A Patient’s Message to Providers: ‘Make Me Feel Important’

by Rob Bell on Mar 6, 2017

On February 24, 2009, I had open-heart surgery to have my aortic valve replaced. 

About two weeks prior to my surgery, I had my annual dental checkup with my dentist, Dr. Bob Hoffman. Dr. Hoffman has been my dentist for at least 25 years.

While having my dental work performed, I mentioned that I would be having open-heart surgery in two weeks. Dr. Hoffman asked questions that showed he was concerned for my health, such as, “Where are you having it performed?” “How long will you be off work?” “Is there anything we can do to help you through this journey?” It was obvious he really cared about me.

patient-on-smart-phone.jpegA couple of days after the surgery, while I was still in the daze of post-surgery, Dr. Hoffman called me in my hospital room to see how I was doing. Wow, I was impressed! He actually remembered when I was going to have my surgery and then cared enough to track me down in the hospital and make the call. To this day, I’m still stunned that he went the extra mile. 

Three weeks after the surgery, I received a very nice card in the mail that was signed by everyone who works in Dr. Hoffman’s office, wishing me a quick recovery.

Again, what a nice surprise. Dr. Hoffman and everyone who works with him really made me feel important.

Do you think there is any chance that I would even consider visiting another dentist? I don’t think so.

I hear people complain when they have to go to the dentist. My dental team is so great that I actually look forward to seeing them, and I consider them my friends. They all make me feel important. I can tell it’s not an act. It’s coming from their hearts—not their heads—and that makes a difference.

I share this account because I think the moral of the story applies to all healthcare providers, including radiology team members. Treat your customers, clients, patients and guests as if they have “MMFI” (Make Me Feel Important) tattooed on their forehead. I guarantee you will build the loyalty required for long-term business success, and more importantly, you will feel great because you went the extra mile to make a lasting memory for the patient and a significant difference on his/her experience.

What personal story do you have that impacted a patient’s experience? I invite you to share it in the comments below.

Hear more from Rob Bell by registering for our Investing in You seminar in Coralville, Iowa, on March 21, 2017. Rob will be presenting the session, “How to Wow Your Customers.”

Meet the Author

Rob Bell is a Cassling Investing in You seminar speaker. His presentations are high-energy and feature real-life anecdotes, which are as fun as they are meaningful. Drawing on more than 25 years of experience in leadership roles, customer service and training, Rob makes it simple, clear and fun to improve customer service and gain leadership skills. Learn more at

Image of Author