There are three types of purchasing we make as consumers: Search, Experience and Credence. “What does this have to do with Orthodontics?” I hear you ask. Let me explain.
Search purchases are “products” – TV’s, Cars, Clothes etc. You can search for these products and “shop” around for the best deal. You can get the same product from different retailers.
Experience purchases are exactly that – things we can experience like going to the cinema, staying in a hotel or going out for a meal. You can pay a lot or a little for this experience and essentially the outcome you have is the same, but maybe how you felt about it or how much you enjoyed it may be different.
Credence purchases are about trust – these are services that you “buy” from someone else who knows more about that service than you do. These are people you have to trust to do the job for you. Lawyers, Builders, car mechanics and yes you guessed it dentists and orthodontists are in the Credence category too.
I have seen over the years a lot of emphasis on “search” purchasing. Marketing even in my profession has concentrated on the “product” rather than where it should really be – Credence or Trust. You will have all seen the offers of £xx off tooth whitening, six month smiles, and Invisalign designed to get new patients to join a practice. We have even used that marketing tactic in the past.
What is worrying for us as a profession is the current marketing approach may be “dumbing down” dentistry. It has become more about what can be sold to the patients (the product) rather than the trusted advisor giving objective recommendations so they can make their own choices. “Buyers” often approach dental treatment options such as implants, veneers, whitening and braces as search purchases rather than they really are – a service delivered by a skilled and conscientious health care professional to achieve a desired outcome.
When you are “buying” healthcare like your new straighter smile – what you should be looking for is trust, not the “product” that may get you that result. If you trust who is treating you to do the right thing for you and use the most appropriate treatment for your situation the value of that to you becomes the most important aspect, not how much you are paying.
There will always be another dentist or orthodontist who can offer you cheaper treatment, you have to trust that they can deliver what they say they can. Do they have the training, experience and expertise? Have they fully explained all your options and alternatives (even if only to rule them out as an option)?
Does paying above the average for your treatment always mean you are getting the best outcomes or delivered by the best clinician? It call comes down to trust.
We don’t believe you can build trust in a 15 minute consultation, it take’s time to discuss and discover those options together. You also need to know all about alternatives, otherwise how can you make an informed choice?
If you would like to find out more about how we like to treat our patients and what orthodontics could offer you, contact Fran on 0118 9411685 to arrange an in depth consultation with our Specialist Orthodontist and we can start building that trusted relationship with you.