Yesterday I had an 8.45am appointment with the Dentist. Definitely not my favourite place to go and definitely not at that time in the morning.My husband and I arrived for our check-ups promptly and at 8.45am exactly I was shown into the chair. After a quick look around and an announcement that everything was fine, I went back out to the waiting room.And that is when the magic happened.I don't mean literally here; Harry Potter did not appear or anything like that.But that is when the systems took over.Once I had paid for our check-up, the receptionist asked me if I wanted to book my next check-up in a year's time. To be honest, not really as I don't like the Dentist at the best of times, but I did recognise that once it was done, it was in the diary.We booked our appointments, and I put the date in my diary. We also got a printed card to remind us too.But more importantly, we also get a text message a few days before an appointment to remind us that we were booked in and also to give us the opportunity to cancel if we need to.I would imagine before this system was in place, the Dentist suffered a lot from people simply 'forgetting' about their appointments.After all, a year is a long time away and not everyone will put the appointment straight into their diary; or even have a diary come to think of it for the following year.I also wondered if Doctor's surgeries, hairdressers and many other companies could benefit from the simple art of these sorts of systems.
When I compare going to the Doctors with going to the Dentist, the difference is major and very noticeable. In the Doctors, everyone appears harassed and stressed with no time to do anything. However, in the Dentist things are very calm and serene and the whole atmosphere portrays that.When I am in the Doctors, if I happen to take five minutes over my scheduled appointment time, it seems to throw the whole system out. However, when at the Dentist I was told they do x-rays every couple of years and mine was due; they advised that they would do it on my next visit and they would book a slightly longer appointment.Even though yesterday my usual Dentist was off sick, it did not seem to faze them at all. I would imagine they had a system in place for that too.I have talked about systems before, but it is so lovely when everything comes together and just works! And there is always a difference between companies that have systems in place and the ones that don't.So, a question for you?Do you have systems in your business? Are there places where things can be sped up, made more efficient or just automated?Do you want your business to appear like the Dentist, calm and serene? Or harassed and stressed like the Doctors? Systems can definitely help with that. Tell me your experience of systems in the comments section below.