At BlastX Consulting, our passion is helping our clients optimize the digital experience for their customers. To achieve this, we leverage our expertise, throw ourselves into the data, and develop innovative ways to use technology to provide a better experience. However, when you’re in the day-to-day of it, sometimes you need a reminder about the most important aspect of the experience – the human being.

Recently, I had the chance to reflect on how impactful a truly great experience can be. I never thought I’d write that “I had an amazing experience” and “visited the dentist” in the same sentence, let alone the same story, but here we go!

The Challenge of Finding the Right Dentist

Having recently moved, I was reminded that one of the biggest challenges is finding new doctors. Yet, I knew I had to get some dental work done, so the search was on. Dentists are a sore subject, pun intended, because of previous bad experiences I had in my youth. From being yelled at and compared to others who had perfect teeth to not receiving the best treatment, I’ve always feared dentists and the bad news I often get from them.

After doing my due diligence, I reached out to Prestige Dental. On that first phone call, the woman at the front desk was pleasant, polite and made it easy for me to understand the next steps, including filling out some paperwork online prior to the appointment. Within minutes of completing this call, I received a text message providing me with a link to the survey (with secure access). The survey had the usual questions about medical history, insurance information, etc. Yet, when I clicked the next page, my first thought was: “Wow, this is a long survey.”

I appreciated that my dentist wanted to know what I was looking for and what would make my experience more comfortable, so I willingly provided this information when asked to fill out a survey.

However, the questions were different and asked about my preferences, “What qualities in a dentist are important to me?” and “What would make me feel most comfortable during my visit?”. At this point, I thought, “Oh, look at them capturing all that zero-party data!!!” I appreciated that they wanted to know what I was looking for and what would make my experience more comfortable, so I willingly provided this information.

So far, so good!

The Day of Reckoning

Enter, Dr. Falestini. I expected Dr. Falestini to jump right into it, by asking about my current problems and then providing a solution to take care of those issues. Instead, he used his time to ask about me and my family. He’d heard that we’d recently moved to the area and asked how that transition was going. He asked what schools my boys were attending, and then we swapped stories about our experiences with kids entering their teenage years. He then went on to ask me how I felt about going to the dentist. At this point, the visit essentially turned into a therapy session for me.

When it came time to discuss potential next steps, I could tell Dr. Falestini had been actively listening to what I’d said in our earlier conversation.

I found myself sharing details about experiences from my youth, and why I’ve grown more hesitant with dentists as I’ve gotten older. I even expressed how, with all the other stressors in my life, I don’t want my teeth to be one of them. This ‘therapy session’ only lasted about five or ten minutes, but the resulting impact was far more significant for me than I would expect from such a short encounter. I couldn’t have imagined what a huge weight it would take off my shoulders to be able to express my concerns instead of keeping them bottled up.

From this initial conversation, Dr. Falestini was well on his way to earning my trust. I became far more relaxed as he went through his examination. When it came time to discuss potential next steps, I could tell he’d been actively listening to what I’d said earlier. He even told me his goal is to ensure that once he treats a tooth, you won’t have to worry about it again. BAM!

As I prepared to leave the office, I continued to observe the people there. The dental hygienist came to call one of the young boys waiting in the front. As he walked by, I could hear the hygienist asking him how his flag football season played out. These small personal touches from Dr. Falestini and his team made all the difference.

The Impact of a Truly Great Experience

Today, I can honestly say I had an amazing experience at the dentist. I came home from the office and immediately told my husband about my visit. He needed to find a new dentist as well. After hearing about my glowing experience, he called that day to set up an appointment. They just got a new patient!

Now, I’m sure Dr. Falestini wasn’t thinking about how to design the digital experience and what it should be like in person – but from the first phone call to leaving the office, the whole experience was about the human (me) and how Dr. Falestini’s team could make my visit to the dentist an easy, comfortable, and pleasant experience.

When you have the opportunity to create and engage in a truly great experience (or, in some unfortunate cases, a truly bad experience) it’s easy to see that every experience makes a mark. My game-changing visit to the dentist is proof of it, and it’s an experience I’ll continue to embrace and revisit in the day-to-day of my work at BlastX Consulting!