When my kids were younger, we used to play a game when we left a store. We’d critique the way that the store employees greeted and treated us, whether or not we made a purchase.
Think about the last time you visited a store. Were you greeted — in a non-canned manner — when you walked in? Were you made to feel welcome? Were you assisted but not pushed? And when you left, did someone thank you for visiting?
Think about the last time you went to the doctor — no, let’s flip this around: If you’re an office practice physician, think about the last patient you saw in your office. If you’re in a hospital-based specialty, think about the last patient with whom you interacted. Did you greet them? Did you say “thank you” to them at the end of the interaction?
Common sense says that these pleasantries — the hellos, the pleases, the thank yous — should be part of every customer/client/patient interaction. Nearly none of your competitors will ever put this into action. That’s why Voltaire said that common sense is not so common.
That’s also why it’s absolutely so easy to use these pleasantries to create relationships with your patients — relationships that will in the long term make your practice more profitable, and that will make life more pleasant for your patients and for you.