The Fruits of ZenSupplies’ Travels
September 17, Sunday night, ZenSupples concluded the weeklong road trip, when we arrived to Chicago. It has been a rewarding trip in all ways possible; it has strengthened us as a team and it has strengthened the relationships we have with our clients. One of our main struggles since the inception has been to provide the high-level service our clients deserve over the phone, which is why we prefer to travel and see everyone. On top of that, we have been able to collect many inspiring stories from the people we met, and it would not be fair to the dental world to keep what we came across to ourselves. Therefore, I would like to point out some of the trips highlights here for you to enjoy.
Stop 1: Reflections Dental Care
During our first stop in Oklahoma City, we met lead assistant Veronica from Reflections Dental Care, one of our earliest clients. Her constant energy and positive attitude keep the office spirit going and during our short stay she managed to inspire all of us with her words. “It’s about motivating people, not deflating them” she said, and she always makes sure she leaves her personal issues by the back door. “7-5 it’s all about the patients. Not about us.” If the whole world could think like Veronica, it would be a much better place, and I know these phrases will stay with me forever.
Not only her words were inspiring, her and her team’s collaboration and work ethics were impressive as well. Veronica said: “I am a team leader” and she seems to be leading a great team in an awesome way. Reflections Dental Care was one of the fastest offices in Zen history to complete the inventory take. Veronica explained that it was the team effort and the cooperation that allowed them to complete it so quickly. They took advantages of a few “less stressful” days and her team stepped in and took more responsibilities to let Veronica take a few days off from the chair side.
I was very fascinated by the team spirit and the atmosphere among the assistants. During our conversations, we were provided with great feedback, which highly inspired us to continue working hard.
Stop 2: Village Dental Care
Moving on, we continued our journey to Texas, Dallas, where Dr. Michael and Andrea Hardcastle own a great office, to which we were invited. They have recently hired an amazing group of new assistants, and that has improved the atmosphere as well as the efficiency in the office. They have plenty of exciting plans and ideas for redesigning and renovating the area, and we could tell these are people who are not settling; they want perfection. Once again, we got to see hard-working men and women, who are not afraid of changes in order to improve. Improvements in the office mean better quality for the clients, and it would be awesome if every dentist could strive for it.
Together, we went through the training of our software in a way that best fitted them. By meeting team members in person, we are allowed to adjust the training to perfectly meet the office’s need. The charm of working for Zen is that our clients become our friends and that means the world to us. They inspire us to take on any challenge of building Zen into the software that people simply love. Following the training, we were invited by the Hardcastles for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. After couple of margaritas, countless stories and genuine laughs, we said goodbye to Michael and Andrea, knowing that we will see them really soon again.
Stop 3: Richardson Dentistry
Here is another spontaneous and random act of Zennes (aka kindness); showing up to an office unannounced. It is always a little extra exciting. We are aware of the tight schedules the doctors and assistants often have, so there is always the risk of them not being available. This is exactly what seemed to be happening this time – we were told at the front desk that all doctors were too busy. Following this disappointment, we did not give up, Tiger persisted and texted Dr. Michael, who gladly managed to make some time for us in his busy schedule. That was wonderful and another reason for why we believe in the friendship with our clients. With respect for everyone’s time, the meeting was short, but still rewarding and we met the three doctors Dr. Brent Fleming, Dr. James Guirguis, and Dr. Michael Guirguis to check in and see how everything was going.
Stop 4-5: Floss Dental and Northshore Dental
We left Dallas and continued south to Houston. Truly heartfelt the devastation of the recent storm Harvey, we were moved and inspired by the many organization, including various dental organizations, that were on the ground helping people. We were worried for our clients and decided to visit them and see how they had managed.
Luckily, the ones we had the chance to visit have been doing considerably well.
We began the day by visiting Floss Dental in Houston, a modern location, with an incredible well-designed office sign. They also have implemented tip-out bins in a very efficient way, which always makes us happy since we know how useful it is for the efficiency of the office. The visit was short but great, and we were very pleased with our visit.
Next stop in Houston was Northshore Dental. Dr. Farkas, his wife Karen, and their dog Willa welcomed us to their well-designed office, followed by an invitation to visit their home in nearby neighborhood of Houston. Dr. Farkas has been running Northshore Dental since he purchased it twenty years ago, and he loves what he is doing. “I would do it for free” he said, meaning that saving people’s teeth is more important than any other aspect of his job. This attitude is wonderful and I firmly believe that that is what makes a dentist great. Dr. Farkas’ wife Karen, who is a architect at heart, does what she loves to save the environment. She has designed the entire office in the most sustainable way possible and the design of their house has the same intention (see the awesome house here) . She proves that environmental care can be implemented everywhere, and that there really are no excuses to not practice sustainability, which I found very inspiring.
Done for today and get some rest? Who needs rest – the Drive to Vail, Colorado
Since we are depending on our lovely Jeep and we have pretty long distances to drive, it is hard to plan this trip in detail. We ended up leaving Houston a little bit later than our original plan was, and we began our 18 hour long, time-pressured, over-night drive to Eagle, Colorado at 10PM. The downside: it was an 18 hour long, time-pressured, over-night drive. The upside: once the daylight hit, it was probably the most beautiful 18 hour long, time-pressured, over-night drive imaginable. Through northern Texas and New Mexico, the landscape was so flat we could see almost all the way to Canada, and we passed scenes that seemed to be taken right out of an old western movie. When we crossed the border to Colorado we found ourselves on winding roads up and down, and in between, amazing mountains. These views made the drive totally worth it. Anyway, back to our clients.
Stop 6: Castle Peak Dental
Dr. Summer Kassmel and her lead assistant Brittney were welcoming us even if we came a lot later than expected, and they made time on their schedule for us to go through the whole training process. The surprise and appreciation when they heard we drove all the way across the country just to see them, made the trip even better. They were eager to learn and responded with relevant questions; and we love questions. Being questioned is the best way for us to learn where we can simplify and adjust things to better meet our clients’ needs. When the training was finished, we chatted for a little bit and took pictures together. Documenting our visits is really important for us and we love collecting memories. Eventually we had to say goodbye and we went back to our car whereupon Dr. Summer came up to us and offered to accompany us for dinner. It is wonderful to see how amazing and kind people are everywhere we go!
Stop 7: Dinner with Dr. Maloley and interview for Relentless Dentist Podcast
Following the training with Dr. Summer, we went out to have dinner with Dr. Maloley and his family at the Dusty Boot, a great and local American restaurant. After sharing stories over a meal, we were welcomed to the Maloley’s home to record a podcast for the Relentless Dentist Show. Dr. Maloley is a big name in the dental industry and during the recording, he and Tiger discussed Tiger’s ambition and hustle that has brought him to where he is today.
Of course, we filmed everything and following the podcast, we recorded a special edition interview where they switched roles and Tiger had the privilege to ask his thought-provoking questions. Tiger has the unique ability to ask the type of questions where people share their struggles in a very open, heart to heart, deep-feeling way. Without giving away too much, this is great material and I believe you will enjoy every minute of it once it is released.
Stop 8: Southwest Dental Associates
Following morning, we continued our travels and made our way through beautiful Salt Lake City towards our final meeting in Boise, Idaho. Dr. Harless and her assistant Cena had taken time out of their Saturday to come to the office just to meet us. The most exciting part about traveling like this, is we never know what to expect; all our meetings are different. Our visit in Boise was wonderful and started off with a great tour of the large office and beautiful spaces.
The entrance into the building led us to a waiting room that is cleverly divided by a full size aquarium, with the unique purpose to separate the children’s playroom from the rest of the front area. While continuing the walk-through, we also learned about the awesome dental assisting school they are involved in to help the community.
Following the tour, we began the training. Cena was newer to the team than Zen was, and had not received proper training, which, as you Zen Family probably experienced, makes navigating the program a little bit difficult. Both Dr. Harless and Cena were excited to learn and eager to get Zen up and running efficiently. We completed the training and left two hours later, and we could feel that they were much more confident in using our program. For them, as well as for everyone else, we are only a phone call, a flight, or a 5000 miles drive away. We are there when we are needed!
During our 24 hours drive back to Chicago, we had plenty of time to process the week. We are very grateful to every single person we met and to every office we visited. We have had all types of interactions during our week of travels, and they all had their charm. Our hope is that you, as a reader, can draw some inspiration from our stories about the dentists and assistants we met. Reach out to people, be curious, take advantages of other’s success stories, and let yourself find inspiration to change and move forward. Thank you to all the people who made time for us on their schedules this past week. It has been amazing!