Watch Intro Series

The Secret to More 5-Star Reviews from Your Patients – Episode #327


How Do I Get a Podcast?

A Podcast is a like a radio/TV show but can be accessed via the internet any time you want. There are two ways to can get the Dentist Money Show.

  1. Watch/listen to it on our website via a web browser (Safari or Chrome) on your mobile device by visiting our podcast page.
  2. Download it automatically to your phone or tablet each week using one of the following apps.
    • For iPhones or iPads, use the Apple Podcasts app. You can get this app via the App Store (it comes pre-installed on newer devices). Once installed just search for "Dentist Money" and then click the "subscribe" button.
    • For Android phones and tablets, we suggest using the Stitcher app. You can get this app by visiting the Google Play Store. Once installed, search for "Dentist Money" and then click the plus icon (+) to add it to your favorites list.

If you need any help, feel free to contact us for support.


It’s been said, “If Google doesn’t like you, nobody does.” And it may be true as today people read reviews before buying anything—including your services. On this episode of the Dentist Money™ Show, Ryan hosts Zeke Kuch, founder of Swell CX. Are prospects slipping away when they compare you with your competitors? Learn how to boost your credibility by increasing patient reviews.

 

 


 

Podcast Transcript

Ryan Isaac:
Hello, everybody. And welcome back to another episode of The Dentist Money Show, brought to you by Dentist Advisors, a no commission fiduciary, comprehensive financial advisor just for dentists all over the country. Check us out at dentistadvisors.com. Today on the show, I’m interviewing a new pal and a long-time pal of some of our team, Zeke from Swell CX. Man, we talk about how to engage patients, how to build a better communication and feedback loop with your patients in your practice to improve systems and processes, and ultimately that customer experience that everyone wants to have kind of that elite level of customer experience for their patients, and man, what a great conversation.

Ryan Isaac:
Many thanks to Zeke for spending some time and explaining this to us, and they’re doing some good things at Swell. Check them out swellcx.com. If you have any questions for us? Go to the dentist advisors discussion group on Facebook, post a question, we’ll post an answer, and if you wanna chat with us directly, dentistadvisors.com, click on the book free consultation link, we’ll have a chat. Thanks for being here everybody, enjoy the show.

Ryan Isaac:
Welcome to the Dentist Money Show, where we help dentists make smart financial decisions. I am your host Ryan Isaac, and I’m here with a new friend of the show, but a long-time friend outside of the show. Zeke with Swell marketing. Zeke, what’s happening, man? How you doing?

Zeke Kuch:
Hey, doing well, Ryan, thanks for having me. I’m glad I finally made the list to join this prestigious group of dentists.

Ryan Isaac:
Oh yeah, we’ve been texting, been texting for months and then you’d get sick and then I’d get sick, and then neither of us had a voice for six weeks and you’re still feeling it, but I’m glad you’re here, man. It’s all sunshiny where you’re at? You’re in Utah right now?

Zeke Kuch:
Yeah, we’re at a holiday or Salt Lake, you… Just south Salt Lake Utah essentially just up there nestled on the East bench by…

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, man.

Zeke Kuch:
Right there by little and big cottonwood.

Ryan Isaac:
Looks like a beautiful day there. So let’s just kick things off with a quick intro. A lot of people know you guys, probably know you personally, know your team, but what is Swell? Who is Swell? And here’s what I’m interested in, tell us what you guys do obviously, but let’s spend a few minutes after that, tell me about the… What’s the origin story? ‘Cause that’s so fascinating, right? You did the same thing a lot of dentists do, which is come out, have an idea, start a business, hire some people, try to get some customers, and I just like to hear about that, man. Tell us a little bit about that.

Zeke Kuch:
Yeah, absolutely. What we are today, Swell, we’re a software platform, and we help basically what we consider local businesses, which end up primarily being in the healthcare space. We help these businesses kind of win through their customer experience, and that’s why if you see our URL, Swell CX, that CX, stands for customer experience, obviously, but we think the customer experience really starts from where someone actually finds you and their first interaction with your business. It’s not just when they have a treatment or they engage with your practice, it’s like, how easy was it for them to find your practice and choose you over somebody down the street, etcetera. What we’re really trying to accomplish is, one, we’re trying to help businesses stand out from their local competition, and by leveraging their customers in a way that gets them more credibility, better rankings on search results, etcetera.

Zeke Kuch:
And then we also wanna take that data and leverage it in a way that helps them improve their business so they can get their patients or their customers coming back on repeat. And then over time, as they’re… They get more and more patients that are loyal, their patient base grows, and they become what we consider a viable long-term business, and that’s really our goal. And we don’t… We started with online review generation, helping these businesses stand out on public review sites like Google and Facebook and Yelp and other places, but it’s expanded as we’ve kind of evolved as a business and helping them convert that traffic in higher ways, leveraging other tools on their website and other forms of communication, and that’s kind of what we offer today, and we ended up going back to the origin story which is pretty wild. About five and a half years ago, my partner and I drew… I had a tech background, primarily on the business development and sales side, he was more of a product engineer or product manager, and we just saw what companies like Qualtrics, that’s a Utah-based…

Ryan Isaac:
Aren’t they all? [chuckle]

Zeke Kuch:
Customer experience. Yeah. All true specifically in dental. We are here in the dental capital of the world. But we saw how the… What Qualtrics was doing from a customer experience standpoint in enterprise, and we said, “Hey, who likes filling out a 30-question survey? No one. That’s why there’s like a 1% response rate. We gotta make it easier for customers to be able to leave feedback for business owners, and then do it in a way that’s digestible and affordable.” And we know that a dental practice or a plastic surgeon is not gonna go implement a super enterprisey type solution with their business that’s gonna cost $40,000 and need two key members just to handle the data coming in.

Ryan Isaac:
Right, yeah.

Zeke Kuch:
And so, we said, “Hey, let’s build a lightweight text-enabled feedback solution for SMBs.” And at the time, we weren’t focusing on dental, to be honest with you, we built this MVP product, we hired a couple guys out of Ukraine, Demetri and Nichelov. And these guys, you know… Yeah exactly. Those guys hats off, we’re still here. They built this MVP product and we’re like, “Hey, let’s quit our jobs, let’s do this crazy thing. Let’s quit our jobs.”

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Zeke Kuch:
And I’d just had my firstborn like a week before and…

Ryan Isaac:
Oh yeah. Okay.

Zeke Kuch:
Yeah. And so we’re like…

Ryan Isaac:
Perfect time. You felt totally comfortable, you were totally ready to do that.

Zeke Kuch:
Oh, yeah. What ends up happening is we end up saying, “Okay, we have this product, it took us six months to build, we put all the money into it. Let’s go take it to market, and just… Let’s figure out if the dog will eat the food, will people pay us money to use our tool?” And what ended up happening is we just kinda sold it to a bunch of different industries for the first maybe four or five months, and within about six-month period, we realized we had a trend, where we had a bunch of dental customers specifically. We ended up seeing this trend in the dental space specifically where… Let’s be honest, it’s a very competitive market, dentists, specifically the new aged kind of era of dentists they get that they need to have competitive advantages in the current market environment, and we found that Swell was allowing them to basically kind of outshine the competition down the street. That was…

Ryan Isaac:
Because… Let me just understand this. Because you were helping facilitate customer patient feedback to these dentists. They were getting… Is that what was originally happening as you’re saying? It was just being able to understand their patients, their customer base better.

Zeke Kuch:
Yeah, absolutely. It’s two points there. One, they were able to get real-time, easy feedback on what their customer or their patient experience was. And two…

Ryan Isaac:
Can you describe what a patient was doing? Oh yeah, finish two, but then describe what a patient was doing to give that feedback just to paint the picture.

Zeke Kuch:
Yeah, absolutely. And the second point of this is, it wasn’t just feedback. It’s feedback where. So when we think about patient feedback, feedback is internal, like let’s call it an internal survey, but we also look at it as the public review. And we find that public reviews end up being a real indication of what that patient experience actually is. And most businesses, or in this case, dental work practices, they don’t historically do a good job of getting that feedback, getting patients to talk about them online. That’s just in general that’s every business really. They’re not proactive. And so our approach there was, let’s give these practices the ability to get real-time feedback, whether that feedback is public-facing or private-facing, and it’ll allow them to improve their business.

Zeke Kuch:
You’ll never know how good a patient experience was if you’re not getting that feedback. The only way you actually know if a customer or a patient had a good experience is that you’re hoping six months later they show back up for that routine check-up. And we just don’t think that’s the most appropriate way to run your business and scale your business. You should be getting feedback from every single one of your patient that have any type of experience with you, whether it’s a phone call in to the front office or they go through some, what’s called elaborate treatment over the next six months. The idea here is you should know how their experience was. Not just they had a smiling face when they left, but truly where can we improve? Was the wait time too long?

Ryan Isaac:
Well, yeah, because how many people aren’t confrontational and they would never tell you to your face that something went wrong, or how many people will show back up in six months because that’s the kind of patient they are, and it’s the most convenient dental office, and it’s not bad enough to leave, but there would be important things to really learn that they probably wouldn’t share with you if you didn’t have some kind of way to facilitate that. Yeah, that’s really important, man.

Zeke Kuch:
Absolutely, you’re 100% right about that. The other aspect of this was, we learned that dentists care a lot about online reviews, and that’s just a form of customer experience or feedback. And we found that, obviously Google being the king of reviews and king of global search, that’s where the big focus has really turned into specifically in healthcare space and more specifically with dentists. And so we build and facilitated what, in my opinion, what is the most effective way to get patients to leave feedback directly on those review sites. And part of that is through automation and integrating to your practice management system and, through that, the personalization.

Zeke Kuch:
What does that invite look like when it’s sent to you via text message after your appointment? Does it look personalized or does it look like it came from some weird automated marketing system that has no branding and no concept of what type of treatment that patient specifically had? And so our hope here and what we’re really trying to accomplish is… I’m somebody who’s really bad about leaving reviews for business. Not that I’m bad…

Ryan Isaac:
I was just gonna say, yeah, me too, dude. [chuckle]

Zeke Kuch:
Yeah, and whether it’s public feedback or private feedback, I’m really bad at doing it, unless it’s super convenient. If it’s convenient, then I’ll be like, “Yeah, that was a good experience, or that was the negative experience. Let me give them feedback on why so that the next guy doesn’t have that same experience.” But it’s gotta be convenient. I’m not gonna spend 15 minutes filling out a survey even if you entice me with a $25 Chili’s gift card. You know what I mean?

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, or guilted into it. I’m thinking about it… It’s funny you’ve mentioned this. I got an email notification from Google the other day that a review I posted five years ago had been seen 6000 times, but… Yeah, which is crazy, but I was guilted into it because this was a gym I used to attend. They were my best friends running it. All my friends are there, and they were like, “Guys, please, please, please, just take a picture or leave a review. Say something nice.” And I was standing there in the gym one day, I took a picture, wrote a little stupid thing. And then I got that email notification like, this is five years ago, and I got it last week, and I’m like, “Wow, 6000 people saw my dumb picture and my quickly written three-sentence review of the gym I went to ’cause my friends were there.” It’s like, man, it’s pretty… That’s powerful. And a lot of us did it that day because we were guilted into it, and we did it.

Zeke Kuch:
Yeah, it’s actually wild because we do case studies around that and we look at data around what is the influence of an actual review, and over time, how much exposure did that review get? And it’s actually crazy if you think about what online reviews really are today. They’re not just online reviews. That’s really like, that’s the new social proof that a business is good or bad at catering to their customers. And if you’ve ever heard me speak at any conference or in any kind of group, I talk about one thing specifically is, you could be the best dentist in the world, you could be the best provider of all time, but you’re only as good as Google says you are.

Zeke Kuch:
And that’s just… It sometimes… It’s partly sad, but that is the reality. It’s just kind of like Amazon reviews. We all shop on Amazon. We’re all guilty of doing that, but we all make our purchasing decisions based on what other people have had their experience with the specific product. Product reviews heavily sway what consumers… Basically consumer behavior. And so it’s the same thing being with practices. With a dental practice, if you’re moved to… Let’s say you just moved to San Clemente, and you’re new to the area and you don’t have any friends, and you’re trying to find the best provider in the area, or more importantly, you’re trying to find a provider for your kids, which is much more sensitive, you’re probably just gonna say, “Hey, I heard about this person. Let me jump online and look them up.” And, man, if they’re a 4.7 or below, you’re probably gonna choose the other guy. That’s a 4.8 or higher. Right. And that’s just driven…

Ryan Isaac:
I do it with tacos. You better believe, I do with dentists. Yeah.

Zeke Kuch:
Well, absolutely. It’s even more important. And so we learned that in the food game, Yelp created that, you know, obviously like 20 years ago and that’s just led into every type of consumer behavior that we have now. It’s really social driven, via these online reviews.

Ryan Isaac:
Well, it’s funny, man, like think… Oh sorry. I was just gonna say, think about Amazon shopping. I mean, I click two filters every time I search for something it’s Prime and five star or four star and above, you know, that those are the only two filters. I’m like, what am I missing? I might be missing stuff that’s not Prime that I might have to pay two bucks for shipping that could be better. I might be missing a better product that just didn’t have as many whatever reviews for whatever reason, some of those don’t feel real to me, but yeah, that’s it, man. That’s how we filter things now. It’s social proof. Totally.

Zeke Kuch:
Yeah. And you nailed two points that we make and that we believe this wholeheartedly here at Swell is that you have to win in two areas, one you got to win on customer experience. ‘Cause now that’s just as important as the price. Did I have a good experience with this business or not. And people will pay more for that better experience. I think, brands like Ritz Carlton and all… Delta and all these others people pay more because historically those experience have been better. The second thing for this is convenience, convenience wins. And so what we’re trying to do is blend both of those together. We’re trying to say, “Hey, make sure that you have a good customer experience. Make sure that everybody who might use you in the future knows that you provide a good customer experience, AKA these reviews, and then make it as convenient as possible for them to do a transaction or transaction with your business.” And from our perspective, if you can win those two things, you’re gonna win long term.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Zeke Kuch:
That’s just the new… That’s the nature of the beast. Think about convenience for a second. Think about like the dating world right now. Where is most people meeting their soulmates, it’s online. Why? ‘Cause it’s easy, it’s on an app called Tinder.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. I’ve been married 20 years man. I used to carry around a literal actual notebook and a pen and I would have to physically ask some stranger for their phone number and… Well I’ll leave it there, but then you’d drive around, you’d roll down your window and be like, “Hey, hi, it’s a red light. Can I call you sometime?” And you’d get out your pen and paper and write down a phone number, then call it from a landline at some point. Yeah. Different world now, man.

Zeke Kuch:
Yeah. Yo, absolutely. This is the reality is, yeah, that’s… This is Ryan, this is the story of all of us, you know. Before these little devices called smartphones came out, we would run out the door with our cargo shorts on full of notepads and pens and these clip-ons, and then we wil be calling people from payphones and pagers.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, pagers. Pagers and payphone and cargo shorts and Puka Shell necklaces.

Zeke Kuch:
Yeah. Yeah. You nailed it. So what’s funny about this is obviously the smartphone has changed our behavior and it’s that smartphone is really about convenience and whether you’re finding a business or making a purchase or, whatever it might be. Dating, finding the love of your life, at the end of the day convenience win. So it’s customer experience and it’s convenience. And we wanna make sure that all the businesses that are using Swell are taking advantage of that. So over the last five years, since inception from this kind of in our garage to the point where we are today with basically a hundred employees and growing and working with several thousands of practices, which is wild, it’s totally mind blowing to me.

Ryan Isaac:
That’s big. That’s so fast, man. Geez, congrats on that by the way. That’s really cool.

Zeke Kuch:
Well, thank you. I appreciate that. You know, and it’s like… It’s really exciting for me as a founder, to see this come to fruition, but what really is more exciting is like what we’ve been able to see the impact that we’ve had on businesses, the practices that we’ve worked with. I mean, some of our first 10 customers specifically dental are still customers five years later. And they tell us the greatest stories like, “Hey, we just hit a thousand reviews. And by the way, 52% of our new patient flow is coming and finding us because of our online reviews alone.” And to me, like nothing makes me more satisfied than knowing, Hey, we helped in that process.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Zeke Kuch:
Right? They provided the customer experience, the patient experience, but we helped facilitate getting those happy patients to talk about them in the areas where more patients will find them.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Zeke Kuch:
And that to me is the most fulfilling reward, honestly.

Ryan Isaac:
It’s so cool, man.

Zeke Kuch:
And the same way you look at your clients, right? Like you guys… You guys are a fiduciary for your clients and you’re trying to help them accomplish certain goals over… Over a period of time.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Zeke Kuch:
We’re trying to do the same thing with… With the practices that we work with.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Zeke Kuch:
Going back to my… Sorry, I didn’t mean to cut you off.

Ryan Isaac:
No, go back there. No go. That’s all I was gonna say, like, yeah. Back to what you’re saying.

Zeke Kuch:
So going back to the early days, we ended up finding this trend in dental. We then just kind of focused for a couple years saying, “Hey, we’re not just gonna be a player in the space, but we’re gonna try to be the best and most elite solution for what we do specifically for dentists.” And we doubled down there and we build our integrations and partnerships and we focused every day on how are we gonna help these dentists day in and day out. So what we think we did is build a best in class solution specifically for these practices that we serve. And over time, it spread into other verticals specifically in healthcare. And we now serve outside of dental and healthcare as well, but that still makes up the majority of our customer base. And it’s still where I say we got our start and that’s where we’re continuing to build specifically thinking about that patient experience and how we go from patient experience to now, how do we make sure that we’re telling that ROI story of saying, “Hey, it’s not just about reviews. It’s not just about communication. It’s how are we helping you as a dentist or a practice owner accomplish your goals.”

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah so, geez, man, I feel like there’s a hundred things to unpack there. Thanks for going through the history. It’s cool to see where it begins and where it’s at now. So from that beginning until some of the things you said that really have stuck out are that the customer experience begins with some of the first interactions and it’s not when they finally show up and have a physical in person interaction. So what… Like, what are some of the services you now… I assume you’ve added and expanded a lot of the services you do on to get a lot of that front end interaction going besides just review things. Like, what do you guys work on, what do you help dentists do kind of logistically?

Zeke Kuch:
Yeah, absolutely. So we offer additional tools beyond obviously review solicitation and feedback. But these tools are there to help convert and kinda conveniently communicate with patients. So one of those big ones that we launched a few years ago was our web chat. If you’re in 2022 and your website doesn’t have the ability for someone to engage with you directly, not through a bot, but directly to the practice you’re losing, I’m telling you now. Oh, my gosh.

Ryan Isaac:
Dude, the bot chats? Oh, the bot chats, you start typing, and it’ll be like, “I am a robot and I am still learning, but I’ll try my best.” And you’re just like, “I’m gonna burn this whole computer down,” I hate that so much man. Yeah, that’s interesting.

Zeke Kuch:
Yeah, you’re losing. You’re losing as a business, you’re losing on that customer experience immediately, it’s a poor customer experience. So we wanna make sure that you’re providing the ability for a potential customer or patient to communicate directly without having to pick up the phone and call. The text message is by far and away the preferred method of communication in today’s world, you better give your patients the opportunity to communicate with your team via text message. And it goes beyond text, Facebook Messenger, super important. Google Messaging becoming more and more relevant as Google My Business page has become more and more relevant. Facebook messaging, Google, Instagram messaging, all these things. So what we’ve done is we’ve created an omni-channel inbox where all those messages are poured into one single place that your team can digest and communicate from and collaborate around. And so it’s not just getting found online through reviews, it’s now that you’re getting more traffic and more communication through your website and other social sites, are you giving them the opportunity to communicate in the most convenient way?

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, man, jeez, communication, communication with… Yeah, so this is a whole experience around communication with patients. And it’s a two-way thing of relaying information, receiving feedback, teaching, engaging, helping people find next steps, how do they engage the next thing kind, of move along that path. What are you seeing… You said thousands of practices, you guys are a part of or have been?

Zeke Kuch:
Yeah, we serve a good amount, probably close to 5000 practices…

Ryan Isaac:
Jeez man.

Zeke Kuch:
Throughout US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, those are kind of our core four countries.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, that’s just so much, man. So I’m always curious about trends, people who are involved in this much data and that many relationships with people in such a broad geographic area. What are you seeing in some of the trends of dentists trying to reach their patients, tell their stories to patients, engage their patients, where are some of this headed? Are there new things you guys are gonna think about working on or new tools you wanna implement, just any trends you’re seeing and directions a lot of this stuff is headed in?

Zeke Kuch:
Yeah, I think… Yeah, that’s a good question and it’s a loaded question to be honest with you ’cause I could spend hours talking about that.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, I’m sure.

Zeke Kuch:
But one of the big trends you’re seeing now is the entrepreneurial spirit of practice owners. For a long time, there was the difference between a business owner and a dentist. And now there’s a hybrid between those. Where you’re seeing a lot more of this, “Hey, I’m the dentist, but I’m also a business owner, I’m operating a business and I wanna optimize my business.” Which is really exciting because if you ask me, even five years ago, one of the hardest conversations that I have with practice owners is the idea of being able to justify and articulate ROI. They just look at everything as an expense, they wouldn’t wrap their head around like, “Hey, what does it actually do for my business?” And I think we’re starting to see that change now with the newer generation of practice owners, which is really exciting. They’re willing to test new software, they’re willing to take… They’re willing to build the business plan around implementing new strategy for patient acquisition and marketing, other tools that are gonna help them optimize the way that they run their business. And I think that’s really exciting. And part of that is communication, it’s providing tools that help increase… Facilitate communication, and specifically in a millennial world, we’re now in a millennial world, and we have to make sure that we’re adapting to the expectations that millennials have, which is very different than the generation before millennials.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Zeke Kuch:
And it’s fast-paced, we now live in a fast-paced environment where historically healthcare it’s… It’s always been kind of like a snooze fest when it comes to adoption of technology and new strategy.

Ryan Isaac:
Marketing practices. You’re describing an environment where historically dentistry has been about just the clinical side of dentistry, and you open a practice and you put up a sign, and you say, “I do clinical dentistry,” and people show up for 30 years and you have a great career and you serve your community, and it’s great. But it’s changed so… And people didn’t market and, now there’s so many different business models. The whole DSO thing that’s growing a lot is introducing on the positive side, a lot of different opportunities for people to be owners in non-traditional ways. And I think it’s ushering in this mentality that dentistry is no longer just a clinical thing you provide your community, but now there’s this… You’re saying it all, there’s this whole suite of entrepreneur and just business owner mindsets and skill sets that have to be there now. Like you’re talking about training in HR and marketing and customer interaction, and even really gross words like leads. [chuckle] You would never say that in the dental world 10 years ago, but that’s a normal business thing, and it’s not like those people don’t have names and stories, but you’re seeing people treat these like businesses now, and not just, I do dentistry and I… I don’t know what else goes on outside of that, it’s a totally different world.

Zeke Kuch:
The new Age practice is never gonna survive just on other referrals, referrals from patients, it’s just too competitive. And so you have to be able adapt to the changes in the environment. And so, yeah, there’s more resources now for these practices than ever before, there’s more options for software and practice management systems and marketing options, and the world has completely transformed. Or to say, technology has completely transformed the way the world operates, and you can break that all the way down specifically to the way that a practice operates. And it’s really interesting to see how some practices really get that and some don’t, and those are the ones that are gonna struggle trying to keep up.

Ryan Isaac:
Matt, it’s time.

Matt Mulcock:
Time for what, Ryan?

Ryan Isaac:
It’s time to book a free consultation at dentistadvisor.com. Just click on the big Book Free Consultation button on the home page and talk to one of our friendly advisors today.

Ryan Isaac:
I wanna ask you two more things. You’ve been so generous with your time and I appreciate this. One would be… You’ve done this yourself. [chuckle] So, you started in a garage with a buddy and an idea and a new baby on the way, and you said you have a 100 plus people on your team. And at such fast growth, most practices don’t get that big in terms of team, but is there anything like… Are there any processes or systems you, as a business owner, have just been able to see… Trial and error, pros and cons, the good, the bad and ugly, things that have worked for you growing a business… Any, kind of, just high level piece of advice for young business owners in the dental field trying to do the same thing?

Zeke Kuch:
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Just like any business, there’s fires and…

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, constantly. [chuckle]

Zeke Kuch:
We… Daily. I call myself… People are like, “Hey, what do you do at Swell?” I’m like…

Ryan Isaac:
Fireman.

Zeke Kuch:
“I’m a human fire extinguisher,” yeah.

Zeke Kuch:
I just put out fires. But it’s… I think, the most important thing is, you have to think about your why. Why are you doing it? So, whether you’re running a software company and trying to scale that, or you’re a brand new practice owner and you’re trying to open the doors for the first time in your launch. I think, the first thing you have to say is, “Why am I doing this?” And I think, if you’re doing it just for money, that becomes really hard over time.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, burn outs.

Zeke Kuch:
But if you’re doing it… Yeah, exactly. But if you’re doing it with a specific purpose… Like Drew and I, when we started, so it was like, “Hey, there’s a better way to help these businesses grow, and we wanna be that better way.” And that’s to us our why. And it makes it so much easier to put out those fires and not freak out when something goes sideways. Inevitably something will go wrong nearly every day, whether it’s in a dental practice or in any business. Whether it’s internal or external, with a customer or not, these things are inevitable, they’re gonna happen. It’s not the end of the world, but you always gotta go back to your why, and it makes it so much easier to address those on a day-to-day basis.

Zeke Kuch:
And then it’s build… It’s the team around you. Who am I gonna surround myself with. And I see this in dental practices pretty frequently. Actually more frequently than I like to admit, where it’s a toxic environment, and there’s some hostility between the practice owner and ops manager and the hygienist, and they’re not on the same page. And that’s just not sustainable to run a well-organized business that’s profitable. It’s just not a long-term solution and it’s not worth the time, in my opinion. Working in a hostile environment is just not worth it. So, I would say, if there’s anything that we learn, it’s, “Hey, we all have a common goal, which is, let’s be the best partner we can for our customers, and that means we’re providing value day in and day out. And does that mean that we’re gonna run into issues or challenges or customers are gonna be upset with us? Yeah, it’s gonna happen.”

Ryan Isaac:
Totally, yeah.

Zeke Kuch:
“It’s inevitable, but are we doing what’s best for them long-term, and are we taking action when those things happen, and are we holding ourselves accountable if we’re not doing those things?” And it’s just so important. The rest of the processes and the procedures you put in place, kind of the standard operating procedures. Those things are… Those things can be worked out, and those things change and…

Ryan Isaac:
They change and improve.

Zeke Kuch:
They mold over time.

Ryan Isaac:
Yup.

Zeke Kuch:
Yeah, exactly. But it doesn’t matter if you don’t have the right people and you don’t have the right… A common vision. It has to start there, or it’s really difficult to basically roll out those other SOPs moving forward.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. Cool, man. Okay, my last question was, how do people get in touch? How do they find you? And what’s the process like? If I’m a dentist, I’m listening and going, “Okay, I think that customer interaction and that feedback loop is just missing in my practice, that communication piece is missing.” Where do they… What’s… How do they get in touch with you, and what’s it like when they engage you?

Zeke Kuch:
Yeah, absolutely. Obviously, we have a website, which is a great place to learn more. Swellcx.com. C as in Charlie, X as in X-ray dot com. We… There’s multiple ways to get ahold of us. As we mentioned, omni-channel communication is important. So, that’s through our website. Phone call, Google my message… Google My Business Messenger. Our own web chat, etcetera. They can reach out to me directly via multiple channels. I’m happy to correspond with potential customers or practice owners that have questions, or how we might differentiate between Swell and some other system they might already have in place.

Ryan Isaac:
Cool.

Zeke Kuch:
So, multiple ways to get ahold of us. That experience we’d typically get on a call, we’ll learn more about the practice, what their overall objectives are, how we might be able to add value or fill gaps within what they’re currently doing, quick demonstration and pointing out specifically the topics that are most relevant to them. We onboard customers pretty quickly, typically… If someone chooses to go forward with us, we try to make that… It’s close to a white glove service as possible, and get them up and running as soon as possible so they can see that return on investment as soon as possible.

Ryan Isaac:
Awesome.

Zeke Kuch:
So, time to value is extremely important to us, and we do all the heavy lifting, obviously. We wanna make sure they can focus on the day-to-day of being a provider for their patients, and we wanna do our part of being that partner that’s implementing and rolling out our software within their solution.

Ryan Isaac:
So cool, man. How you guys have… You’re doing it, you’ve done it, you’re doing it. And you’re probably headed in great places. How much bigger does this thing get for you? Where does this go for you guys? I’m just… I’m curious, what’s next?

Zeke Kuch:
I wish I could answer that honestly.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. [chuckle] You’re like, “I don’t know either. I am wondering the same thing.”

Zeke Kuch:
It’s a… Truly, it’s day-to-day, right? We look at it… We have a long-term vision of what we’re trying to accomplish for the product and our company, but we look at this day-to-day. It’s like, “Hey, how can we best serve our customers today? How can we build products and solutions that are gonna add the most value to our customers today?” And over time, that molds and yes it changes, but if you’re saying, “Hey, what’s the outcome here, what are you trying to accomplish long-term?” It’s just, “We just wanna be the best at what we do. We wanna be the best partner.” At the end of the day, I want a practice owner to say, “Hey, that was the best investment we ever spent. That was the best experience that I ever had with another software company.” And if we’re not doing that, if that’s not the sentiment that our customers are having with us…

Ryan Isaac:
Keep going, keep working.

Zeke Kuch:
Then we’re failing and we need to keep working at it. So, that would be the hard way of answering your question without…

Zeke Kuch:
In the most transparent way possible.

Ryan Isaac:
That’s great, man. One more then. What’s the outdoor recreation of choice for you? You’re a mountain bike guy?

Zeke Kuch:
Absolutely. Yeah, correct.

Ryan Isaac:
I heard you’re a wild man. You’re the kind of no-brakes-downhill kinda person.

Zeke Kuch:
I used to be more like that. I’d like… My eyesight’s got really bad. I took a couple [0:32:31.7] ____.

Zeke Kuch:
I feel like to get out. I’m actually gonna get up tomorrow. Here in Utah it’s tough, because obviously the winter, but we haven’t had snow in like a month. So, you can see in my background here, it’s sunny and it’s like 60 degrees on Monday, so we’ll ride tomorrow, maybe try to get a ski session in this weekend as well, but we’re so fortunate to be 15 minutes from a lake, a stream, a mountain-bike trail, a ski resort, that we take full advantage of it here at the office. So…

Ryan Isaac:
It’s a unique spot, man.

Zeke Kuch:
That’s on the docket this weekend.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, it’s so cool, man. Excited for you. Well, thanks for doing this, and I’m sure we’ll do more in the future, but I really appreciate it. Everyone, reach out to Zeke and team at swellcx.com. Zeke, be safe this weekend, mountain-biking and skiing. Have a good time. But thanks for being here, man, I appreciate it.

Zeke Kuch:
Likewise. Thanks, Ryan. I appreciate you having me on, glad I could check this off my list and be among those awesome guests that you guys have historically had on here.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, we’ll do it again. Everyone, thanks for tuning in and listening. We’ll catch you the next time on another episode of Dentist Money Show. Take care, everybody. Bye-bye.

Practice Management

Get Our Latest Content

Sign-up to receive email notifications when we publish new articles, podcasts, courses, eGuides, and videos in our education library.

Subscribe Now

Related Resources