Respond to team conflict quickly and calmly. It may be tempting to ignore conflict, but it’s better to respond right away as a mediator. The dentist or office manager should meet privately with the team members involved, facilitate a solution and make it clear that continuing conflict will not be tolerated.
Put scripts into your own words. Scripts should not be recited word for word, like a speech you’ve memorized. Learn to communicate the scripted points in a way that’s natural for you. Scripts are training tools that will help you present consistent information and answer patient questions effectively.
Advice for the Dentist – Put business on your list of CE priorities. To succeed in the new dental economy, you need more than clinical skills. You also need to know how to manage a team and run your business efficiently. Take advantage of the many opportunities for business education, including online resources, books, articles, seminars and dental organization programs.
Schedule based on production. Many practices schedule patients by just filling empty time slots. Instead, reserve morning slots for high-production cases. Scheduling this way, with production as a priority, will eliminate unnecessary stress and help your practice meet its daily goals.
Make eye contact. When speaking with patients, always make eye contact throughout the interaction. Patients want to feel that they are your number-one concern. If you’re looking down or going through paperwork, they may feel they aren’t a priority.
Management Monday: Check out Dr. Levin’s whitepaper, “5 Ways to Improve Interpersonal Relationships with Patients,” by clicking here. Save 25% with code TOD25.
Survey your patients. Surveying patients can provide valuable insight into how your practice is perceived and give everyone in the practice a good idea of areas where you need to improve. Surveys should be limited to 10 questions and take only a few minutes to complete.
Advice for the Hygienist – Get comfortable asking for referrals. When you’re with patients, watch for opportunities to mention that your practice welcomes new patients. If a patient compliments your gentle touch or the doctor’s skills, or comments on how pleasant the practice is, that’s the time to encourage patient referrals.
Redesign systems one at a time. Rather than trying to update all your systems at once, start with the scheduling system and then move on from there. Fill your new scheduling capacity by improving systems for case presentation, marketing, “WOW” customer service, etc. As each system comes online, your practice will run better and do better as a business.
Offer dental products as part of your total dental care commitment. You’re the oral healthcare experts for your patients, so help them provide the best home care… not only with sound advice but also by providing products that meet your professional standards. Although you’ll bring in some revenues this way, the real benefit is that it will strengthen the practice-patient relationship.
Improve office efficiency with performance reviews. These annual evaluations reinforce exceptional achievement, identify areas for improvement and motivate team members to reach their potential. Although focused on individual team members’ performance, they will also have a positive impact on practice performance.