Perhaps I’m a bad person or patient or customer or wherever but I’ve needed to get an eye exam and a physical for licensure for some time but I’ve been putting it off for a while. Yesterday I decided it was the day and therefore I wanted the local healthcare providers to share my sense of urgency (human nature). So I called several offices and I even sent a text to a local physician buddy to try and get in right away (because that is also human nature). I explained to them all that I was a cash payer and it was straight forward stuff – I just needed them to have a look at me and sign the form saying that I was a functioning human. Not one traditional office could see me for several days so instead of going the more traditional route I ended up at Target for my eye exam and then I went to a Walgreens clinic for my physical. Why? Because I couldn’t get in elsewhere and these “chains” could get me in that day.
Now let’s not forget that I like some fancy stuff and exclusive experiences before making assumptions here. Even though I have zero problem paying more for more services, better care, better customer service, etc… I TRADED ALL THAT to get in and be seen the same day because I decided that yesterday was the day. I don’t think I’m that much of an outlier, meaning that even the most discerning and elitist customers out there will often sacrifice what they usually want for expediency. To be even more clear – I know you think your office is the best and your clientele the finest and you believe that they demand and will wait for the best (aka YOU) but I’d beg to differ. I’d suggest keeping this in mind when you look at your wait list or tell a customer who is ready to start today that you can’t get them in today. I also know that you think that all your “quality patients” show up despite the long wait and I understand why you believe this. Even though you don’t realize it, you are losing customers that are scheduled more than a few days out. This is hidden from you because your team simply removes the cancelations and replaces them with another name without saying a word to you. You are costing yourself big time and you don’t even realize it!
If you are making people wait then YOU ARE LOSING CUSTOMERS. I’m happy to make a bet with any and all of you who dispute this fact. Feel free to let me know how much you’re willing to lose! Or, better yet, change your mindset and understand that you can figure out how to get new customers in when they want to show or someone else will.