My dentist knows me and that gives her something to talk about

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

newborn daughteAs you may know, our second daughter joined the family in July 2014. In October, I visited my dentist for a routine check-up and cleaning.

In the middle of all the usual dentist-type discussions, the hygienist and later the doctor both independently from each other said: “And you guys had a baby, right? Boy? Girl? What did you name her?”

It was nice and so relevant. That prompted us to talk more about how the family is doing, how our six-year-old is adjusting and other related items – all things that I care about.

When we have discussions about topics near and dear our hearts, those exchanges mean a lot and build relationships.

My dentist asking about my newborn is a great example how how important it is to know something meaningful about the people we talk to. It’s important to work it into the conversation in a natural way.

Of course, I wondered: How would they even know this about my family? I’m certain I wouldn’t have brought that up during my April appointment. But if I did, they documented it in their computer system! Very smart.

I mentioned the pleasant exchange to my wife later and also wondered out loud to her. “Probably because I was nine months’ pregnant during my last appointment,” she said.

That makes sense. I assume my wife’s dentist or her hygienist promptly entered this information into the system. Since the two of us are no doubt linked in the system, this piece of personal information also carried over to my account.

That’s great. As long as information isn’t misused. The friendly question after the birth of my daughter was nice and not intrusive at all. I even thanked them for asking.

What are the take-aways?

  • A good customer relationship system where information can be tracked is key. You can’t bring up relevant points during a conversation (online or offline) if you don’t have a place to easily document them and easily retrieve them when they are relevant.
  • Bringing up information at the wrong time can be creepy. What if my dentist had sent us a congratulatory card? That may have felt strange.
  • Bringing up information at the right time builds and strengthens relationships. The way it was brought up was friendly and conversational. I thought it was very nice and at the right time. Also: They cared about more than my teeth and if I floss daily.  That was nice!

Knowing your customers in a non-creepy way can turn those customers into advocates. I’ve shared this story a number of times now and endorsed my dentist’s office each time. See, being nice and relevant beyond the business at hand can help business in the long run with that particular customer and his or her connections.