If someone told you how important their services are, and then they never told you again, would you really think what they offered was that important?
Statistical Fact: The average dental practice (this includes specialty practices in dentistry) that has been in business at least five years has more than two million dollars of outstanding treatment (any patient that enters your practice and does not purchase what you have prescribed them) in their charts. There are multiple reasons for this but the #1 reason remains the disconnect between the consumer mindset and the daily operations within the clinical environment.
Ok, let's get started. You enter a business and they tell you it is important you purchase their service. They tell you how much it will improve your life. You think about it and decide not to purchase that service (regardless of the reason). You might want what they are selling or you might not want it at all. You might be the type of consumer that likes to "sleep on it" before making a purchase. My wife is like that and it drives her nuts that I am a "buy it right away" consumer (if you show me enough value, give me an unparalleled experience and provide multiple "wow" factors). You might be the type of consumer that wants the business to follow up to convince you it is important to move forward. Anyway, you get the point.
Many dental professionals tell us "we don't want to bother the patient or if it is important to the patient they will call the office to get their "prescribed treatment." This is one example, of literally hundreds, that shows the difference between a commercial and clinical mindset. Why? While the practice says the above, the consumer (patient) is waiting for a followup. In fact, without that follow up from the business, the consumer (patient) let's "life" get in the way (it happens to all of us) and loses interest in what you have to offer because they believe you do not think it is important. "If they don't find it important enough to follow up with me multiple times .... it must not be that important." That is what the consumer is thinking, which is the complete opposite of what the practice is thinking. This is where the disconnect occurs between the consumer mindset and how outstanding treatment is handled within the practice environment.
In addition, the above is another example (I have provided many in the past and many more are coming in the future) of the practice environment unintentionally reinforcing why consumers do not value dentistry. The consumer believes the treatment discussed at the practice must be optional (not really needed) if the practice is not going to follow up with me multiple times.
Install the following at your practice to place more value in the mind of the consumer and to skyrocket your growth:
1) Place one person in charge of outstanding treatment at your practice. This person will make the calls, emails, etc. and track the statistics. They should be held accountable for ensuring this division of your business is functioning at high levels.
2) Do not let your schedule control your business. Define 30 minutes to an 1 hour on your schedule every single day and ensure the person you place in charge is able to make the calls during those times without any interruption.
3) Ensure the person in charge is commercially trained on the telephones otherwise you will never maximize the success of these calls. Doctors spend millions on staff training as it pertains to the new patient telephone call; however, what about all the other calls to and from your practice? Those are just as important for a number of reasons and why our telephone training covers it all.
4) Define follow up protocols. Two days, two weeks, two months, etc (for example). These are different depending on the type practice you are and I will write about this in upcoming articles. For example, if you are an orthodontic practice you need to follow up much quicker than if you are a GP Practice (and the call scripts must be different as well).
5) Track your stats. You will never know if outstanding treatment is working unless you track your successes and failures. Track the amount of calls made versus scheduled. How much potential production was scheduled from those calls. Also, track the hours the calls are made. Why? Based on your patient demographic, different practices have success making these calls at different times. By tracking what hours you made the calls on what days, it will help you know what are good times (and bad times) to make these calls for your practice.
Accomplish the above and your practice has the chance to add another $600,000 plus in production this year alone ($50,000/monthly). This is another reason why internal marketing and operational refinement far supersede any other type of investment you will make to benefit your practice. Invest in getting your staff commercially trained and your practice will become recession proof and grow at record levels every year.
Founder & CEO - BizBlitz