“Opening the Black Box” – Improving Patient Experience (feat. Dr. Matt Allen)

“The Dental Marketing Mix” Podcast – Season 1, Episode 3

In Episode 3 of “The Dental Marketing Mix” podcast, Dr. Matt Allen of DifferentKind sits down with host Dan Brian to talk about the importance of patient experience in dentistry. From integrating patient experience into practice culture to metrics and measurement, Google reviews to marketing, and much, much more, Dr. Allen reflects on what really matters most for dentists seeking to prioritize patient experience. Don’t miss this wide-ranging conversation on patient experience in dental practice with one of the industry’s foremost thought leaders!

For more information on “The Dental Marketing Mix” and to check out other episodes, visit the podcast page. Learn more about Dr. Allen and DifferentKind on their website and to connect with Dr. Allen, email matt (at) differentkind.com. You can also find him on LinkedIn, and be sure to check out his podcast, Kinda Different.


Dan Brian (00:18):

All right, welcome back to “The Dental Marketing Mix.” My name is Dan Brian, I’m the founder and VP of Marketing over at Dental Scapes. We’re a full service digital marketing agency specifically for dentists. And today I’m really excited to dig into a really hot button issue which is patient experience. And not only is patient experience, you know, as we know, important for, well, of course the patient and also your practice, but it’s also very much in alignment with some of the goals of online marketing. And so, joining me today, I’m really excited to have a really great guest, Dr. Matt Allen. And Matt is a dentist, of course, and he’s also CEO and co-founder over at DifferentKind, which is a company that’s doing some really cool stuff and innovative thinking when it comes to patient experience. So welcome to the show today, Matt. And what can you tell us about your background, how the hell did you get into dentistry, and specifically how did you get so involved in patient experience and what are you doing within that field now?

Dr. Matt Allen (01:22):

Dan, thanks so much for having me. Super excited to be on your podcast here today. And yeah, I’ll give your listeners a little bit of background on myself. So I am a dentist, like you mentioned. I live in the mountains of Colorado. My background in kind of patient experience, I worked in a community health setting for a number of years and really learned about the value and evidence-based strategies, actually. It’s not just like, hey, communication is important, right? But there’s a lot of evidence-based strategies out there, including motivational interviewing on how we can help patients make behavior change as oral health professionals. And that’s not just limited to dentists. Certainly includes hygienists, the rest of the care team, et cetera. And I’m one of three dentists in the world who’s a member of MINT, which is the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers.


So I spent a number of years kind of consulting with groups around the world on how do we most effectively communicate with patients to A, help them make behavior changes and B, improve their patient experience, and C, help reduce provider burnout. All of those pieces I think are really important. And one of the big questions that I always got, you know, when I would do that is how do I measure this, right? As we look for better and more data in dental in general we always would get the question of how do I measure this? And there really wasn’t a great way to measure it out there that we saw. And so that was some of the genesis of DifferentKind was to say, hey, we think we can actually help providers and practices and groups measure some of these really important parts around patient experience. And then from there, once we know the data right, we can help them improve. So that’s a little bit about me and a little bit about you know, my background. Happy to dive into any more of that if you would like.

Dan Brian (02:55):

Yeah. We’re gonna get into more of it a little bit later on, but DifferentKind, you know, you’re working with clients across the country and what kinds of practices in particular are you focused on?

Dr. Matt Allen (03:05):

Yeah, we have a lot of, you know, different groups using our platform, you know, from DSOs to public health, community health clinics and organizations, some private practice dentists that are also using our platform. So we feel like we have a good mix. In terms of, hey, you know, obviously this is important work for everyone and we really think we can help anyone who’s really interested in actually diving into understanding their patient experience more on a very granular level and then actually improving it.

Dan Brian (03:34):

Love it. And I should say also Matt has his own podcast for DifferentKid and can you tell us a little bit about that? What’s the title again? I forget. I know it’s really clever, but I’m having a lapse here.

Dr. Matt Allen (03:46):

Yeah, totally. It’s called Kinda Different. So yes just kind of switching up the words a little bit, right. And we talk about innovation in dentistry in general and we really talk about how we can make healthcare more human. So yeah. It’s a super fun thing. And I decided to be on the other side of the mic here today.

Dan Brian (04:02):

Yeah, exactly. How does it feel? Pretty different. Kinda different, I guess, right?

Dr. Matt Allen (04:06):

It feels kind of different. Yeah, exactly. Most of the time I’m just facilitating and asking the questions, and today I get to answer ’em. That’s always a good time.

Dan Brian (04:13):

Yeah, man. Well, let’s dig into it. So I wanna ask you, and you kind of alluded to it earlier, but can you explain sort of in your own words what the importance of patient experience is in oral healthcare? And I’m particularly curious to get your take on how it directly impacts the success of a practice in general.

Dr. Matt Allen (04:32):

Yeah, for sure. So, you know, I think the way that I at least define patient experience is, you know, the patient’s perception of you and your practice or your group from the first moment that, you know, they go searching for you online, which is usually where they’re gonna find out about you these days, right, to the moment that they come back for a recall, right? So that would be maybe one cycle through the full you know, one full kind of journey. And the way that I kind of think about that, right, in terms of importance is that really, you know, most patients, and you hear this all the time, right? But most patients don’t really know the kind of quality of dentistry that you’re doing. They don’t really know about your margins. They don’t really know about, you know, any of that stuff unless it hurts.


But they do know how you treat them, how they feel about it, whether they can trust you, all of those pieces. And that’s not, again, not just for the dentist, often it’s the dentist might be the least important part of that whole experience, right. It might be the front desk person is incredibly important or, you know, the hygienist that they’re spending a lot of time with. And so when we look at the data from like hospitals, for example, around those kinds of interpersonal behaviors, especially during an in-person visit tend to be the biggest drivers in terms of patient loyalty, in terms of things like treatment plan compliance. Or finishing treatment plans, which we all know are really important. So when we look at the success of a dental practice, which is obviously going to be linked to, you know, patients coming back, finishing treatment plans, like all of the ROI around that.


It’s, you know, it’s really important that we provide that really exceptional patient experience, and it shouldn’t be rocket science. From the perspective that we know that various hospitality companies, right hotels especially are very much known for this. The Ritz Carltons of the world, et cetera, are very much known for, hey, you know, we just want, it’s not necessarily how comfortable the bed is, it’s important that the bed is comfortable. But you know, how we treat you, how we make you feel, all of those pieces really drive what, you know, consumers at this point, which are patients expect in a very consumer-driven world.

Dan Brian (06:46):

Absolutely. And, you know, you’re all about measurement and data at DifferentKind and have been involved in that space for quite some time. What would you say are some of the symptoms of, you know, maybe a poor patient experience that a clinic really needs to address? What are some of the symptoms or early warning signs that maybe this is something worth paying attention to?

Dr. Matt Allen (07:09):

Yeah, that’s a really great question. And I would say in terms of some of this, the way that we tend to think about it, right? Is if someone came into your practice and said, hey, you know, we want to see, you know, what your production looks like on a daily or weekly or monthly basis, right? You wouldn’t just say to them, well, it’s this right? And give them an answer, and they would take your word for it, right? No. They’d be like, I’m gonna go in and look at the data and actually pull it. And so I think when it comes to patient experience, people know that it’s important, but when it’s like, hey, so what does that actually look like? Let me go look at the data. And it’s like, well, it doesn’t exist, right? And so it’s often just like we’re taking the word of clinicians on what their perception of the patient experience is.


Which is obviously wrong, right? We have to ask patients about a colleague in the health tech space that runs an organization called Savvy Cooperative, and their like tagline is Ask Patients. They’re involved in a lot of clinical trial designs and stuff like that, right? And it’s Ask Patients. And so I think that this is just a really good way for us to both interact with individual people, but a good mindset for us to kind of think about as a clinic. So I think in terms of warning signs, right? You know, what might a bad patient experience be? I don’t really think that you can necessarily trust online reviews as a good source of patient experience or bad patient experience. Because oftentimes you’re gonna get, you know, two very select groups of people there, right? You’re gonna get people who are either really angry and everyone has practices that have patients that are really frustrated, or you’re gonna get people who are like, this is the best thing ever.


Sometimes those are real, sometimes those aren’t, you know, we all know the problems that exist, I think in that kind of Google reviews or Yelp reviews or whatever, right? And so oftentimes I think what we really see though is that the real patient experience is somewhere in the middle, and we really have to understand all of those pieces in the middle. And so obviously there are, you know, kind of big pieces that are out there in terms of you know, a lack of coherent leadership, I think is probably one of the biggest indicators of poor patient experience

Dan Brian (09:18):

And what do you mean by that in terms of a lack of coherent leadership?

Dr. Matt Allen (09:21):

Yeah, so I mean, I think when you look at, let’s go back to the hospitality industry again, or, you know, something like that, right? When we think about it, it’s like you’re gonna have a consistent experience from the moment you walk in the door till the moment you walk out the door. And that comes from, hey, there’s training, there’s direction, there’s guidance, there’s values. Like, everyone understands what that should look like. And it only takes one person in that kind of journey to essentially ruin everything for a patient, right? And we think about another kind of experience that I like to think about that we all share is going to a restaurant and it only takes one person — the host, the waiter, you know, manager, chef, whatever it might be, you know, one person in that journey to make you feel like, wow, this really sucked.


You know, like a really rude host or hostess is gonna make you feel like, wow, this was terrible, even if the food was great, right? And so it’s up to the leadership, I think, to create that vision and cast that vision and say, hey, everyone’s gonna be on the same page. Here’s how we’re gonna do all of this stuff. And so I feel like as a patient you know, there might not be a focus around this. This is just a disparate part of your patient experience, right? Where if you’re like, yeah, this part was good, but this part really sucked, and this part, you know, was okay, you know, there’s just not a coherent vision again from the leadership then saying, hey, here’s how we’re gonna cast this, and here’s what it’s gonna look like across our entire organization.

Dan Brian (10:44):

Yeah, absolutely. Well, it’s really interesting what you said a few minutes ago about online reviews, which are so important for dental marketing now and so important for the growth of a practice. But it is interesting because I think you’re right, that you get these extreme polar opposites in terms of what you see there, and it’s the really happy people who are basically brand ambassadors for your practice. And then it’s what I call the Yelpers, because that’s where they all seem to gravitate anyway, these extremely, you know, negative people who have had, you know, a bad experience and they’re gonna let it be known, damn it. But you know, I’m just curious. So let’s say I’m a dentist and I have decided to really turn my attention to patient experience. Where do I start? What are the first steps that I should be taking to, maybe it’s develop that coherent leadership, maybe it’s implement tools for measurement. But where do I begin?

Dr. Matt Allen (11:40):

Yeah, I would say that certainly it’s just the awareness at the beginning, right? To say from the leadership in general to say, hey, this is something that we know is important. We know this is impacting, you know, our patient attrition. We know this is impacting our treatment plan completion. We know this is impacting our compliance within an organization, right? We know that organizations that have really great patient experience are much less likely to be sued. So there’s lots of those pieces that I think need the buy-in from the leadership to say, hey, this is really important. We have to pay attention to this. That’s obviously step one. And then I think step two is there’s a lot of tools for what I would call the digital portion of the acquisition journey.


So from the moment a patient maybe lands on your website or looks for you online to the moment they get to your front door, there’s a lot of tools that can help you measure that piece, right? We all know those things from, you know, hey, everything you click on on the internet is measured in some way. There’s lots of really good tools there. You know, then I would say from the moment the patient leaves the office until the, you know, the moment they come back, there’s some great tools to keep patients engaged, to help them answer questions, to do a lot of those pieces as well. And that’s all part of the patient journey. I think where we see a gap is that from the moment the patient walks in the front door until the moment the patient leaves your office, right? So that in-person experience, that’s often a black box.


For a lot of practices in groups, right? It’s just like, we got some codes, we have some clinical notes, but like, what did the patient see, feel, hear, experience during the time they were in our office? And we just don’t really know. And so that’s been a big part of what we try to help practices understand is how do we, you know, open that black box up? How do we help practices understand that piece? So I would say, you know, there’s lots of tools to do some of the front end and the back end. We try to help with the middle part of that journey. But I would say, yeah, to that point, you have to measure it. You have to be able to understand the data just in the same way that you’re not gonna make, you know, financial decisions in your practice without good financial data. It’s hard to make good practice experience and patient experience decisions without good data.

Dan Brian (13:49):

Yeah, for sure. Now, we’ve talked a lot about the acquisition phase of things. We’ve talked about the interaction and interpersonal communication that patients may have with staff and with the dentist. But on a clinical level, how can dentists you know, and staff for that matter, how can they integrate patient experience or at least be mind more mindful of it within their clinical practice? I know you’re obviously an expert in motivational interviewing and that may be one part of it, but what truly can people do within their clinical practice to really emphasize and put front and center you know, patient experience?

Dr. Matt Allen (14:27):

Yeah, that’s a great point. I mean, I certainly think that when we look at the data around this, some of the things that come back that are the most important to patients are feeling, are being treated with care and respect, are things like being listened to, being involved in their decision making. And so then it’s how do you operationalize those concepts, right? It’s one thing to say, hey, treat patients with more care and respect. But how do you actually do that? So one, I mean, this is very basic, but I’ve talked to a lot of dentists and dental groups out there for whom this piece of information has been transformative, right? When you make an important decision in your life, Dan, do you do it leaned back with a bright light over your face and someone staring in your mouth?

Dan Brian (15:10):


Dr. Matt Allen (15:10):

Of course you don’t. Right? And so generally, one of the things that we say is, hey, if you’re talking to a patient, they should be sat up. And you know, as we get, obviously Covid is who knows if it’s ever gonna go away, right? But we’re in a place right now where most people are generally, you know, communicating without masks on, you know, in their normal life. Obviously during Covid, that was much different, but we always would say, you know, take your mask off, have a face-to-face conversation with a patient. If you’re gonna be talking with them, and even if that’s happening in the middle of treatment, right? So let’s say something drastic is shifting in your clinical practice, you’re doing a root canal, and all of a sudden you’re like, wow, this tooth has a really big crack in it, and there’s absolutely no way this can be saved and we need to extract it and, you know, whatever it might be.


I would still sit the patient up, even if they’ve still got the rubber dam on at that point or whatever, and say, hey, look, you know, here’s what we’re seeing. Here’s what this means for our options moving forward. What do you want to do? How does that feel to you? Right? Involving them in their decision-making, setting them up, looking them in the eye. Those are very basic human interaction pieces that can make a huge difference when it comes to paying attention to this in clinical practice. So if you can kind of put some of those rails up, you know, so the devil’s in the ditches, obviously, but if we can kind of put some of the rails to say, hey, let’s not fall into those ditches as easily just by having a few kind of basic practices you know, I think that can be really helpful. And that’s certainly an example of one of them.

Dan Brian (16:31):

I love it. I mean, sometimes these simplest changes are truly the most transformative. And I think that’s an excellent, you know, example. I can’t say you know, it’s making me, you know think, and I can’t say that I’ve ever been sat up in the chair to talk with my dentist and, you know, I won’t name names, but that’s really interesting. You know, I really like that. So, you know, I wanted to get back though and talk a little bit about staff. You had mentioned them at the outset, so the front desk dental assistants, hygienists. How can a dentist, or at least leadership in a dental practice, how can they instill these values in their team, and how can they promote the kind of culture that really prioritizes patient experience? How can they do that?

Dr. Matt Allen (17:15):

Yeah, that’s a really great question. I mean, I think, you know, first and foremost that comes through, again, the decision of the leadership to do that. And then it comes through, not just to like, hey, go do it, but it comes through a comprehensive plan to say, we’re going to integrate this into every part of our organization, right? So during interviewing, right? I would say that that’s the first step, right? If you’re interviewing new staff you should be talking about this in terms of not just, hey, like, do you know how to sterilize instruments? Or do you know how to, you know, work with my PMs or whatever it might be. But let’s talk about those, you know, interpersonal elements and how do you listen to people and how do you help them feel heard? Or if a patient is frustrated, let’s walk through a scenario around that from, you know, the onboarding, right?


So once you’re onboarding people, what does that look like? How much attention are you paying to that? Are you just throwing ’em in a chair and being like, great, go see patients. Are you actually helping them learn? Do you have champions within your office whom they can shadow and see, or within your organization that they can watch success stories, right? When it comes then to things like measurement, right? That’s gotta be a part of the, not just once in a while cadence, but just a frequent cadence. We like to think that our data is available every single day. And so when you’re having a morning huddle and if you’re not doing that, you should be, but you know, when you’re having that morning huddle to be able to focus on things that went well yesterday, things that we could have improved, right?


When it comes to this kind of work, hey, we got this feedback from a patient that said, you know, this was a little off what happened? Let’s discuss, right? Let’s figure it out. Let’s get to the root cause of that. And so I think that has to be consistent. And then when you look at things like performance reviews and whatnot, again, it should be baked into those pieces. So I think it’s gotta be, you know, something that people feel not just at one moment or once a year, once a quarter, right? But it’s just kind of gotta be baked into the culture of an organization. And if that’s happening, it’s just so much more likely to be successful.

Dan Brian (19:09):

Absolutely. And so important too to, you know, consider those soft skills as opposed to just, you know, clinical skills or technical skills, you know, when you’re looking for an assistant or looking for a hygienist, I think that that can make such a difference. Now, this is “The Dental Marketing Mix,” after all. So I have to ask, you know, obviously reviews are a huge part of what we do at DentalScapes, what other marketing agencies do for dental practices and reviews are so inextricably tied into practically everything. Now they’re tied into local SEO, they’re tied into you know, just patient acquisition in general in terms of folks shopping around for a new provider. What would you say about sort of the intersection of patient experience and these all-important Google reviews. I mean, how does that, how does that connect and, you know, what would you say to a practice that may be implementing some of the tools and methods that you suggest as it relates to patient experience, what would you suggest that they do with regard to Google reviews? Which again, we talked about may not be the best indicator of patient experience overall at your practice, but are still important nonetheless.

Dr. Matt Allen (20:17):

Totally. Well, I would say, you know, as I think about this, right, I just generally have a very strong opinion that Google reviews or Yelp reviews or whatever are not the best way to measure healthcare, right? So let’s just say that upfront. That being said, like you said, they’re extremely important for practice visibility, for people finding you online. And obviously we know that that’s crucial. And so my next question then, it’s always what we want to do is we want to ask the right questions. And so what do we care about as practice? Is it having a high Google review rating, or is it being a practice that is deserving of that rating? There’s a difference. Or sometimes there’s a difference, right? And I think that that’s sometimes where the review process can feel very transactional in a one-sided way for the dental practice, right?


The review process can feel extractive from a patient of, give me something, give me five stars so that my practice can find more patients and whatever. It’s really transactional. And that doesn’t feel good as a patient, right? And so, you know, I think it’s not bad to have reviews obviously, because it helps your practice be found. But if that’s the only goal is to just, you know, be visible, it’s like, no, that shouldn’t be the goal. The goal should be to be a practice that is great that patients want to talk about. Right? And so, you know, so that’s to me a fundamental difference between, you know, the desire, I guess. It really speaks to the heart motivation of what are we really looking for here.


And you can have both. It’s not an either or question. It can be a yes and question, right? Yeah. So if that’s truly our goal, then what do we want? We just want raving patients talking about our practice. And so we want to be the kind of practice that is just excellent all the way across the board. And so for example, what we’re seeing, like with some of our data, right? So the way that we collect feedback, we collect feedback after a visit, we generally do that, you know, via text or email and have patients, you know, answer a number of questions. It’s pretty short. It’s, you know, not burdensome generally to them, but it’s anonymous so that they can say what they really want to say. It’s not necessarily being used for marketing at that moment, right?


To say, hey I’m gonna take your direct quote and you know, go blast it all over the internet. And I would say that it’s also if there is service recovery that’s necessary, we provide that within the platform because if you have a bad experience, right? We’ve all seen this on Google where it’s like, you can’t say anything because of HIPAA and you don’t want to respond negatively and whatever. And it’s like, hey, call our office back at 5:55 or whatever to resolve this issue. And it’s like, well, what happens when you call back off and then someone doesn’t answer the phone, you’re at lunch. Like, it, you have to call after five o’clock when the practice is closed. Yeah. Because you’re at work all day. It’s just like not a very good situation. Right? And so can we facilitate a more empathetic response to someone who’s had a bad experience via the practice Now knowing about that and calling them back. All that to say, what we see though is that simply by asking these questions of like, hey, we would love your feedback. Some people are just more prone to go to Google and leave reviews because they want to share that information publicly. Right? And so we’ve actually seen practices using our platform that have doubled their Google reviews and increased their five-star reviews and decreased their one-star reviews. And all of those pieces because they’re simply becoming a better practice.

Dan Brian (23:48):

A hundred percent.

Dr. Matt Allen (23:49):

And you know, that’s to me a difference. So I think you can have both. I think you can learn about the spots where your practice is not performing, you know, as well as you potentially could while still becoming visible on the internet. So that was a long answer to your question.

Dan Brian (24:06):

No, that was great.

Dr. Matt Allen (24:07):

I think it’s complex, right? And I don’t think that there’s like a perfect way and look, if people are just like, hey, all we care about is just like getting five stars on Google and we don’t care about improving our practice because it’s just gonna get people in the door and maybe they’re gonna go out the back, but whatever. It’s like, hey, you know, you can’t do everything for everyone. But for the people who are really truly concerned about making it that kind of ultimate experience for the patient, I think that we’re figuring out ways to do that.

Dan Brian (24:31):

Awesome. Now, before we wrap up, I wanna put you on the spot here for just a second. And so, you know, you’ve looked at a lot of data over the last several years and over the course of your career, and especially in launching DifferentKind, you’ve had a window into the patient experience at a lot of different practices in different settings. What, when you look at the data in aggregate, what are some of the, or what is one key takeaway? Maybe it’s surprising, maybe it’s something you expected, but what’s one key takeaway, whether it’s a challenge for practices or an opportunity that you often see that maybe, you know, dentists out there listening to this show should be aware of?

Dr. Matt Allen (25:15):

Yeah, that’s a great question. I would say two, I’ll give you one thing that patients tend to be really frustrated with especially during visits and it’s wait time, which I don’t think anyone is necessarily surprised about. And I often don’t think that wait time is, I mean, it can be a problem, right? You can get to a point where it’s like, hey, this is really a problem. But it’s not actually the wait time. It’s often just the communication around the wait time where patients feel in the dark, right? And so the more proactive you can be about that with your team, and that’s definitely a team issue, right? Of, hey, this thing is happening in the back, it’s causing us to run behind. We gotta like, make sure everyone is in the know. You know, the dentist can’t walk away from like a big surgical extraction necessarily in that moment.


So another team member’s gotta be, you know, alert to that. So to me that’s a communication issue. And that can be relatively easily solved if you make a commitment to say, hey, we’re just gonna make sure that all patients, you know, are communicated with effectively. But if they’re not, it doesn’t take a very large amount of time for them to feel like the process is broken. I think it’s like seven or eight minutes, actually, don’t quote me on that, but I’m almost positive that it’s around that number of time that a patient has to wait before they feel like what’s going on. So that just requires really consistent effort to say, hey, here’s where we’re at, here’s what’s going on.

Dan Brian (26:39):

And this is why.

Dr. Matt Allen (26:39):

What’s gonna happen next. Yeah, exactly. And this is why, right? So there’s definitely that that I think people have the opportunity to do.

Dan Brian (26:45):

People are understanding at the end of the day, most of the time they just want to know what’s going on.

Dr. Matt Allen (26:49):

Yeah, totally. Right. And they wanna have options. So for example, like if your office had a policy to say, hey, any patient that has to wait more than 20 minutes, we’re gonna offer them the opportunity to rebook at a time that might be convenient for them, you know, most convenient for them. Like they get first choice at that moment, and maybe there’s something that we’re gonna do for them. I don’t know. Right. Like, there’s ways to mitigate that and if they choose to stay, great, like yeah, oftentimes as a patient, if I’m in an office, like I’m already here, if it’s gonna be 10 more minutes, like this is totally fine. But just having policies around that where you can say, hey, this is how we’re gonna handle this I think can be really effective. And then, you know, second, I would say one of the things that we see is, you know, a lot of patients get frustrated with after visit management. So I have questions.


You know, again, the practice might not be open, whatever, I don’t know necessarily know who to call or contact or, you know, whatever. And so how are patients being followed up with consistently? Again, this isn’t just like a, hey, every time I have a surgical extraction, I’m gonna like call my patient the next day to see how they’re doing. But just kind of making it a habit to say, hey, for all of our patients who come in you know, we’re gonna follow up with them in whatever way that might be. There’s lots of great communication tools in terms of texting patients now, and, you know, however a patient prefers to be contacted we’re gonna follow up with ’em and we’re gonna make sure that they don’t have any questions or if they did have some kind of procedure that, you know, they’re feeling okay, but they’re not experiencing any side effects or things that shouldn’t be going on.


So I think that that piece, again, to a patient, it just feels like you’re being empathetic to where they’re at. As dentists, I think sometimes we’re like, oh yeah, they just had a filling and, you know, whatever, it’s fine. This is like a super normal part of our life, right? But as a patient for everyone, even if you’ve had a lot of fillings, it’s like not something that you’re having happen every day. And so it is this kind of rare experience. And so I think just having people that can recognize that and be empathetic towards that and kind of wrap you in, you know, communication and follow up and be concerned, I think makes patients feel really taken care of.


That, and I would say those are huge opportunities because we do see a lot of frustration around that from patients. So even if you think you’re doing well you know, as the data comes back, you might not be. And, you know, and even if you are great, like that’s awesome, but you should know that. And then you should be able to say, great, our aim is to, you know, continue at that level.

Dan Brian (29:10):

Always room to improve. Now, before we close out here, and this has been such an insightful conversation, so I can’t thank you enough, but I’m gonna tee it up for you. Probably an easy one, but why is patient experience important? Say I’m a private practice dentist, say I’m running a public health center, say I’m, you know, a DSO executive, why does patient experience matter?

Dr. Matt Allen (29:33):

I would say that in this day and age, patient experience matters because people aren’t judging your practice against their historical dental experience. They’re judging it based on every other consumer-driven innovation that has happened, especially over the past several years since Covid started, but certainly over the last 12 or whatever it’s been since the iPhone has been released, where people can get whatever they want when they want, and they’re expecting to be listened to, heard, understood in so many ways. And so we have to provide the level of that experience if we want patients coming back to us consistently and not just if we want patients coming back to us, but everyone wants that high NPS score where they’re saying, hey, we want people recommending us to their friends and doing that stuff. If you want that kind of experience patients who are sticky, who are gonna finish their treatment plans and not leave, right? But not only just not leave, but tell their friends about you, then this is simply crucial to that piece because again, they probably don’t know if the margin on their crown is great. Right? But they do know how they were treated and they do know how they felt about it.

Dan Brian (30:33):

Yeah. So important. So important. Well, Matt, I can’t thank you enough. Thank you so much for joining. What can you tell us a little bit more about DifferentKind and how can folks get in touch with you if they’re interested in taking that next step?

Dr. Matt Allen (30:46)

Yeah, for sure. You can always find us online at DifferentKind.com, pretty straightforward. Feel free to email me directly, matt (at) differentkind.com. More than happy to touch base there on LinkedIn, also, both personally as well as, you know, we are DifferentKind. So yeah, feel free to reach out in any of those ways. We’d be more than happy to touch base on this for anyone who’s interested. And one more thing here, too, Dan that I forgot to mention, that might be important as we go back to, you know, thinking then about how some of this patient experience relates to marketing. One of the things that I think we can do with that data as well, once we have it, is we can aggregate it to tell a great story. So let’s say we’re an organization that is providing this ultimate patient experience right now, we can put that information on our website and we can say, hey, look, like here’s what patients really think about as we rank, you know, in the top 1% for treating patients with care and respect, involving them in their decision making, you know, making it easy to get an appointment when they need it, whatever it might be.

Dan Brian (31:42):

Yeah, and you have, you have that benchmark data too.

Dr. Matt Allen (31:45):

We do, right? And so we can help practices tell that story effectively. And that becomes a huge marketing piece, I think, where it’s, hey, not why we’re just, you know, better than the practice down the street, and have more Google stars or reviews, right. But it’s like we can give you very granular information about why we’re the best practice. And man, I think for a lot of people that’s super important. So tell good stories with your data once you have it. That would be, let’s sign off with that.

Dan Brian (32:09):

Love that. Yeah. I absolutely love that. Thank you for bringing that up. And Matt, thank you so much for joining us today. I really appreciate it. And I will throw all that information you put out there in the show notes so folks can get in touch with you. And be sure to check out Matt’s podcast too. Kinda Different. Awesome conversations and yeah, well thank you so much, Matt. And if I have my way about it, I will find some way to drag you back on in the future. If you’ll have it.

Dr. Matt Allen (32:35):

Always happy to come back and talk, and if you want to dive deep into the data or whatever it is, you let me know, I’m more than happy to have the conversation. Dan, thanks for having me on.

Dan Brian (32:42):

Awesome. Thanks a lot, Matt. Take care.