Tough Transitions

Businesses, sometimes go through tough transitions…whether growing to fast, not growing quickly enough, or going through a sale of one of their business partners.

Today, it was the last one of these on the list that could have been handled better.

We spent an unusually long time at our pediatric dental office, during which we learned we had missed a regular check up; then, spending many, many, minutes trying to schedule an appointment and pay today’s fee for the visit. (Point to note, at the beginning of the appointment, I was told that they would process insurance first, and then they would bill me the difference. Apparently, that person was not 100% clear on how it worked and was absolutely wrong. No harm to me, pay now, pay later is pretty much the same.)

However, the overall experience makes me sad, for two reasons in addition to the “obvious” third.

  1. We really like this office and the team who support the docs.
  2. I truly believe that business owners should be able to build a business and then, if they do it well, sell it to an up-and-coming owner.
  3. My daughter just had a tooth pulled to make room for orthodontic work and she had to suffer the wait more than anyone.

People make a huge difference in almost industry, but when you meet and get to know several people over time, you like to see them right where you expect them to be. Nowhere is this more important than in a business that you go to year over year as your children age; and, more specifically one that is typically thought of in fear.

This dental practice was full of great techs, front counter assistants and a wonderful dentist who never hurt the kids and they didn’t fear, one little bit.

This new owner, succeeding a founder (or even a subsequent owner in a 3rd generation sale), in any business should be able to prove and show that they will fulfill the same customer service philosophy and deliver on that promise. This takes planning, well ahead of time. Done well, can eliminate some (of not all) of these issues that happen when a business sells. Training and communications do wonders to ease and eliminate tough transitions. In the long run, this will save your investment and keep clients from leaving through the growth process. I hope they figure it out soon, or we won’t be back for more than just one more visit.

~ Dawn aka Hat Girl

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