Come with us to Wuppertal, where we met with Dr. Christian Klein and his wife Remy, learning how excellent service comes from putting people first.
FOLLOW THE BIRDS
The clinic was established by Dr. Klein’s mother in 1967, who used only a single room for delivering treatments. But when Dr. Klein joined in 1993, he started a gradual renovation process that continued until 2016.
The original house was quite old, and its room plan wasn’t that of a traditional dental clinic. But Christian and his wife Romy used this as a chance to create a unique patient experience.
Every visitor is welcomed with a small glass of peach lemonade (and a baked apple treat in winter). Afterwards for dental hygiene treatments (there is another waiting lounge for the dentists’ rooms), they are asked to ‘follow the birds’ to a cozy waiting room on the first floor – this involves going down a corridor lined with the sculptures of small birds and filled with the sound of birdsong.
WARMTH AND COZINESS
The excellent patient experience doesn’t stop at the waiting room. When designing the treatment rooms, Dr. Klein and his wife Romy made sure they were just as inviting as the rest of the clinic. All practitioners use headlights integrated into glasses, so there is no need for harsh room or unit operating lights. Everything is very soothing, done in golden, peach and yellow tones.
Some treatment rooms are at street level, but through a clever use of lighting and curtains, the windows are obscured while a warm feeling is maintained. But the light experience goes even further – patients are offered yellow glasses so that when they sit in the treatment chair and look at the sky painted above them, they can truly relax and let their minds wander.
SERVICE EXCELLENCE STARTS FROM WITHIN
‘At our clinic, we do things a little bit differently to what you might think the usual hiring process is like,’ says Romy, who is responsible for the recruitment, development, strategy and marketing as well as design of the clinic. ‘We first look at the people and try to get to know them – not from their professional competences – but from who are they as people, so from the human aspect. And then we can decide if they’ll fit into our team. We want everyone to really believe in what they do, to do it from the bottom of their hearts. Everything else can be trained. But humanity cannot.’
This very special criterion means that the team at Dr. Klein’s clinic is quite exceptional. There is a great focus on personal and professional development, and three members have been sent to do bachelor’s studies in dental hygiene. There are also regular courses in ergonomics, customer experience and hospitality.
The clinic offers almost all possible types of treatments, ranging from dental hygiene and prosthetics to implantology and aesthetic dentistry, Dr. Klein’s favorite area. There are two further dentists, three dental hygienists, and six treatment rooms, meaning that each member of the team has their own dedicated treatment room. In addition, the dentists see only one patient per hour. These two aspects are highly important for the quality of work at the clinic and allow for a very personal approach to patients. ‘Sometimes I joke that Christian is meditating while is very focused on his treatments’ says Romy. ‘Everything we did while designing the place was to allow this to happen – from interior design to workflows and patient experience.’
‘Our XO CARE units help us to develop all these aspects, with their fantastic design, premium patient experience and very efficient workflow. This allows us to work fast with maximum efficiency.’
WORKING LOCALLY AND HELPING GLOBALLY
Some years ago Dr.Klein joined a Lufthansa project helping orphans in Nairobi. Each year, the clinic sends their dental hygienists to Africa for a week, where they not only help with medical treatments but also teach the basics of dental hygiene. In addition, they offer their customers in Wuppertal a chance to donate their extracted golden teeth to an NGO project in Africa, with the money going to the education of orphans.
‘Being able to help even a little makes our job here much more meaningful. And each member of our staff who comes back from Nairobi is a different person. Much humbler. This is a really great experience for us,’ Dr. Klein says.
DANCE, DANCE – OTHERWISE, WE ARE LOST
Among many other things, such as Thermomix or Bayer, Wuppertal is famous for its dance theatre, established by Pina Bausch. Surprisingly, Dr. Klein has his own connection to this legendary troupe – he has photographed their shows for many years and is friends with many of the dancers. In his spare time, he still takes pictures of their performances, sometimes even around the world. And, as many of the dancers are his patients, he keeps hand his hand on the pulse of the dance world.