Performance Target: Keep 98% of all patients scheduled at all times. Start with scripting to make sure patients don’t leave without scheduling their next appointment. Follow-up in 24 hours with those who don’t. Also contact active yet overdue patients to encourage them to get back on schedule.
Strive for “WOW” customer service. Patients will recommend your practice only when you provide them a great experience. If the customer service is mediocre at best, patients won’t have anything good to say about your practice to others. By exceeding expectations during patient interactions, you put your practice in the best position to generate word-of-mouth referrals.
Create a realistic operating budget… and stick to it. Analyze past income and spending, calculate what changes will be needed, and factor in any significant anticipated investments. Once you’ve established the budget, review it with the team. Then, monitor monthly cash flow so that if you’re not staying on budget, you’ll be able to make timely corrections.
Additional Resource: Watch Dr. Levin’s video, “Game Changer #1 – The Great Recession And Uninspiring Recovery,” by clicking here.
Don’t say “That’s impossible” to patients. When a patient asks, “May I have an appointment on Tuesday” and your answer is, “That’s impossible,” you’re basically saying you don’t care. Instead, let the patient know what is possible.
Management Monday: Check out Dr. Levin’s whitepaper, “5 Ways to Improve Interpersonal Relationships with Patients,” by clicking here. Save 25% with code TOD25.
Lean forward when seated and talking with patients. Leaning forward shows interest in the other person. It creates positive energy between two people, and this will build the patient’s trust in you and the practice. Once trust is established, patients are much more receptive to treatment recommendations.
Friday Freebie: Watch Dr. Levin’s video, “The New Patient Experience – How To Impress The New Patient,” by clicking here.
Say “thank you” to your lab. A quality lab is an asset to your practice, patients and staff members. You should express your appreciation when a dental lab consistently produces quality work. This can be as simple as sending breakfast or lunch over to the lab team.
When you change systems, remember to change the documentation. Although outdated business systems should be replaced rather than tweaked, some interim fixes will be necessary. When you alter procedures to work around a bottleneck, revise the system documentation (and operating checklist) immediately. Otherwise, team members are more likely to revert to the old way.
Principles of Practice Leadership: Open the channels of communication. As the practice leader, you are responsible for keeping team members informed and inspired. Learn to use not only formal channels, like meetings, to do this, but also informal ones. Thank and compliment staff frequently. Give encouragement when challenges arise. And have casual meals with team members, in the office or offsite.
Additional Resource: Watch Dr. Levin’s video, “Interpersonal Communications – Get Along With Everyone,” by clicking here.
Advice for the Dentist – Follow the rules for setting goals. Goals should be written down and measurable—and have deadlines. They should be reviewed, and updated if appropriate, annually or whenever there are major changes for the practice.
Honor members of your team for their accomplishments. Reward successes with praise and special gifts. Celebrate individual and practice achievements by holding staff dinners or fun events. Convey a sense that practice growth is a team victory you’ve all accomplished together.