By JONATHAN FINE
I spotted this full page ad on page 10 of the Times travel section last Saturday, and it got me wondering about the kind of quality people get when they go to Budapest, “the dental capital of Europe”.
We’re doing a mystery shop on the Kreativ Clinic, and I will let you know what we find, but in the meantime I just wanted to dwell a little on the implications this ad might have on your relationship with a patient (assuming they saw it last week too).
If we’re talking about a patient who is in obvious need of a full mouth reconstruction or implants, you will have (or should have) spoken to them at some length about their options. With big treatment plans like this, some of our clients like to invite their patients back at a convenient time to do a presentation with refreshments and really go into depth.
Whether you do this or not (and I highly recommend you do because you will sell more £25k+ treatment plans), you’re patient will inevitably demur, and when they do, your best bet is to try and ascertain whether they’re demurring mostly out of fear of physical or financial pain. If it’s fear of physical pain, don’t worry: the idea of going to Budapest will probably conjure up mental images of Vlad the Impaler in their terrified mind.
If not, you will have picked up subtle and not so subtle cues about your patient’s level of affluence (clothes, car, bearing) and, let’s face it, really affluent people aren’t going to be particularly interested in getting their teeth done abroad.
But let’s say they’re rendered speechless by your £25,000 quote and even though you’ve carefully explained your finance packages they’re still staring back at you, wide eyed and blinking; why not now openly discuss the idea of going to Budapest for cut-price treatment? Ask them if they’ve looked into it, what the prices look like (just so you know, they are at least 60 per cent cheaper) and whether they’ve found a reputable clinic (I promise, this is not a puff piece for Kreativ Clinic – I have no idea how good they are, but let’s wait and see what the mystery shop reveals…).
All you’re really doing is reinforcing trust, so that whatever your patient decides, they won’t feel awkward and leave your practice on account of it. What you’ll most probably find is that open discussion about the Budapest option will reinforce your patient’s impression of your transparency around fees, and that can only be a good thing. On the other hand, when you think about it, keeping your lips sealed about elephant in the room is only going to damage your relationship.
Has anyone you know had treatment in Budapest? How did it go? Let me know.
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