Is Your Dental Practice A Train Wreck Just Waiting To Happen?

Is Your Dental Practice A Train Wreck Just Waiting To Happen?

The thing about a great business is it is built on the principle of covering all bases.

It’s very difficult to create greatness when you are failing to monitor significant pieces of your business and its processes and operations.

Many times in dentistry I see dentists looking at only one part of their business, trying to improve or perfect that piece of their practice, while other significant and important pieces of their dental practice are deteriorating, struggling, and self-destructing.

J. Willard Marriott said:

“It’s the little things that make the big things possible. Only close attention to the fine details of any operation makes the operation first class.”

The operations of your dental practice do need to be clearly defined so that they can be managed and grown.

Sadly, most dentists don’t do this.

Most dentists have parts of their practice running on autopilot, but without a pilot.

Some dentists have their WHOLE dental practice running like an out of control locomotive…. A train wreck just waiting to happen.

It’s usually a little bit of this, and a little bit of that.

But not much of anything.

So where are the big areas of failure?

There are several areas of dental practice that feature regularly as being problematic. Here are two of the biggest:

Dental practice staff.

Have you ever heard the phrase:

“The tail wagging the dog.”

Dental staff are important for the running of a dental practice.

But, sometimes I see dental staff strangling the growth potential of a dental practice with their unrealistic demands.

This is where the scales have tipped….

Because there are plenty of jobs out there where the employer dictates the roles and conditions.

Like school teaching. When you take a job as a school teacher you take vacation during school holidays.

You don’t take vacation during school term.

When you work as a fireman, you are part of as unit.

That unit works to the roster.

Two days on. Two nights on. Four days off.

Six months on. One month off.

No exceptions.

In dentistry we need to realise that our “unit” depends on us to produce our best product.

And when we fail to consider the “product” we are providing, our customers, or patients suffer.

And those patients who notice, will either tolerate our lack of care, or they will go elsewhere.

If you have team members who put themselves ahead of their customers, and the product your practice offers, then you are better off finding those team members a position in a different dental practice.

Scripts and dialogs

I listened to some phone call recordings from a dental practice recently.

On one day, a person phoned the dental practice twice in ten minutes with the same enquiry.

And each of the calls was answered by two different team members.

Who each gave the caller two completely different answers.

To the same question.

This is not good.

There needs to be consistency and uniformity in what is said to patients and enquiries in a dental practice.

How the phones are answered, how arriving patients are greeted, what gets said to patients when and where, when the patient is being transferred, handed over, farewelled, appointed, making payments…. The list goes on.

Most practices don’t have a list of what to say, and when, for anything…

And its really sad to see this…

Dentistry is a business.

Owned by one person or entity.

And employing other people.

And it is the employees who need to know what to do and say.

And what not to do and say.

So that the business has consistency.

Because its not about winging it.

Yet so many dental practices don’t have a PLAYBOOK when it comes to what to say when this happens and what to say when that happens…

Most dental practices operate using the MUSAWGA principle.

Most dental practices follow the MUSAWGA principle when it comes to scripts and playbooks.

They don’t have one.

They haven’t gotten around to putting one together.

So they wing it.

Their philosophy is to “Make Up Stuff As We Go Along”.

Not a good plan.

When you fail to plan you actually plan to fail.

If you don’t have clearly defined plans of your own for your business there’s a good chance your business will end up becoming part of someone else’s plan.

Don’t let your dental practice become an attrition accelerator, letting patients walk out the back door while you spend your hard-earned money desperately on trying to acquire new patients.

Because that’s not too clever…

*****

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

 

I Can’t Believe This Business Performed A Stocktake While Real Customers Waited For Service

I Can’t Believe This Business Performed A Stocktake While Real Customers Waited For Service

One of the Golden Rules of Customer Service is to NEVER be performing duties or tasks in your business that have the immediate effect of ignoring or neglecting your real live customers.

Years ago, while I was on a dental practice visit, I sat in the client lounge at a practice [some people still call them WAITING ROOMS] and watched as the receptionist continued with a phone call and TOTALLY IGNORED a real live female patient who had walked into the practice and stood in front of the receptionist.

FOR FOUR MINUTES!!

Without even a nod or a wave of recognition.

Let alone excusing herself from the phone caller [for a moment] to acknowledge this lady who had just entered the practice.

It was painful to watch.

Can you picture it?

A receptionist talking on the phone, with a woman standing right there in front of her, and failing to even acknowledge the presence of the arriving woman.

Not a nod.

Not a gesture.

Nothing.

It was as if the arriving woman was INVISIBLE.

A similar thing happened to my wife and me in December.

Jayne and I had just arrived in Paris and were eating at a very popular eatery near our apartment.

And we had been positioned to eat our meals at the bar.

Which we didn’t mind.

And we kind of preferred.

But as we sat there, eating and conversing, not one, but two of the restaurant waitstaff proceeded to restock several of the wine fridges in the bar with full bottles of Riesling.

While ignoring the diners right there behind her who wanted and needed wait staff service right then and there.

Which was just totally wrong.

Because in no business should living and breathing customers be left unattended by a team member supposedly needing to perform NHIs [non-human-interactive] duties.

If NHIs need to be performed, then employ extra staff.

But don’t ignore your customers.

In dental practices I see dental staff on the phone doing stock ordering while arriving patients are ignored.

And even while client lounges are teeming with patients, I’ll see front office team members doing paperwork instead of actually talking with the waiting patients.

In treatment rooms, when the dentist is called away to another room, I often see patients left alone and abandoned by the dental assistants who DISAPPEAR from the room, when they should be there attending to the patient during those times.

Because, for patients, a visit to the dentist is a traumatic and nerve racking event…. And attention, and conversation, can be the perfect remedy used as a mental distraction for the patient who is experiencing those nervous negative emotions.

Patients leave dental practices and go to find another dentist if they feel ignored, or taken for granted.

It is apathy, and perceived apathy from our dental team members towards our patients, that is the number one reason that causes those valued patients to leave us.

Recognition.

Babies cry for it.

And grown men die for it.

Don’t fail to recognise that your patients are there, right in front of you.

And all they want is your attention….

*****

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

 

Don’t Allow The Time Vampires To Steal Away Your Valuable Oxygen

Don’t Allow The Time Vampires To Steal Away Your Valuable Oxygen

Despite the fact we as dentists are intelligent human beings, we still keep making the same mistakes over and over, don’t we?

Do you have a friend who dates the same kind of people, loser types, over and over, and always ends up in a failed relationship?

Yet each time your friend expects a different result?

For these people, their friends can see the pattern… but this friend of yours, well, they just keep falling for the wrong person, each and every time.

In MLM, there are always people who hang their hopes on one prospect, who never comes to a meeting, despite promising that they always will.

Week in. Week out.

And in dental practice employment, I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard a dentist say that they now have found the perfect receptionist, the perfect practice manager, etc…., because I would be a very rich man by now.

In fact, we all have had those types of patients, you know the ones, and somehow, we spend, or should I say we waste so much time pandering to them when they really are just a load of hot air and fake promises.

You know the type…

“Yeah Doc, I’ll get that [filling/crown/implant] done. Book me in!”

And they may even go ahead and schedule the appointment, and yet they never carry through with the treatment.

And the next time we see these patients, the story gets longer, and larger, but it never gets finished.

The dentistry never gets completed.

Kind of like the big fish that got away….

You know the types?

And then there’s the patients who go ahead and make the appointments, and then get their partner, their daughter, their mother, their significant other, to cancel.

Or they call after hours and leave a message on your machine or your voice mail

Repeatedly.

And then we still book them back in…

And often these patients then have the hide to waltz back in to your practice on a later date, as if they’re your best friend, and as if they never let you down?

Repeatedly.

And each and every time, we just let them do it.

As if they’ve never done it before.

And as if for some reason, this time, they’re never going to let us don again.

As if they are, this time, actually going to really get that treatment completed.

Well, today is the day, that enough is enough.

How dare they?

How dare these recalcitrant people continue to waste your time with their fake promises, their continued time wasting, and their continual disrespect for your skills?

You see, every minute you spend with these time wasters is a minute that you should have spent with someone else who appreciates you, and appreciates you for what you do, and who you are.

So not only have these time wasters chewed up your valuable time, they’ve deprived a serious patient of spending that time with you.

The knock on effect should be enough of a realisation for you that you need to banish these time wasters from your practice, and from your life.

Forever.

Because it is time wasted that is gone forever.

You can never ever get that wasted time back.

Say Goodbye to time wasters forever.

Say goodbye to these time vampires who suck your time away.

Remove them from your practice.

Remove them from your Christmas Card list.

Unfriend them on Facebook.

Declutter them out of your life.

And walk away…

You’ll find it to be quite cleansing….

*****

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

 

Even With A Great Soufflé, This Restaurant Fell Flat On Its Face….

Even With A Great Soufflé, This Restaurant Fell Flat On Its Face….

Last Friday Jayne and I ventured out for lunch to a local restaurant that has been on our radar for some time.

It was Valentines’ Day.

The restaurant is located in a local vineyard, near where we live, and had been highly recommended as a great place for a casual lunch, with atmosphere and ambient setting, and great food.

Firstly, let me frame up the situation:

Jayne and I don’t really dine out much locally.

And that’s mainly because where we live is quite remote. Our home is a reasonable distance from most major restaurants.

And because we both like to enjoy some wine with our food and our companionship, we tend to often just stay home and eat in.

Because good food and a dry lunch or dinner, in our opinion, often just doesn’t hit the mark.

And sometimes, the cab fare when dining out, can be more than the cost of the meal.

And that doesn’t make much sense either….

Anyway, back to our Valentines’ Day lunch…

Firstly, let me say this:

The soufflé was wonderful.

But the systems, and the customer service at the restaurant, were non-existent.

Well, maybe just the systems.

Our waitress was very pleasant.

She engaged with us, and we had conversation about her accent, and where in France she was from.

But, she never engaged US.

She never asked about us.

She never asked about who we were, where we were from, whether we lived nearby.

She never asked whether our meals were OK, whether we liked our wine [we had three glasses between us], or whether we would like to buy some of the wine, or try some other varietals that the vineyard had to offer.

[There was a cellar door style wine tasting counter in the restaurant].

And she never asked whether we were celebrating Valentines’ Day.

For all she knew, she wouldn’t have known whether or not we were gourmet travelers, or restaurant reviewers.

Because she really didn’t ENGAGE WITH us.

Now, that may not be her fault.

It’s probably the fault of management.

I believe that this has got to come down to the systems, or lack thereof, in place [or not in place] in this restaurant.

You see, there were no systems.

How do we know?

This was very obvious.

Firstly, our waitress missed some very obvious cues.

We mentioned to her when ordering our food, that we would share our starter, so that we would have some room for a dessert at the end.

But at the end, no dessert was ever offered.

And in fact, after finishing our main meals, we sat, and we sat, and we sat with our dirty plates in front of us for some considerable time, in fact for an inordinate amount of time, before they were finally cleared.

Now, let me frame this up again.

The restaurant was maybe one third full.

I’m remembering there were maybe twenty six other diners in the restaurant, occupying nine table.

And we had arrived towards the end of the lunchtime service, which meant that by the time that we had finished our meals, that all other diners were well and truly done.

Now here’s the weird thing….

And maybe things are done differently in the country.

When we arrived at the restaurant, we noticed a side room where an older man was working at a desk, with the connecting door to the restaurant wide open.

And as we stood there, before we were greeted by our French waitress, we noticed an older woman talking with one table of diners about an old dog in the restaurant.

During our lunch visit, this older woman later joined another table of diners for their lunch meal, and at one stage, the man from the side office also emerged to sit and eat at this table.

And then return to the side office.

When this table of diners finished their meal, they stood and chatted with the lady in the middle of the restaurant for some time, before finally paying their bill and departing.

In fact, the familiarity shown between the lady and those people she had dined with had me feeling more that they were related to each other, because their conversational postures were more characteristic of a family home event than a public restaurant.

After the departure of these diners, this woman then went over to stand and chat with the table of diners we had seen her with on our arrival.

But at no time did she engage with other diners.

From our observation, it appeared that this woman, and the older man in the side room, were owners of this restaurant and vineyard.

Well, that was our conclusion when, as we were walking out to our car following lunch, we watched this same woman drive out of the restaurant driveway, and then drive down the road 100 metres and then turn into the separate driveway of the home on the adjoining property.

And weirdly, just before, as we had stood at the front counter of the restaurant settling up for our meal, the older man had risen from his seat in the office, taken two steps toward us to the doorway, and then hesitated and returned to his desk?

It was all rather strange….

What are the lessons here?

Firstly, if you’re going to run a business, then RUN the business.

As a business.

Try and keep business and social separate.

Sure, be nice to your customers, but don’t be overly social at the expense of your other customers.

Secondly, don’t ignore your customers, because you never know just who they might or might not be.

Thirdly, treat every customer with the same amount of attention.

And fourthly, train your team members to do the exact same thing.

Will we revisit this restaurant?

Probably not.

Despite the great soufflé….

*****

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

 

Look At These Really Big Plans This Large Dental Practice Made For 2020

Look At These Really Big Plans This Large Dental Practice Made For 2020

Someone sent me this post they saw in a Dental Online Chat Group.

Last week.

From the outset it looks like this practice really has everything sorted out.

They wrote:

“Let’s go 2020!!! Have you all got a plan for this year? I work in a practice with five OHTs… this creates a great atmosphere for collaboration, but can also generate some challenges… we usually try to get together at the start of the year and map out a path for 2020…. The main topics for discussion usually are:- holidays, hours, treatment plans and CPD…. Do you all try to create a roadmap for the tear ahead?”

What do you think about these plans?

Do you think they have everything covered?

Do you wonder what the practice owner would be thinking of these plans?

For a start…

Most people out there don’t even have a plan in their head, let alone a written down plan.

So these guys are ahead of about ninety seven percent of the population by ACTUALLY having a plan.

Because most dental practices run their year using the MUSAWGA Principle.

What is the MUSAWGA Principle?

The MUSAWGA Principle is a universal truth about human nature that has been around since the Romans, if not before.

It’s a principle that’s been responsible for most of the decisions made in the world that have led this great planet to the position that it is now in today.

You haven’t heard about it?

MUSAWGA stands for Make Up Stuff As We Go Along.

And that’s what most of the population does… they make their decisions on the spur of the moment without due consideration of events past, as well as possible future outcomes.

And that’s scary.

So what that means is that this dental practice mentioned above, by virtue of the fact that they indeed are having a planning meeting, are well ahead of the game.

So…

What do you think about their list?

The main topics for discussion are:

  • Holidays
  • Hours
  • Treatment Plans
  • CPD

What would you do if you were their employer and they presented you with this as a record of their meeting?

How would you respond?

Before you tell me how you would respond, can you tell me what two things are missing from this list?

They Forgot Two Very Important Things…

Here’s what they forgot:

You don’t have a business if you don’t have any customers.

And if you have customers, you won’t have them for very long if you don’t present them with a strong compelling reason to remain your customer.

The priorities of those in that meeting certainly looks like it has nothing to do with the patients of the practice, and providing those patients with outstanding service that is so great that they, [the patients] would never ever think of not returning to see that dentist.

The first two topics that these team members discussed was about themselves…

  • When could they plan their vacations?
  • When could they be absent from the practice?

And topic four was:

  • When could they be absent from the practice under the guise of learning something?

Here’s What I Would Do…

The first thing that I would do as practice owner would be to ask everybody present at that meeting to tender their resignations and then reapply for their positions.

Because the only thing that I can surmise from this list coming out of this planning meeting is that these people at the meeting have forgotten that it is customers who pay their salaries, and that without customers at their business, there really wouldn’t be a business at all.

If your business forgets about its customers and if your business and its employees start taking its customers for granted, or worse still, they ignore their customers, then those customers will soon move on to become customers at a business that recognises their value and worth, and treats them so much better.

This list makes no mention about patients and about customer service.

One of two things must be going on here…

Either this practice has an endless supply of patients that will never run out, and so they don’t need to worry about attrition affecting the practice, or

The existing patients and staff are content with the level of service they are receiving and providing.

All I know is this:

In the words of the great Will Rogers;

“When you’re though learning, you’re through.”

It’s the same with business and it’s the same with customer service.

If you think your business is at the top of its game, and you think that you know all that you need to know about what you need to do, then think again.

Because, you need to be continually refining your business game plan and trying to improve upon it.

And if you think that your customer service systems are exemplary, and that your customers will never dream of going elsewhere, then think again because if you drop the ball with your service, your customers WILL go elsewhere for their service.

This business and its employees need a wake-up call

Hopefully someone will alert these employees to the error of their ways.

The hours they work, and the vacations that they take are dictated by the wants and needs of the business that they work at and the customers of that business.

And not the other way around.

Dentistry is pretty well a twelve months a year, fifty two weeks per year business.

And your patients deserve to have the best people on the job at all times, and not fill ins and stand ups.

Same goes for teachers.

And same goes for firemen.

When teachers and firemen are employed, their leave is mapped out for them.

And it is mapped out to give the best possible outcome for that business.

For teachers and firemen, there is no negotiation.

And in dentistry, if we want the best for our patients, we need to make sure that the best people are available to serve your clients at all times.

Because we need to be focused on the customers and their experience, first and foremost.

*****

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

 

Pin It on Pinterest