Archive for Dr. Ron’s Real-Life Service Blog


Dr. Ron’s Real-Life Service Blog: Self Appraise Your Dental Practice

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So you think you are sooooo good? How do you know? Read how this creative young man determined his value.

A little boy went to a drug store, reached for a soda carton and pulled it over to the telephone. He climbed onto the carton so he could reach the buttons on the phone and proceeded to punch in seven digits (phone numbers).

real life stories of outstanding customer serviceThe interested store owner observed and listened to the conversation:

BOY: “Lady, can you give me the job of cutting your lawn?”
WOMAN (at the other end of the phone line): “I already have someone to cut my lawn.”
BOY: “Lady, I will cut your lawn for half the price of the person who cuts your lawn now.”
WOMAN: “I’m very satisfied with the person who is presently cutting my lawn.”
BOY (with more perseverance): “Lady, I’ll even sweep your curb and your sidewalk, so on Sunday, you will have the prettiest lawn in all of Palm Beach, Florida.”
WOMAN: “No, thank you.”

With a smile on his face, the little boy replaced the receiver. The store owner, who was listening to all of this, walked over to the boy.
dental practice customer service

STORE OWNER: “Son…I like your attitude. I like that positive spirit and would like to offer you a job.”
BOY: “No thanks.”
STORE OWNER: “But I just listened to you. You were really pleading for a job.”
BOY: “No Sir, I was just checking my performance at the job I already have. I am the one who is working for the lady I was talking to!”

This is what Coach Ron calls, “Self Appraisal.”

“Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Why not autograph your work with excellence?”

What can you do in your work this week that will make your signature stand out?

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I survived my Heart Attack 26 years ago

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survived heart attackI feel like I want to Congratulate Me! I survived.

I know this may sound a bit self-centered however, at the risk of creating that impression, I’m still yelling out loud that I am grateful for being alive 26 years longer than I “should” have been. 

On August 7th, 1988, had it not been for my young 37-year old wife Trish & brother Scott, along with the emergency helicopter ride to the top of the Cleveland Clinic, I would have been another deceased heart attack victim at the ripe-old-age of 41!

I’m delighted for an alternative ending.

That I am alive today 26 years later is a message from GOD that there is yet something for me to do, someone to serve, love or care for. In the meantime, I feel very grateful for this special day…as well as each and every one of them! 

Thank you for being in my life.

26 years survived

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Antithesis-Juxtopposed-Opposite…Real Service vs. Crappy Service…there is a clear distinction!

And for service providers and we business owners, we damn well better recognize that Social Media is turning the idea of customer service upside down. And I’m doing it right now.

delivering on your promise to customersSweetness and I, for over 10 years, have loved our queen-size Tempur-Pedic mattress that we purchased from Mattress Matters in North Olmsted, Ohio. Wanting to expand our sleeping quality, on March 28, 2014, we revisited this store and purchased a new king-sized Tempur-Pedic with the built-in cooling feature. How exciting for old people…I can tell you first hand.

At the time of the sale, we were told the store needed to order factory-direct, as our “kool/cool Tempur-Pedic” was not available in the warehouse. We were unaware of the extended delay in delivery that required two phone calls from us to discover the “when” on the delivery. When it arrived, the very contentious deliverymen indicated that when they opened the packaging, there was an obvious flaw in the mattress covering and that, while not structural in nature, could be handled with a new cover. The salesman was notified and we were told this was IMPOSSIBLE in the words of the factory folks. They promised to replace the cover and all would be “peachy-keen.”

So, as of May 27, 2014, over two months later and several follow-up phone calls and still no resolve. Here is my resolve: Never will I purchase from these folks…and now you know it too. I love the mattress; I really dislike the local service and “lip-service” about how “we take such great care of our customers.” BS! Tempur-Pedic, while a sleeping delight, also is a substantial investment. I would have expected something different. No thank you note for your business, no follow-up from the store to rectify the problem…only Crappy Service!

the most important thing you can do to delight your customersNow here is the ANTITHESIS…one of my favorite eateries is Hyde Park Grill in Westlake, Ohio. Being a HUGE steak-lover, I purposely visit this store because of the great attention to detail they direct to, not only their food, but to their “guest care.” This place is sooooooo good, that the presumption is that you will never have a bad meal. As is typical, I was served with panache’ by Rachel Gregor, Jonathon Bates, and hosted by Ornela Kryeziu. They made my guest and me feel like we were the only people in the place. I love rib-eye steaks and was suggested to get their most “tricked-out,” super-duper, ultra-aged, bone-in rib eye.

Taking their recommendation, I ordered and continued on with my wonderful evening with my guest, Camille. Her food was prepared to perfection. Mine was quite rare (I ordered medium). I requested it be cooked further and when returned was still rare. The third time was a charm! That steak was unbelievable! I felt like a cannibal as I feverishly devoured it. (I know, for you vegetarians or save the whale-type folks, this is sacrilege, so forgive me). Then, in a stealth-like fashion, Mr. Scott Mehl, the General Manager of the restaurant, approached me, stood with confidence and poised in front of me, placed his card to my left and said, “Dr. Ron, I regret your meal was not cooked to your liking and it took us three times to meet your needs. Your dinner is on me.” Leaving as stealth-like as he arrived, he would not accept anything but my recognition of gratitude. No “lip-service” here. This man and his team delivered Real Service.

So, whom would you like to do business with? Folks who bullshit and tell you all the fluff and accolades about what they “will” do for you…or the folks who tell you they are about excellence and then LIVE IT?

Often, it is not the company’s product or service that distinguishes it in the marketplace, but rather how a company interacts with its customers. I choose Hyde Park Grill in Westlake, Ohio.


Dr Ron’s Real-Life Service Blog: Paying it Forward

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Learn to appreciate the things you have before time forces you to appreciate the things you once had.

I recently received a communication from one of my incredible clients, Dr. Alex Della Bella, describing a circumstance that arose for he and his beautiful wife, Jennifer, just this past week. After discussing with him, I pleaded with him to allow me to share this remarkable and random act of kindness with my readers. Please take the time to read it…

Friend of Dr. Alex & Jennifer Della Bella
Friend & classmate of Jennifer Della Bella

Coach, I just wanted to share an experience Jen and I had this weekend.

A friend and classmate of Jen’s, a married mother of three and a really nice lady, died suddenly of a heart attack on Wednesday evening.

Through other friends, Jen learned that the family had no money for her funeral so the friends set out to do a fundraiser. They could only raise half of the $2000 needed for the expenses and everyone was worried about what to do. Jen and I discussed it (for about 10 seconds) and decided to write a check to the funeral home for $1000, which I did this afternoon. Jen gave it to the deceased’s husband this evening.

I just wanted to tell you how good it felt to be able to give back in this way to such a needy family in their hour of agony. It graphically helps us realize how truly blessed we are.

Dr. Alex & Jennifer Della Bella
Dr. Alex & Jennifer Della Bella

What a spontaneous gesture of love, kindness and outreach by the Della Bella’s…all the while realizing gratitude for the bounty they have. Dr. Alex and Jen remind us all we need to learn to appreciate the things you have before time forces you to appreciate the things you once had.

Thank you Della Bella’s for your compassion, gentleness and humanity.

This random act of kindness teaches us that, instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we would be better to compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow man. It then appears, as Dr. Della Bella wrote, we are among the privileged.

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Persistent Consistency in the Dental Office

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This is the key to Rick’s business, Clean Sweep Chimney Sweeps, Inc. This man has mastered the art of service with panache. He’s taken what many might perceive as an innocuous business and made it remarkable.

core values for dental practiceEvery three to four years I call Rick to clean and maintain my fireplace and chimney and every time he bedazzles me with just a few things that make his craft unique. His simple marketing approach sets him apart from others.

EVERY time (persistent consistency) he has been to my home he:

    dental patient care

  • Is on time.
  • Lays down rugs at the doorway and into the house protecting wood floors and carpets; generously ‘drapes’ his work area to prevent any rug damage or soot accumulation.
  • Puts on ‘booties’ every time he enters the house, regardless of how many times he needs to go back to his truck for materials or equipment.
  • Is meticulous on his technique with no dust or soot flying around the house.
  • He is invisible…that is, the only way I knew he was here is I had a clean fireplace!

dental practice management tipsRick is persistently consistent in just a few things…the few things that make a BIG difference. No need for a lot of ‘bling’…just simple, effective, customer pleasing – real CUSTOMER CARE.

I have and will continue to recommend Rick to anyone who wants excellence in his or her chimney care and maintenance. How much does he charge? Who cares. When you hire Rick, price is irrelevant. Watching this master craftsman is worth the fee.

Action Step: What can you do today to make your Dental Practice “persistently consistent”? Share your ideas below, or on my facebook page.

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Dr. Ron’s Real-Life Service Blog: How to Identify Your Core Values

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I’ve got an amazing short story about one of my talented clients who got to discover just how powerful his Core Values are to the leadership of his practice.

dental practice managementDr. Tom Valo and his team have integrated his Core Values into the fabric of how they treat their patients and he recently received this totally unexpectedly note.

When you think Core Values are a bunch of crap and some goofy MBA nonsense project, re-read how this patient values his dentist’s values and how they are thankful for their doctor’s commitment to personalizing their care to his patients. Notice how the patient used Dr. Valo’s Core Values to explain how they have impacted their life.

creating core values

What are your practices belief’s? Does your team know them? How about those you get to serve? Below are some ideas to help create your own practice Core Values:

How to Identify Your Core Values
dental practice core values

  1. A core value is something I have chosen freely and with consideration for the consequences of my choice.
  2. A core value is something I prize greatly and has a positive influence on my life.
  3. A core value is something I want to publicly affirm.
  4. A core value is something I am willing to act on.
  5. A core value is something I would repeat…if given the circumstances, I would respond in the same way.

Core Values are the Guiding Principles around which I will make ALL my business (and personal) decisions. It is what I view as ‘right’ and ‘true’.

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Dr Ron’s Real-Life Service Blog: The BRUNETTI Brand

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I was invited to be a guest speaker for the Corydon Palmer Dental Society’s 100th Anniversary Winter Holiday Gala by their outgoing president, Dr. Don Brunetti. In addition, my Sweetness (my wife, Trish) and I were invited to be overnight guests of Don and his beautiful wife, Marcia, as we were traveling from Cleveland to Youngstown.

grow a dental practiceAs luck would have it, we found ourselves driving in a treacherous snowstorm where accumulation of the white stuff was in excess of nine inches, along with dangerously icy road conditions.

When we called Dr. Don alerting him of our arrival within a few minutes, we got our first taste of the BRUNETTI Brand. He instructed us to pull our car into his garage. Because the weather was so ugly, he had removed one of his cars and parked it outside in the crappy weather to enable us to drive into a warm garage and not have to empty our car in the lousy weather! WOW we both said to each other as we pulled in feeling very appreciative.

dental practice growthAfter unloading all our bags, Marcia and Don escorted us to the room they had prepared for our overnight stay. It was there that we experienced our second dose of the BRUNETTI Brand…there, neatly folded at the end of the bed, were two thick, fluffy, and soft bathrobes with our names embroidered on them! Never have Sweetness and I ever been received into someone’s home with such warmth, thoughtfulness and consideration.

To have received our own indoor parking spot and personalized bathrobes was but the beginning of a 36-hour experience of unprecedented caring and kindness. Dr. Don and Marcia reminded us that the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little ‘extra’. The Brunetti’s made us feel exceptionally welcome, comfortable and well cared for. I wish we could “bottle” their brand of thoughtfulness and have it available to open anytime a pick-me-up is needed.

Thank you Marcia & Don.

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Two weeks ago my wife, Trish, with the support of my event concierge, Brianne Mackall, hosted my twelfth Annual Dr. Ron’s Client Appreciation Extravaganza with a Cleveland Rock-n-Roll theme. The only way to describe the event…INDESCRIBABLE!

Having been “around the block” since 1973 (40 years since graduating dental school), there is nothing in the dental coaching world that can mimic this experience!

The fun, the “comfortableness,” the new friendships, the renewing of old friendships, the laughter, the OMG’s, and the personal connections with talented and remarkable human beings was simply beyond words. There was no “one-upsmanship,” no “cooler-than-you,” no “my practice is bigger than yours,” and certainly no “look-at-me.” My clients reminded me that there are two types of people – those who come into a room and say ‘Well, here I am!‘ and those who come in and say ‘Ah, there you are.'” What I heard them say as they connected with one another was “I’m glad you are here.”

Client Appreciation Extravaganza

This event was unique, distinctive, and meaningful.

To my client of twelve years who pulled me to the side and said: “This event, the camaraderie, the love, and the connection didn’t happen by accident…it has been the culmination of forty years of attention to detail and a whole lotta’ love.” To that, I say “Amen” and “Thank You.”

To make the event even more memorable, each client had prepared, in advance and in their own words, what our coaching relationship has meant to them over the years. They then sat me in the middle of the group and each read or told their stories while I did all I could to hold back the tears. This display of appreciation was very moving personally and each one of their communications had a lesson for me. Because those individual messages were so powerful, I decided that, over the next few weeks, I will share those lessons with you in my blog.

To see a few photos from the event, click here.


When is Okay, Okay in a Dental Practice?

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dental practice management coachingRecently I had a coaching call with one of my very professional and very quality-oriented clients regarding what is acceptable performance in his office. He has a talented team. He has high expectations. He felt he has shared those expectations with clarity to his team. However, the day before he was to deliver a comprehensive treatment plan and consultation with one of his patients, he was presented with these ‘diagnostic and professional’ mounted study models by one of his clinical staff.

I ask you (if you are a dental professional reading this…perhaps even if you are not in the dental field):

  • Do they look ‘Okay’ to you?
  • Do you think my client thought they were ‘Okay’?
  • Do you believe they would be ‘Okay’ to use to present quality dentistry to a patient?

When is Okay, Okay in our professions? I hope never.

What advice would you have to share with my client on how to handle this situation in his practice? What would you do to make certain a lackadaisical attitude does not permeate your team?

If you are interested in taking my simple “Is Okay Okay?” assessment, click here.

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Celebration! Give Yourself a Pat on the Back

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This year marks 40 years since I graduated from THE Ohio State University College of Dentistry– exactly twenty years in clinical practice and twenty years in dental financial planning management and professional coaching.

Give Yourself a Pat on the BackI believe this is something to celebrate and I wanted to share this milestone. All too often in our lives, I feel we fail to take the time to simply pause and reflect on what has gone on before and to relish and marinade in the thought that we have accomplished something unique, amazing or even unsuspected. We’ve overcome obstacles; we’ve stretched ourselves; or we’ve managed to accomplish what we thought might be impossible.

By me sharing my milestone with you, I am “requesting” of you to do the same. Why not take a few minutes, right now, and reflect on where YOU need to pat yourself on the back for something you have done, are doing or plan to accomplish. Go ahead…do it right now!

Feels nice doesn’t it?

Oh, and if you want to watch the lyrics on screen while you listen to this classic Kool & The Gang tune, click on this link.

CELEBRATION…by Kool & The Gang

Celebration - The Best of Kool & The Gang

This is your celebration

Celebrate good times, come on!
(Let’s celebrate)
Celebrate good times, come on!
(Let’s celebrate)

There’s a party goin’ on right here
A celebration to last throughout the years
So bring your good times and your laughter too
We gonna celebrate your party with you

Come on now, celebration
Let’s all celebrate and have a good time
We gonna celebrate and have a good time

It’s time to come together
It’s up to you, what’s your pleasure?
Everyone around the world come on!

It’s a celebration

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