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6646626fd8f9833244050ff0 Root Canal

A Service Story

May 16, 2024
Concern for the customer and follow-up communication go a long way.

I have a five-root molar. It runs in the family. My older sister has one too. Like hers, mine got infected. A root canal retreatment followed a root canal. The periodontist didn’t get it all, which led to an oral surgeon. I relish a visit with an oral surgeon to the same degree that most consumers look forward to replacing their comfort system. It’s going to cost money. It’s going to hurt. But, it has to be done.

The nurse started by checking my vitals, then took x-rays. It was a diagnostic procedure even though everyone knew what the problem was, based on the referral from my dentist.

The surgeon came in for the consultation. He started by asking me what I did for a living, then asking what industry I worked in. Okay, I thought, he’s trying to get to know his patient. Good for him. Then, he surprised me to drawing an analogy between removing the tooth and replacing it with a new implant to the process of removing an air conditioning system and replacing it with a new one. It wasn’t the perfect analogy and sort of broke down, but I appreciated the effort.

The surgeon described what would happen, step-by-step, and how long it would take. There was an opening the next morning, so I took it. The nurse gave me instructions on how to prepare and handed me the prescriptions for pain, nausea, and penicillin. I was charged for the consultation on the way out.

The next morning, I was asked to pay for the surgery when I checked in. They collected before the work began and it was simple and matter of the fact.

The surgery went well. The surgeon, not a nurse, but the surgeon called that evening to see how I was doing. It took him less than five minutes, but it stood out.

This is how we should approach replacements. Do a diagnostic whether you think it is needed or not. Be sure. Relate the work to something familiar with the customer. Tell her the exact steps you will follow and how to prepare for your visit. Collect up front. Do the work. Make a personal follow-up.

Matt Michel is a member of the Contracting Business HVAC Hall of Fame. He is the author of multiple books, including his new book, Contractor Stories avaliable at Amazon.

Matt Michel will be a keynote speaker during Service World Expo in October.

About the Author

Matt Michel | Chief Executive Officer

Matt Michel was a co-founder and CEO of the Service Roundtable ( The Service Roundtable is an organization founded to help contractors improve their sales, marketing, operations, and profitability. The Service Nation Alliance is a part of this overall organization. Matt was inducted into the Contracting Business HVAC Hall of Fame in 2015. He is now an author and rancher.