Are You Greeting The Arriving Patient With An Ultimate Patient Experience?

Are You Greeting The Arriving Patient With An Ultimate Patient Experience?

Recently I wrote about the importance of managing the ARRIVAL processes for the patients visiting our dental practice, and how the management of these processes, or the failure to optimally manage these processes, can have an effect on whether or not a patient continues as a patient of our practice.

As I have said, if your practice is falling down on any of the intermediary steps between what’s getting people to call your office and when they learn about what treatment they actually need to be getting done, it really doesn’t matter how great your case presentation skills are, nor how schmick your marketing is.

Looking after the needs of the arriving patient, and exceeding their expectations can be a real game breaker for your dental practice.

Here’s what you should be doing when the patient arrives at your practice:

When a patient arrives inside our practice there are certain parameters that need to be met.

The practice needs to:

  • Identify the arriving patient
  • Greet the arriving patient
  • Let them know the time frame for their visit [is the dental provider running on time?]
  • Direct them to a seat in the client lounge area

But what if we could do better?

What if our team members were:

  • Trained to Beat the GreetTM?What if our staff actively tried and succeeded in greeting each arriving patient by name before the patient had time to announce who they were?
  • Ready in anticipation?How many times do patients walk in to your dental practice and are made to feel as if they are an interruption to someone there’s “busy” schedule?
  • To have the arriving patient’s favourite beverage READY for them on arrival?
  • Letting every arriving patient know how great it was to see them, and how we had been looking forward ALL DAY to their visit?
  • Thanking every arriving patient sincerely for being on time, or better still, early, for their appointment?

 

How’s Your Hang TimeTM?

Hang TimeTM is the time spent by the patient between their arrival to the dental practice and their transfer from the client lounge down to the treatment room.

I’d rather not call it WAITING TIME as I’d like to think of it as being peaceful and serene, like hanging up in the air on a hang glider, soaring majestically without a care.

The way that we attend to our patients during this time [or that we FAIL TO attend to them] can seriously affect their state of mind and have bearing on whether or not they accept or decline any treatment we propose.

What we want to avoid during this time is “PARKING” or neglecting or ignoring the patient to such an extent that they decide [before meeting the dentist] that our dental practice IS NOT where they will be getting their dental treatment done.

Sometimes it is the LACK OF attention to our patients or our indifference or their perception of our indifference towards them that creates these feelings and opinions.

That being said, the cost of avoiding these negligent or neglectful scenarios is far less than the ongoing effects of allowing the feelings of neglect to take root.

So what can we do during Hang TimeTM?

Our practice could:

  • Have pleasant music being played at an appropriate volume
  • Maybe have their favourite music playing?
  • Offer a range of beverages and refreshments
  • Maybe even have their beverage of choice ready for them to enjoy?
  • Have suitable and appropriate [current] reading materials available
  • Have clean and well-presented furnishings and fixtures.
  • Have people employed in a concierge style role, visiting with patients, sitting and discussing their concerns, or even themselves.
  • Discuss any recent events or occurrences particularly mentioned previously by the patient?
  • Offer secure wi-fi access
  • Offer them warm or cold towels, if needed, prior to their treatment
  • Be mindful of the time and offer apologies and also explanations for any time delays.
  • Congratulate them on being a patient of the practice for however many years?

Managing the arrival processes at your dental practice in a way that makes your practice stand out from your competitors is a sure fire way to build a bevvy of loyal customers who wouldn’t think of ever going anywhere else for their dental treatment, ever.

*****

Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…Click the link: http://www.calltrackingexcellence.com

Call Jayne on 1300 378 044 or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more details.

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

 

Bigger Is Not Always Better

Bigger Is Not Always Better

In 2016 I was approached by an accountant to look at a dental practice that was owned by one of his clients.

The accountant could not figure out a couple of things about the dental practice…

Firstly, considering the size of the dental practice, the accountant couldn’t figure out why it was not making a profit?

[The dental practice had five dental chairs and employed three dental hygienists and three dentists, as well as having a principal dentist]

The second question the accountant had for me was:

“Why do people who answer the telephone need to be taught how to answer the telephone? How hard can that be?”

Let’s look at the first question:

With such a great facility, and with great manpower, there certainly was a profitability question.

And in the case of this practice, the answer to the first question can be explained really quite simply.

Different practitioners work in different ways.

Some dentists and some hygienists prefer to work in different ways to other dentists and hygienists.

The sad thing is that in private dental practice, under ownership, some owners end up running charities for unproductive practitioners.

These owners allow the employed practitioners to use the practice’s facilities with no processes of review, including review about productions, hourly rates, diagnosed treatment, case acceptance, and case completion.

Just to name a few….

For each practitioner.

And when there are no processes of review, then there are no opportunities to stimulate results and improvements.

And so what happens is that the dental practice has no consistency.

And that is what I witnessed here first hand.

During the six months I worked with this practice their collections were below target for four of those months and then above target [slightly] on one month. And another month the figures were well exceeding target.

But not in that order.

Because the practice had no structure.

And the lack of structure created the erratic results.

And without structure there was no review.

People took vacation when it suited them, rather than when it suited the practice.

The dental exams in the hygiene rooms were not done at any specific time and were only done when it suited the dentists, not the patient and not the hygienist.

There were no daily goals and targets set for dentists and hygienists to achieve.

And when you don’t have something to aim at, you end up missing it one hundred percent of the time.

When the practice achieved its one stellar month of production, the big differentiating factor for that month compared to the months before [and afterwards] was that the principal dentist had done some significant treatment. And some extra hours.

Ask yourself this question:

If we separated the income generated by the principal dentist, and subtracted that from the total practice income, would the income from the remaining practitioners be sufficient to pay them their salaries and commissions, as well as pay all the staff salaries and all of the practice’s expenses?

And return a profit for the owner?

What I don’t like seeing….

What I don’t like seeing in these sorts of larger private dental practices is the situation where a significant chunk of the principal dentist’s production income is being used to prop up the underproduction of the employed practitioners.

With zero profit being made by the practice….

And that’s CHARITY.

Speaking pragmatically.

All too often I see dentists surrounding themselves with extra practitioners, creating an illusion of success, when there is no profit coming from having these people there.

And often the having of the extra people there creates significant headaches for the practice, in terms of human resources and management.

And the solution is?

All too often there is an obvious solution in creating the best way forward.

But sometimes that solution is not apparent to the owner of the dental practice.

On a different note, this year I was asked to help a dental practice where the owner wanted to bring on an associate dentist, with the view of a transitional sale down the track.

Interestingly, upon analysis, the operations of the practice presented an alternative path for the principal dentist which was a far more satisfying solution than the owners had initially believed was possible.

The difference is?

In the first practice, despite my analysis and recommendations, no actions were implemented.

In the second practice, the reaction of the owners to my advice was:

“Yeah, that’ll work. Let’s do it.”

Sometimes, some people can’t see the wood for the trees.

We all know the story of the two woodchoppers in a contest?

One chops wood all day long, and whenever he looks over at the other woodchopper, he sees him sitting and not chopping.

At the end of the contest, the woodchopper who had chopped wood all day long had chopped less wood than the woodchopper who was seen sitting.

And the reason this woodchopper had been sitting?

At regular intervals the second woodchopper decided that he needed to sharpen his axe.

What are you doing to sharpen your own axe?

As a business owner, are you simply chopping away?

Because that’s what you think you are meant to be doing?

Or are you taking time to get advice, and act on that advice?

Sometimes it’s not just the doing. It’s the preparation, and the analysis of the problem that is the best solution.

At the end of the day:

At the end of the day, being in business is not about who collects the most money.

Being in business is about net profit.

It’s about what you get to keep after paying the bills.

And what you get to put away for your future.

Anything that you do in business that reduces net profit is considered charity.

Unsolicited charity that continually drains away at profit is not clever, and needs to be terminated.

*****

Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…Click the link: http://www.calltrackingexcellence.com

Call Jayne on 1300 378 044 or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more details.

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

 

Caring. Sharing. Listening.

Caring. Sharing. Listening.

One of the most overused clichés ever is:

“People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

It’s attributed to former American President Theodore Roosevelt.

The analogy is that people out there don’t want to know your opinion if they feel a lack of connection with you.

People want to feel that your answer, your solution, your precis is because you are invested in them and with them, and that you are not just speaking for the sake of speaking.

People want to feel that what you are saying is coming from the heart and has a purpose of adding value.

In dentistry, when we are conversing with patients throughout the day, we should always be coming from a conciliatory position rather than from a position of trying to influence or trying to be heard.x

This is why it is always best to listen more than you speak.

And why it is important to ask questions more than we offer opinions.

To be a good friend we should first try to be a good listener.

Here are some characteristics of a good listener:

  • Look at them.

Focus on them, and them alone. Don’t be distracted by background movement. Be in the moment.

  • Truly listen

Give all your attention to what they are saying and why they are saying things, with the purpose of understanding rather than with the intention of wanting to respond.

  • Give them visual and auditory feedback that you are in the zone with them.

Nod your head, make eye contact, agree.

  • Seek clarification on their meanings, as well as on how they are feeling.

Ask conciliatory questions to show that you are onboard with how they are feeling and the story they are sharing.

Remember, everybody loves to talk about their favourite subjects: THEMSELVES!

Those of us who can control our responses to being responses and not being opinions and statements will be valued and praised as true listeners.

Mary Kay Ash said everybody out there is walking around with an invisible sign around their necks that reads:

“Make me feel important!”

Including all of our dental patients.

And the easiest way to do that is to be a good listener.

*****

Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…Click the link: http://www.calltrackingexcellence.com

Call Jayne on 1300 378 044 or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more details.

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

 

The Timing Theory. When Is The Best Time To Take Action?

The Timing Theory. When Is The Best Time To Take Action?

I often hear people tell me excuses….

“I’ll get started when we finish our renovations.”

“I’m waiting to hire the right person before I get started with your training.”

And guess what?

THEY NEVER START!

They say:

“Our renovations cost more than expected and now we’re having difficulty paying the bills.”

“I still haven’t filled that position.”

And guess what?

If they’d have started the training when they should have, their cashflow would have improved and their bills would have been easily paid.

And if they’d have started the training with the team they had at that time, they’d have upskilled a fair chunk of their team, such that the way their TEAM operated would have been considerably better.

But they didn’t.

And so things did not change.

My mentor Dan Kennedy said this:

“Conditions are never right at the right time. The timing is ALWAYS wrong. If you’re waiting for everything to be just right before taking action, you are in possession of a foolproof excuse for failure.”

And how right he was.

In my own experiences, this is one of life’s undeniable truths.

Conditions at the time that you want to start will never ever be absolutely perfect.

Kennedy went on to say:

“It’s my experience that, nine out of ten times, waiting for ‘better timing’ means waiting forever. A lot of lip service is given to ‘timing’ or ‘being in the right place at the right time’ but, in actuality, this just is not a documentable, major success factor.”

I have found the same thing.

My belief is that people who say they are waiting for the RIGHT TIME are more likely to be people who never take any action and so watch every opportunity pass them by.

The “timing” issue is simply a furphy that covers for their total inability to take action.

In life, there will always be times where your decisions may not be the best.

But the aim of life is to make the decisions and to have more wins than losses.

In 1987, a friend came to me and said he was looking at buying an apartment to live in, and that he thought that I would be in a position to do the same thing. [we had both been renting].

The following month, I inspected two apartments and placed a deposit on and subsequently purchased, one of them.

Twelve months later, I sold that apartment at an eighty five percent profit after the Sydney housing market had gone through a substantial boom.

And my friend?

He never bought…. he MISSED the boom.

One of the reasons that he never bought was because he thought that he had missed the boat as the market began to rise.

In hindsight, had he purchased even six months after I had, he still would have been better off.

The Sydney housing market never fell back to those pre-boom prices.

My friend learned the lesson, that TAKING ACTION was the key.

What about you?

Are you an action taker?

Or are you one who waits for the right time, the time that never quite comes….

*****

Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…Click the link: http://www.calltrackingexcellence.com

Call Jayne on 1300 378 044 or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more details.

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

 

What A Boring Old Bunch

What A Boring Old Bunch

Over the last three days I’ve been conducting my early morning walks around Sydney and the inner Eastern Suburbs of Darlinghurst and Paddington.

And boy, is the world changing….

And changing for the worse.

When I lived in Sydney’s North, I found that two walkers passing on the streets in the early morning were likely to smile and greet and acknowledge each other on about ninety percent of times.

In the country, where I live now, two walkers will ALWAYS greet each other when passing.

But this week, in the city, it seems to me that nobody acknowledges a fellow walker.

Nobody.

NOBODY.

Not once.

On all three days

Why Is This So?

What have we become?

Why do people walk past each other as if the other person is not even there?

As if the other person is invisible?

Is it due to supposed “political correctness”?

Has society become fearful of any form of interaction?

Are people scared that their actions may be misinterpreted?

Are people fearful that their courteous acts of acknowledgement may be incorrectly interpreted as an invitation to something more?

Has society now become fearful of sending the wrong message to strangers?

Does society now believe that sending no message is better than sending any message, when there is a slight chance of the message of acknowledgement being incorrectly assumed as an invitation?

Here’s my advice:

Be inclusive when you are out and about.

People are not invisible.

My philosophy is that I choose to smile and wave and greet all people that I encounter.

And in rural areas, for me, that includes passing cars and drivers.

For me, I believe that every opportunity I have of greeting and acknowledging someone is an opportunity of brightening up their day.

It’s amazing how easy it is to make someone’s day right then and there with a smile.

Sending out a smile can be so uplifting for the recipient of that smile.

What’s the point of a blank face?

To me purposefully sending out a blank face is an insult.

It’s offensive.

It’s true proof that you are bothering not to notice.

Where are we headed if this behaviour becomes the norm?

What does this behaviour say about our society as we know it?

What are the implications of this behaviour in dentistry?

If you come to work for me, don’t bring a blank face.

At my Dental Practice, we always practiced and lived by the edict of the Four Foot Rule.

What Is The Four Foot Rule?

Putting it simply, the Four Foot Rule is that whenever you come within four feet of another human being you MUST acknowledge their presence with a smile, or a wave or a greeting.

Every time.

And this is a Non-negotiable.

This is a non-negotiable condition of employment.

In the dental practice, the term “human being” includes co-workers, patients, employers, family and friends of patients, and all other people.

Regular respectful acknowledgement and interaction in the workplace has many benefits.

  • It shows respect for fellow workers and customers.
  • It shows others who observe these interactions that your organisation embodies and embraces a culture of respect.
  • It reduces and eliminates timidity and shyness.
  • It builds self-esteem and self-worth.

The Four Foot Rule is an easy rule to implement in your workplace.

But it is an easy rule to NOT DO as well.

My advice is to practice the Four Foot Rule until it becomes an inherent behaviour.

You’ll be amazed at the changes that will flow into your business as a result of its implementation.

*****

Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…Click the link: http://www.calltrackingexcellence.com

Call Jayne on 1300 378 044 or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more details.

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

 

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