they need to do in regardless of what they know, not only what they are trained on. So every time you hire somebody, that person comes with an experience and they will put that into place at your organization, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re a large or a small organization, you will face the same challenges if you don’t get that communication aligned. So what training does is align the vision and align the strategy you want to put in place. If you want to have a bakery and you have to hire chefs, if you don’t tell the chefs the recipe you want to deliver, then it’s impossible for them to figure out on their own, so training would be the first step but it definitely has to be in place within the strategy to deliver great service, it will not happen out of the loop. It’s impossible to have different kind of people with different experiences, ages and different generations to think alike and to deliver a consistent message if they are not trained on it.
Kay Valenzuela stated that more important is what is different about you? Why are you unique? Why do you deserve their time and most likely their money along the way?
Kay also stated that value also comes from perspective, that’s why it’s so important to be able to draw your customer persona and make sure you have a profound understanding because if you don’t know who you’re selling to, it is very difficult that you are going to create that value right off the bat within 6 to 8 seconds, so you have to know who is your target audience, what is it that makes them feel comfortable with you. There are only 2 ways to stay in business today, it’s either you look like your customers or you only do business with the people that look like you, so you really have to define the personality of your business and you really have to define who is your target audience, not everybody that buys from you is a real customer.
Yanique stated that in a country, the leaders of a country are the one that inspires the citizens and that’s why the countries who their GDP’s is better and their ease of doing business are better because the leaders in the country understand, they put themselves in the customers’ shoes which are the citizens and they really understand the importance of transcending that message in a way that is tangible and you feel that it’s easy to do business.
Kay stated that when you think of other leaders that are not organizational driven and you say what is it that makes them different? How come you have such a few individuals along history to have had the power to transform the ages and the way society runs and it’s because they have something to say and they feel it’s important to them and it rubs on and she feels passionate when she thinks about this. You think about what is it that they do different? Why do you have organizations that are so successful? Why do you have departments within a failing organization that is successful? So it always comes back down to the message the leader is taking across, how much does he believe in his own dream? What does it mean to be apart of that organization? What does it mean to achieve a certain goal because it makes us better, because it inspires us? And then people follow along and it’s not business dreaming, it’s leadership dreaming, it’s the way they communicate.
Whatsapp is an instant messaging app that you can connect with others through your telephone number and you can send them instant messages, you can send them files, you can send them voice notes, you can send them pictures and it’s really a great resource as a business owner.
Kay stated that when it comes down to leadership, embracing the possibility of being vulnerable and being transparent, it takes so much weight from the leaders’ back because sometimes they feel because they are in a leadership position, they need to have all the answers, they need to have all the strategies and they need to know everything that has to be put in place and that is actually not true. When you think of the characteristics of combining your leadership position also with the capability that your team has to flow in with you and increase your ideas, make them richer, make them profound, you will always get so much more than when you put all that weight on your back thinking that you have to have every answer, when you think about your teams, they’ll be more than happy to share into those ideas they have with you because if you really think about it, they are the ones that knows more about your business than you can because they are the ones facing the troubles and challenges every day, sometimes we are too way back or upstairs and we forget to have those interactions with the customers. Sharing those ideas and collaborative style of leadership will always give you a wider perspective of what are the right steps to take and how do you manage better, how do you lead better and how you interact with your customers better.
Robert Ilijason is an IT Consultant specializing in databases and business intelligence, mainly working with automating processes and data flows. He has worked with customers such as Ericsson, TeliaSonera and mainly IKEA. He is also a writer. Since a few months ago, he is also a retailer and he’s opened an unmanned grocery store in the small village of Viken and now expanding in Sweden. How Robert came across our path was, in doing some research for our podcast interviews, we bucked upon this article and these videos that spoke about this gentleman in Sweden who created an automated store where there were no actual employees and all you needed was your smart phone app to basically navigate your entire experience.
It is a way for him to count the transaction cost because he can add credit cards or different kinds of e-payments they have in Sweden but that cost him a few Swedish quarters which is about 20 or 30 cents per transaction and by bulking up all the purchases the customer does throughout the month, he can count the transaction cost quite a lot. The app was launched in mid January of 2016.
Robert stated that most people in Viken are happy that it exists. The biggest problems he has had is not with technology but with his lack of knowledge within retailing, he doesn’t understand that he needs parking spaces and he didn’t have the carts to put goods in, there were a lot of minor things that he missed and the goods on the shelves were the wrong kind but now that it’s turning around by fixing all the problems has they come along and now it’s looking well and he’s trying to expand into more villages in Sweden.
Robert stated that while working with IKEA, he can talk about business intelligence which is not customer service but basically collecting everything that’s happening in the stores. From the stores, from the suppliers, from the trains, boats, trucks to basically optimize the flow of goods to lower the prices to make it more available and cheaper for people, to maintain a good quality while lowering the price for customers. The data is used to provide a better experience. Most companies are using that data, if you are ever asked by a company if you are happy with an experience, you sometimes press a button or you’re answering a survey online, that’s always collected and he recommends that people do it because even if people don’t look at you’re specific answer, they look at it in an aggregate and they will identify problem points and they will be able to fix them if you help them out. If you’re not happy and don’t tell anyone, the problem won’t be fixed and that he sees in his own store because some people are very active in getting back to him and letting him know that “hey, you should really have this product or you should not sell this product and this a problem for whatever reason”, they can help him out to optimize what he has on his shelves. He has the statistics from the sales but they can also tell him “I didn’t buy cheese today because the cheese I want wasn’t there”, he would optimize it in the app so it’s very simple, you can press the button and you can either type or speak to send him information of what problems they’ve had. Robert stated that the app has everything; he tries to push everything in there so it’s easy for them and for him.
If customers have a problem in the store like purchasing something and it spoils after a day and they want to return it, do they communicate that in the app? Robert stated there is a small box in the store where you put stuff that are bad for whatever reason or you just want to return it and it informs him of that in the app. What is the response time for getting back to the customer? Robert stated that there is a call centre so it depends on when, if you do it in the middle of the night, it will take a few hours but during working hours, it’s almost immediate response but they have very few customers so it’s easy to have a high service.
Emilie Shoop is a Speaker and Coach, founder of Shoop Training and Consulting and the creator of the premier team building event Rally the Team as well as the popular program The Shoop Shift: Six Gears to Rev Up Your Culture, Team and Leadership. She is the go to Leadership Expert when you want to learn how to maximize the efforts of your team the right way, so you go from just being another manager or business owner to being an influential leader.
People are complex and Emilie helps you learn to make each employee shine; she is a pro at getting to the heart of an organization’s people challenges and helping you to turn problems into success. Shoop Training and Consultant was created because one of Emilie’s pet peeves is unhappy people in the workplace. People are either unhappy with the work they are doing, their bosses or their employers. It is her belief that everyone has an innate desire to do well and somehow people lose track of that along the way, it is this belief that drives her to reach out and impact others with her people focused leadership.
Yanique stated that most of the companies that she has done business with and IT is one of those departments where they are very hard to communicate with; they don’t like to talk very much and a lot of things that they think are normal or that everyone should get, they get annoyed when you don’t get it because they thinks it’s normal and you should do this to get the computer work, it’s just a basic behavior and you are looking at them because they do it every day and you don’t.
Emilie agreed that IT persons are not really people persons and that it’s easier to target the IT world because it’s highly technical but she has been in organizations where there’s a lot of nurses and they are highly technical and they struggle with the same thing and same with financial institutions where people are really good with numbers but not good with the people aspect of it and so there is a lot of work to be done to help people to come out and realize what they think is “common sense” and “how could you not know that this is what you need to do” to get that across to the person in a much gentler way.
Emilie stated for recommendation on promoting someone like Suzie without putting her into a leadership role, you want to make sure that you know Suzie well and have the conversation with her so that you can say “what is it that will help you feel more fulfilled with the growth opportunity that you are looking for, here’s what we see as opportunities or needs of the organization. Are any of these a good fit for you?” And so, looking for a way that she could take on more responsibility in ways that makes the most sense for her. Sometimes they have that person will become the one that trains others and that’s a different responsibility but they don’t have to lead them, they are just good at explaining how to do what they do or she as seen them take on different escalations so you are not the first line, you’re the second or third line or you only handle the special cases and that’s a way to have a different type of promotion in that scenario but really getting down to individual and figuring out what’s best for them.
Yanique shared that the approach of the organization is to include the employee in the decision making process of how it is that they are rewarded and that way it’s a win-win situation for both people because the company wins because the employee is doing something that they actual enjoy and they appreciate that reward versus just giving someone something they’re not too pleased with and they may fail as a result because their strength is not in that area.
Emilie agreed that stated that we fall into that trap of thinking that we want that recognition and we get caught up thinking the only way to do that is to become a manager and lead a team and that’s not the only way to get there.
Yanique shared that she purchased a book called “People Shock: The Path to Profits When Customers Rule” by Tema Frank. The theme of the book was in moving forward in the world today, even though things are becoming totally automated, the one thing that customers are constantly yearning for is some level of human interaction. A lot of what she talks about is at the end of the we really have to get back down to the foundation of dealing with people and that simple human interaction. A lot of companies think that when they have an IVR system that says “press 1 for this and 2 for that or 3 for that” and after you have press 1,2 or 3 you have another set of buttons you need to press before you actual get to a human being.
Emilie stated that a few places where she called have the option for you to have them call you back, you can hang up and they will automatically call you back when it is your turn.
Emilie shared that the advice she would give an individual that is not a people person and is concerned about the bottom line as she has worked with persons like that and it’s a little bit of struggle because there is some convincing on her part for them but usually she has to break it down into the bottom line where if you connect more, you will have a lower turn over rate with your employees and that turn over rate is this much and it cost you this amount and that’s why it’s important. Getting a new client is much more expensive than taking care of an existing client and you can show that return on the investment and there are some people that you just cannot convince that that is important and they are not the right people to be with, then there are employees that are okay with that, it’s just picking and choosing the right combination than an employee to make it fit.
Emilie shared as consumers our expectations and standards are raising and how we all want to be treated overall.