Service and support through thick and thin
Kirsty Hague considers the role a committed, supportive and service-oriented dental supply company can play in helping dental practices, team members and their patients through the good times and the bad.
At the time of writing this, we are in lockdown number three. This is tough for everyone of course. But we are grateful that dentistry can continue in these difficult times.
By now, dental teams know what they need to do to keep themselves and their patents safe. But it is short-sighted not to acknowledge that these are nonetheless anxiety-inducing times for many of us.
One thing that practices don’t need to worry about, however, is that suppliers won’t be able to fulfil orders or provide their usual level of service.
At Hague, we are fully functioning and doing everything we can do help our clients stay open and worry-free.
Our team members are schooled in working safely – and helping to keep you safe. As well as being responsive and always supportive of your needs, whatever they may be.
If you need it, we’ll sort it!
I think we all learned a lot about ourselves last year. For Hague Dental, 2020 was a year that strengthened our relationships with our customers. As well as demonstrating in no uncertain terms how much we genuinely care for the wellbeing of those we serve.
In the absence of the ability to effectively market and sell to practices, we became a voice of reason and support for dentists and their teams when they needed it most.
For example, Hague Dental was the one of only a few equipment and engineering companies open for businesses from the get-go of the first lockdown. While a full capacity of staff was not required, we had four engineers working hard adding rooms, servicing equipment, taking advantage of downtime and providing used equipment and stock when many other competitors and manufacturers were closed.
In the background, I moved quickly to offer enhanced communication and educational support to all clients as the inevitable questions arose throughout the time of closure.
We also increased our marketing spend and efforts. We were investing in customers at a time when they really need it without it having to make us money. Rather than shutting doors and hiding away.
Whilst we did all of this for the good of the profession, we were nonetheless delighted to receive recognition when we won ‘Customer Service Provider of the Year’ and ‘Outstanding Business of the Year’ at last year’s Dental Industry Awards.
Working in your corner
We couldn’t put it better than our clients have in their kind words. Such as: ‘Here at Sensu, we have relied upon the services of Jim Hague and his fantastic team for many, many years.
‘However, the reliance has perhaps never been greater than during these recent, uncertain times.
‘Knowing our practices so well, Jim, Estelle and the rest of the Hague team were quickly able to give us bespoke advice on how best to manage our equipment during the period of lockdown enforced by COVID-19. And, more importantly, were on hand at a moment’s notice to ease our transition during reopening, with both advice and hands-on help for the issues we faced.
‘As ever, Estelle and Artur worked wonders fitting in appointments at short notice and around our opening hours. A service that we appreciate even more during this period. Where clinic time is at a premium due to the restrictions in place.
‘There’s no “we’ll be out to you at some point between 8-8” here like you get with many corporates. Hague always go out of their way to help and schedule appointments at times that work for you. In short, we feel truly secure knowing that Hague are working in our corner, and pretty much count all of their team as part of ours. We look forward to doing so for a long time to come.’ – Tiran Lewis, compliance manager, Sensu, Wimpole Street, W1G & Sensu, London Bridge, SE1.
A weight off your shoulders
‘I met Jim Hague and his team over a year ago, when I was setting up my small private squat dental practice.
‘From the very beginning, their knowledge impressed me, along with the warmth and willingness to support me though all the worries that come with starting a business.
‘Haque Dental have been outstanding at customer care, providing me with a personalised service. The whole team have been extremely helpful and always available and ready to assist.
‘In the stressful world we all live in, having a support company like Hague Dental is very reassuring and I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.’ – Adriana Moulson, principal dentist, Meridian Dental Practice, London, SE12.
Getting things going
Over the last few years, we have seen a massive rise in the development of squat practices. What’s amazing is that, in recent months, the amount of interest in this is doubling. Many have had time to think about their future and to, perhaps, take their employment into their own hands.
From our point of view, squat practices are the preferential option, rather than taking over a pre-existing surgery. You can put your personal touch on it from the beginning.
Obviously, when you take on someone else’s equipment, cabinetry, decor, etc, in time you might redo all of that. But with a squat set up, you can have it exactly how you want it from day one.
At Hague, we offer a turnkey solution. This takes all of those potentially challenging elements and puts the project firmly in the hands of experts. So there is nothing for the dentist to worry about.
We will hit budgets, keep to timeframes, oversee builders; the turnkey service takes all the stress out of a squat project for the dentist.
In addition, aftercare is something that needs considering before making any decisions about purchases. We know that finances are really important. But going for the cheapest quote is a mistake if the aftercare isn’t there.
Imagine after buying a new chair or kitting out an entire practice, something stops working and your supplier tells you they can get to it in a couple of weeks? That seems crazy but it does happen.
Not so with Hague. We offer a same-day emergency callout service to fulfil our aim that we keep down-times to a minimum.
21st century workflow
We have also been experiencing an increase in enquiries regarding digital options for dental practices. There is a definite rise in interest in intraoral scanners.
In fact, every digital-focused discussion we have with customers involves X-rays and PPS (phosphor plate systems).
Lockdown has played its part in this. To mitigate the impact of the unknowns, introducing new diagnostic tools reduces the impact partner businesses might have on your practice. Particularly if they stop trading.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that the digital world is paramount in our modern society. It reduces physical contact while encouraging interaction.
On top of all that, patient expectations are changing. We live in a world where we expect things to happen in an instant. If you don’t have the set-up patients have imagined, they may take their business elsewhere.
It’s good idea to get expert advice and you want to ensure companies look after you all the way through your investment, with a team of engineers who are available to assist any possible teething issues, along with additional support from the manufacturer.
For example, at Hague Dental, we can visit the practice and train staff. Or remotely log into the system to resolve issues in the quickest time possible
Looking to the future
Our ongoing intention is to provide a top-quality service by looking after all our customers. From service support to well thought-out achievable designs. As well as full turn-key build projects and then back to comprehensive aftercare.
Having been in business for more than two decades, we are so grateful to the customers supporting Hague along the way. We look forward to taking good care of them for many, many years to come.