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Archive for category: Customer Service

3 Scheduling Mysteries Solved

3 Scheduling Mysteries Solved

There are three mysteries in scheduling that you must clear up immediately, because they can cost practices millions of dollars over the course of a career. The three scheduling mysteries are:

Mystery 1 – No-Shows and Last-Minute Cancellations

These are literally killing you by eviscerating your daily production goals and totals. You want your no-shows and last-minute cancellations—and make no mistake, a last-minute cancellation is as damaging as a no-show—under 1%.

Why do patients so often leave you with an opening that’s impossible to fill? You haven’t taught them to value their appointment.  Here’s a three-step process, based on phone scripts, that will solve this problem. When a patient no-shows, or cancels at the last minute:

  1. Have your scheduling coordinator create demand for the appointment by making the patient wait for a few weeks.
  2. If that doesn’t work, then threaten to charge the patient for the missed appointment (rather than actually charging, waive the fee as a favor, for which the patient will thank you every time).
  3. Put habitual no-show patients on a short list “to fill last-minute openings”… but don’t actually call them. They are money losers as regular patients. By default, whenever they do have a problem, they’ll be your future emergencies and add to production at that point.

Mystery 2 – Dealing With The Late Patient

Even the best patients will be late from time to time. There’s no way around it. Usually, if you don’t see them when they show up, you’ll lose money on the case. It’s far better to squeeze in the offenders as best you can and to stress with patients going forward that they run on time.

For habitually late patients, try this: schedule them 20 minutes earlier than the actual opening. When they show up late, as usual, they’ll actually be on time.

Mystery 3 – Losing 10 Minutes Per Hour

Levin Group has now analyzed thousands of scheduling systems with scientific time studies and found that the vast majority of offices can easily improve performance by 10 minutes per hour. You can achieve this by analyzing the amount of time needed per procedure, delegating responsibilities so the doctor can spend more time chairside, and breaking old, inefficient habits.

The results will be nothing short of incredible. It’s like gaining two extra months of potential doctor production time per year… which, over the course of 24 years, adds 48 months. This is the equivalent of generating an additional two years’ worth of production without working one more minute!


Additional Resource

Download a free excerpt from Dr. Levin’s popular book, Power Cell Scheduling. Go here and click on the “Read an Excerpt” button.

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Three Things You Can Learn from Lexus

Three Things You Can Learn from Lexus

Do you remember the origin of Lexus?

It was originally promoted as an advanced Toyota, and few people believed it would be able to break into the luxury car market. But there were three things that Lexus did that made it a powerful player:

First, it was an incredible car. Despite the price tag on many expensive cars at that time, they didn’t always operate properly. Just Google “Audi electronic problems” and you’ll see what I mean.

Second, Lexus introduced incredible customer service. Their dealers were the first to provide loaner cars during repairs, vehicle pick-up when necessary and rapid service response.

Third, they made their customers feel special.

Dental patients want more value than ever for the money they’re spending. They have no idea how to judge the dentistry in clinical terms, so they judge it on the basis of customer service. The truth is that most dental teams don’t yet understand that the way to provide incredible service to patients is with a step-by-step business system… not just a set of personalities.

Follow the Lexus method and your practice production will accelerate like a well-tuned luxury car.

Additional Resource

For a better idea of how to drive practice growth with exceptional customer service, read Dr. Levin’s whitepaper, “Stage III Customer Service.”To download it for free, click here and enter the code LEXUS16 at checkout.

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Two Things You Can Learn from Major League Teams

Two Things You Can Learn from Major League Teams

Major league sports is big business. Look at the NFL… a $14 billion-a-year operation with intense fans who keep it growing every year. How do teams manage to reach such high levels of success?

First, they run continual marketing campaigns to sell tickets. They start long before the season begins and create a groundswell of interest. Some fans spend decades on waiting lists in the hope that seats will become available.

Second, major leagues create excitement and enthusiasm among fans. When I met the head of ticket sales for the Baltimore Ravens, I asked him why people (including me) still go to games when they can stay at home and watch comfortably on a big flat screen. He said that it’s all about energy. Part of his job is to ensure that there’s a level of energy at the stadium that makes fans want to be there rather than at home.

Here are the lessons for your practice. First, have excellent, ongoing internal marketing strategies to increase patient referrals and keep new patients coming to your practice. And, second, make sure you and your team have positive attitudes so that, every time patients come in, they experience incredible energy, enthusiasm and excitement.

Additional Resource

Listen to Dr. Levin’s advice about how to use internal marketing strategies to grow your practice in his free 4-minute video, New Rules – Marketing Means Critical Mass. Click here to watch.

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Three Things Dentists Shouldn’t Talk About with Patients

Three Things Dentists Shouldn’t Talk About with Patients

There’s a simple rule to keep you out of trouble when talking with staff members or patients. The rule is: Don’t discuss sex, religion or politics.

The reason is that all three subjects can be controversial, offensive or inappropriate. Comments that you think are interesting or humorous may very well be disturbing to someone else. Each of us has our own cultural and personal standards in these areas, and you risk ruining a practice-patient relationship—not to mention losing a patient, triggering negative social media posts, etc.—if you venture into these taboo topics.

There’s a fine line between an innocent remark and sexual harassment or embarrassment. Don’t take chances. Just skip anything related to sex altogether.

Religion, in its way, can be equally sensitive. There are many different beliefs and levels of intensity. Some people may find your religious comments perfectly acceptable, while others might be offended. Best to avoid this subject altogether.

And then there’s politics. People have become very polarized politically and often dislike it when others disagree with them. If you feel a need to express your views, reserve it for friends, family or cocktail parties… which, of course, could still be dangerous, but at least it won’t cost you patients!

Additional Resource

Learn more about communicating with patients in Dr. Levin’s book, What to Say, What Not to Say. Go here for details, and click the link to read an excerpt.

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What You Can Learn from Football

What You Can Learn from Football

There’s a valuable lesson to be learned from this year’s Super Bowl. (Yes, I know this is a little late, but everybody’s talking about football again after last week’s draft, so here’s my contribution.)

Peyton Manning, an old man by football standards at age 39, did a great job for the Denver Broncos, winning his second Super Bowl and raising the level of respect from football fans.He ended his career with grace, dignity and great sportsmanship.

In contrast, North Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton imploded. He’s an incredible athlete and lost just one game during the regular season, but he didn’t know how to handle defeat on football’s biggest stage. Instead of losing gracefully in a sportsmanlike way, he had a meltdown… not shaking hands with the Denver players and behaving horrifically at the post-game press conference. He earned a reputation as a bad sport that may take years to overcome.

The lesson in this for dental practices is that every doctor and team member should meet the highest standard of behavior every single day. Everyone has an occasional bad day, but in a service business like ours, you can’t let it show. When things go wrong, as they did for Newton, you need to smile and fake it. You owe it to your patients and to each other.


Additional Resource

Watch Dr. Levin’s free video “Working without Drama”

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3 Things about Customer Service

3 Things about Customer Service

Great customer service sets your practice apart from the competition. It motivates patients to keep coming back and it gets them to recommend your practice to people they know.

Here are three things you and your team should be doing:

1) Maintain a positive attitude.

Attitude is everything. It’s how you approach what you do. Don’t fall into the complacency trap of it’s just another day or it’s just another patient. Things won’t always go as planned, but if you can respond positively to challenges, you can get through the toughest of days much more easily.

2) Go the extra mile for all patients.

Most patients would rather be somewhere other than a dental practice. But they have chosen to come to your practice, so you and your team need to treat them like VIPs. That means smiling, extending a warm welcome and making them feel special.

3) Put the care back into oral health care.

You’re treating people––not just their teeth and gums. Put an emphasis on caring and compassion. Many people are nervous about visiting the dentist. Even long-term patients may feel anxious if they have treatment scheduled for something other than hygiene. Do everything you can to put patients at ease. They’ll appreciate it.


 

Additional Resource

For more on this subject, check out Dr. Levin’s whitepaper “What Practices Can Learn from the Ritz-Carlton.

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Up the Enthusiasm

Up the Enthusiasm

I tell my seminar audiences that one of the most important things they need to do to create a better work environment is increase their enthusiasm by 20%. I know this sounds like something you might read on a motivational poster, but until you’ve tried it, don’t knock it.

Simply deciding to raise enthusiasm will make a difference in day-to-day performance. You and your team will be happier and interact better, but most importantly, patients will perceive a higher energy. Energy creates trust, which, ultimately, increases case acceptance.

Give it a try for a week or two and see what happens. You’ll be surprised at the results you get.

Still not on board? Think about it this way… raising your enthusiasm is free––it’s something you can do to immediately improve your practice that doesn’t cost you a dime.

 


Additional Resource

For more on a related subject, view Dr. Levin’s free video “How to Impress the New Patient.

Go and get grab your copy now!