And The Patient Never Came Back…

And The Patient Never Came Back…

Do you ever see patients for one visit only, who should come back for more appointments, but for some reason never do?

You know the ones…. They phone your office, make an initial appointment, come in and see the dentist for a COMPREHENSIVE NEW PATIENT EXAMINATION, or they want something very specific, and then never ever return?

What causes this?

Why does this happen?

Is it something about them?

Or is it something about your office, and their first visit, that has caused this patient to do a complete one-eighty and disappear [figuratively] off the face of the earth.

I hear your team say:

“Probably a shopper.”

In reality, probably not.

Here’s what’s most likely happened….

What most likely has occurred is this:

This patient has turned up for their appointment full of high expectation only to have had the air let out of their tyres…

Something has occurred during the patient’s visit that was not up to the expectations that this patient was anticipating.

These less than desirable experiences for the new patient occur when the reality of their visit to your office does not match the expectation that the patient was anticipating as a result of the information they had gleaned from your marketing and your website.

There has been a message-to reality mismatch.

Or everything has gone as per planned with the patient’s arrival and visit, except that the patient, while they’re waiting to go in and meet the dentist, has seen or heard or overheard something that has again not lived up to the expectations of this patient.

They may have been happily relaxing in the client lounge and overheard the dental receptionist speaking on the phone to a caller who did not make an appointment?

Or they may have overheard the receptionist explaining to a patient why they were feeling discomfort post operatively, but yet had had no discomfort at all prior to their treatment?

Or maybe they heard a patient call in to the practice to cancel some appointments?

Maybe the new patient overheard a conversation between two team members discussing another patient in a less than favourable way?

Or the new patient may have just listened to two dental office employees gossiping about another employee not present?

Is your office set up where sensitive phone calls are received within earshot of existing and new patients? If that’s the case, you might want to reconsider your office layout and design to something more appropriate.

We also need to stop oversharing…

OVERSHARING is the process that occurs when a team member discusses a negative situation with someone where that someone does not really have any interest or need to know about the events that are being discussed.

And that conversation can be a direct conversation, or it can be an overheard conversation.

OVERSHARING is often just a form of gossiping.

It can often be unnecessary chatter that at best breaks silence, but is inappropriate, because silence is better than gossiping.

Or where another APPROPRIATE topic should really have been discussed instead.

Here’s my thought:

All speech in a dental practice needs to be purposeful.

What are we about to say?

What is its relevance?

Are we about to say something that stimulates and invites purposeful thought provoking conversation, or are we about to discuss gossip or fluff?

The purpose of all social conversation in the dental practice should be to discuss whatever the patient wants to talk about with the goal of GETTING TO KNOW MORE about the patient.

So that our relationship with that patient is strengthened.

And that goes for all discussion with all patients and in earshot of every patient as well.

No questions asked.

***************************

LIVE Workshop: Dr David Moffet and Jayne Bandy:

“How To Easily Run, Maintain And Grow The Ultimate Dental Practice In 2022 and Beyond”

If you’re sick and tired of drilling all day long, and not having anything close to what you deserve, to show for it… or if you’ve ever wondered, “What can successful dentists POSSIBLY know, that I don’t?”… then register for this LIVE workshop Thursday November 25, 2021 in Sydney, NSW.

Click here for more details.

*****

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

 

No Matter How Good The Garden, There Will Always Be Weeds.

No Matter How Good The Garden, There Will Always Be Weeds.

Just like death and taxes, weeds in your garden are always a certainty.

They are one of life’s certainties, that’s for sure.

Take your eye off your beautiful garden for a second, and up pops a weed where you least expect it.

On the land there are weeds. Even in grazing paddocks.

Thistles are the big offenders. And fireweed.

When you move your cattle out of a paddock to rest the pasture and allow some regrowth of the beautiful grazing grass that the cattle love and enjoy so much, the weeds just pop up and pop up and pop up.

Even after you’ve hoed the thistles down, and left the paddock to rest, the grass grows but then the thistles reappear… poking their ugly heads up above that lush grass.

Thistles are sneaky…. They grow in tall shoots, but before that they grow in a ground cover about 60cm in diameter before the shoot appears.

And the shoots are prickly, deterring cattle from even trampling them let alone wanting to eat them.

The thing about thistles and weeds…

The thing about weeds and especially thistles is this:

If they take over your paddocks they are extremely difficult to eradicate. The eradication process is long, and laborious and tedious, to put things mildly.

It is much easier to keep on top of the thistle problem as it appears, than to let the thistles take over your pastures.

There are thistles and weeds in your business.

There are thistles and weeds in your business trying to dominate your good practices and procedures and protocols. They act to destroy the things that are working well for you in your business.

These thistles and weeds appear in your business as lazy habits, lazy people, lazy practices, poor practices and systems, and non-existent systems.

When left to manifest and spread at will, these people, and their habits and practices, will bring your wonderful business to grinding halt before you know it.

Great businesses have their fingers on the essential pulses and KPIs that indicate back to the owner when there are dangers and warnings that need to be acted upon.

And when these warnings appear we do need to act quickly to prevent damage..

The cost of regular maintenance and review is inconsequential compared to the significant damage that is caused by failing to monitor and failing to measure key performance indicators.

Don’t let your beautiful gardens and pastures become overgrown with weeds and thistles.

Be diligent in the upkeep and maintenance of your gardens and pastures.

And watch and track and measure those KPIs in your business that keep your business running smoothly and performing at its best.

It is essential to your future financial success to be across all of those KPIs that monitor and maintain the health of your dental business, and to be mindful of the consequences of letting things get out of hand.

*****

LIVE Workshop: Dr David Moffet and Jayne Bandy:

“How To Easily Run, Maintain And Grow The Ultimate Dental Practice In 2021”

If you’re sick and tired of drilling all day long, and not having anything close to what you deserve, to show for it… or if you’ve ever wondered, “What can successful dentists POSSIBLY know, that I don’t?”… then register for this LIVE workshop Friday July 30, 2021 in Melbourne, VIC.

Click here for more details.

*****

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.

1You 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

 

How To Build The Foundations Of A Great Dental Practice.

How To Build The Foundations Of A Great Dental Practice.

There’s a lot of dental practice management advice out there but not much is directed towards the most important part of owning and running a dental practice and that’s the ability of the practice to create an ENDLESS LIST of loyal customers who keep coming back to see you because of the RELATIONSHIP that they have with you, and who are happy to complete all the dentistry that you diagnose for them and who are also happy to UNCONDITIONALLY REFER all of their friends and acquaintances to see you.

When you have a large list of loyal customers who love you and TRUST YOU UNCONDITIONALLY, you’ve got the foundations of a great dental practice.

When you are continually looking for that next big thing, for that next new patient to fill blank spaces in your book, that’s when you need to be feeling nervous.

And yet dental practice management tends to focus on only two pieces of the dentist:patient relationship. And those two things are Case Acceptance and New Patient Acquisition.

The theory is that if you can just get more new patients, and use your slick selling skills to get them to accept your complex treatment plans, then your worries will be over.

What the theory doesn’t consider at all is that the patient journey through your practice is more than just about being acquired and being sold to.

It’s about the long term relationships you and your team members form with these valued patients of your dental practice, and about the inherent trust that comes with having these wonderful relationships.

There are so many possible moments during a patient’s journey through their dental visit that can either strengthen or diminish their relationship with your office.

And it is the ability of us and our dental team members to engage with our patients on an emotional level rather than on a  clinical level that really goes a long way towards building those sustainable long term relationships of trust.

When you’re continually looking for the next patient just so that you can sell them something, that’s when you’re living within a house of cards.

Sadly, real long term sustainable relationships are built on foundations established by trust and respect, rather than by manipulation.

Knowing that your business has this sustainable foundation gives you peace of mind during times of uncertainty.

And also during times of prosperity.

*****

LIVE Workshop: Dr David Moffet and Jayne Bandy:

“How To Easily Run, Maintain And Grow The Ultimate Dental Practice In 2021”

If you’re sick and tired of drilling all day long, and not having anything close to what you deserve, to show for it… or if you’ve ever wondered, “What can successful dentists POSSIBLY know, that I don’t?”… then register for this LIVE workshop Friday July 30, 2021 in Melbourne, VIC.

Click here for more details.

*****

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 To Do When The COVID Bubble Bursts

What To Do When The COVID Bubble Bursts

The global COVID pandemic has had some interesting effects on the dental industry in Australia.

And some fascinating side effects and also some distinctive knock-on effects.

Firstly, community lockdowns and city lockdowns and state lockdowns have interrupted what used to be  a regular supply chain of dental services in the community.

Under lockdown, in Australia, the provision of supposedly NON URGENT DENTAL SERVICES has needed to be postponed [despite the fact that in the USA dental treatment has been allowed to continue, because the Americans believe that the wilful delaying of dental treatment is permitting and causing the propagating of unnecessary and unjustified pathological damage and tissue loss].

In Australia, when dental treatment is mandated to cease [and then resume], what that does is create periods of drought and then flood in the supply chain of dental services.

There is nothing. And then there is everything.

There is lack of supply. And then there is over-supply.

Dentists have said to me that when restrictions on practicing are lifted after a lockdown, there is an oversupply of patients seeking treatment.

Oversupply.

And that seems logical, because diagnosed treatment does not heal itself during lockdown

Diagnosed treatment still needs to be done once restrictions are lifted. It never goes away on its own.

It still needs to be performed.

And so there is an excess supply of patients needing treatment.

Adding to this…

Adding to this is the “situation” that Australians are not travelling, due to overseas travel restrictions that have been put into place.

What we are seeing is that instead of the “Let’s Fly to Bali for my 50th” vacation/birthday celebration, fifty-year-olds are now celebrating their birthdays with a new glamorous Hollywood-style set of crowns and veneers.

As a present unto themselves.

And this trend of spending will continue so long as there are consumers out there who will always exhibit that “I’ll have what she’s having” attitude.

Thirdly:

During this pandemic, a lot of businesses have needed to deploy a work-from-home situation for their employees in order to function, and just survive, even at a lower level.

This has resulted in a lot of employees outsourcing their 9-5 requirements during regular office hours back into their local communities, rather than getting those specific activities completed near where their work office is. As a result of this, a lot of “work from home” employees have been getting their dentistry done closer to home.

Suburban practices have been very busy.

As the flood recedes…

As the vaccine gets rolled out and as we as a country take control again and begin to return to some form of new normal, so too do we see that demand for dental services starts to re-settle back to pre-pandemic times.

People will return back to those tall city buildings for work.

And dentistry will return to what it used to be.

What we are seeing now

What we are seeing now is that dentists who were very over-booked and booked weeks in advance are now starting to not be so over-booked.

And cancellations and reschedules and spaces and gaps in the appointment books are starting to be noticed more and more.

What I think has happened is this:

During the times of high demands, there were still cancellations and reschedules coming in, but because of the long waiting times and patients being booked so far in advance, dental practices knew that they could easily fill those cancellations.

And so their ability and skill at preventing and cancelling the cancellations was not needed so much.

After all, the demand was there from all those patients on their “stand-by list”…

And so this necessary skill of preventing cancellations has not been needed.

Now what we are seeing is the list of incomplete treatment plans in our dental practice has grown.

Re-activation of all those patients with incomplete treatment that have been “allowed” to cancel is now needed.

And who loves doing reactivation calls?

Not many people…

And that’s where the new problem is arising…

As health care practitioners we have a duty to our clients to make sure that they have all their necessary and diagnosed dentistry completed.

It is our duty to them to ensure they have a healthy mouth, free from disease.

And just because we’re busy at our practices doesn’t mean that we can allow our patients to delay the completion of this necessary treatment.

In the short term, the dental practices that have maintained their front office phone standards with respect to handling cancellations will be streets ahead in bookings and scheduling, compared to those practices that have “coasted” through this period of excess supply.

And in the long term, those dental practices that have maintained their front office phone standards with respect to handling cancellations will be streets ahead in bookings and scheduling as well.

There is no excuse for dropping our standards.

And there are consequences for doing that. For dropping standards. And for taking our eyes off the ball.

When our dental practice gets slack about  allowing cancellations, and start allowing any name to be put into the schedule to fill the gap that may not be someone requiring “ideal treatment”, then that’s when things start to unravel.

Big cases cancel, and “anybody” gets slotted in.

And incomplete complex treatment plans become our outstanding treatment, and are replaced by “rats and mice” style dental appointments….

And that’s not productive.

And it’s not a sustainable model….

*****

LIVE Workshop: Dr David Moffet and Jayne Bandy:

“How To Easily Run, Maintain And Grow The Ultimate Dental Practice In 2021”

If you’re sick and tired of drilling all day long, and not having anything close to what you deserve, to show for it… or if you’ve ever wondered, “What can successful dentists POSSIBLY know, that I don’t?”… then register for this LIVE workshop Friday July 30, 2021 in Melbourne, VIC.

Click here for more details.

*****

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

 

You Never Know Who Knows Whom

You Never Know Who Knows Whom

A few years ago a friend of mine who sells finance to dentists shared with me a very disturbing story.

Now when I say he sells finance to dentists, what I mean by that is that he organises money for dentists to make purchases of equipment, investments, and lifestyle choices.

For businesses to grow, sometimes finance from a third party is an essential ingredient.

Anyway, on this day my friend had phoned a dental practice to speak to the dentist about some finance that dentist was wanting. The dental receptionist who answered the phone, and who must have been having a bad day, had abruptly and violently ended the call with my friend and had slammed the phone down in his ear.

Now I say that she must have been having a bad day because there is absolutely no reason and no excuse for anyone to demonstrate this sort of bad behaviour towards another human being.

How rude was that?!?!

My friend was taken aback. He phoned me to tell me about this horrible experience, and to ask me whether he should let the dentist know that he had been dealt with in this manner.

Together we discussed the pros and cons of letting the dentist know that his receptionist had behaved this way…

Just this week…

Just this week I encountered a similar reaction from a dental receptionist when I phoned to speak to the dentist.

Rude is probably an understatement.

I rang and asked if the dentist was in today.

The receptionist, let’s call her Colleen, asked me:

“Is this about implants, or something else?”

I asked if the dentist was with a patient, or was able to come to the phone?

I told Colleen that it was a personal matter and that I just needed a couple of minutes to talk to the dentist.

Colleen responded by letting me know that nobody gets to talk to her dentist unless they tell Colleen what it’s about.

Frankly it’s none of Colleen’s business.

I phone a lot of dental practices and speak to a lot of very nice and polite and courteous dental receptionists.

If the dentist is with a patient I always ask to leave a message for the dentist to phone me back when they have a couple of minutes available to speak with me.

I’m always very clear on the fact that my message is important, but not urgent.

And that the reason for the call is a private matter.

And when I say private, I mean it’s a matter for me to discuss with the dentist.

I never want the dentist to be called away from a patient. Patients come first.

With the call to Colleen’s practice this week, the feeling I got from Colleen was that the dentist actually worked for Colleen, and not the other way around.

Colleen actually said to me after I had given her my name:

“What sort of a doctor are you?”

I told her that I was a dentist, and I asked Colleen what her role was.

Colleen replied:

“Well I’m the practice manager and nobody gets to speak with [the dentist]  without going through me first.”

What Colleen didn’t want her dentist to be getting was a phone call from anyone who was going to tell her dentist that the staff in the dental practice could work more productively and efficiently to make the dentist more money.

And so Colleen assumed the role of “gatekeeper from Hell” for her dentist.

The thing is this:

If Colleen’s dentist was interested [or not] in what I had to say then all that dentist needed to do was call me back, listen to what I had to say , and respond accordingly.

No big deal either way.

When the dentist or the receptionist predetermine a course of action that pre-supposes what a phone call is about, then they immediately restrict the results that they might otherwise receive.

As a child I remember watching an episode of the Mickey Mouse Club where one of the Mouseketeers was telling the story of how he opened and unwrapped his Christmas presents one year in the order from the largest to the smallest, leaving the smallest gift to last.

When he opened the last present, what he found inside that small box was a Mickey Mouse Club watch, something that he had always wanted for as long as he could remember.

And so his message was this:

He said that from that day onwards, he stopped making assumptions and predeterminations, and began to look at things with a far more open mind, taking the appropriate means and measures to investigate and evaluate everything as much as he could.

In conclusion…

The dental practice receptionist who slammed the phone down in the ear of my financier friend made the assumption that my friend was only selling finance.

And in making that assumption, she also made the assumption that my friend was never ever going to be in a position to recommend a person to become a patient of that practice?

You know, like someone who my friend might know or do business with that was looking for a dentist in that area?

At my practice in Parramatta we treated everyone who phoned or came into that practice with honour and respect.

Even the postman, [let’s call him Jim], who hand delivered mail to our practice every single day.

When it was time for Jim to go to the dentist, guess where he decided to come to?

Yes. He came to our practice.

And our practice was not the only dental practice on Jim’s daily mail route.

And I wonder how many people Jim told about our practice at all of the businesses that he delivered mail to?

You see, you never know who knows whom, and who recommends whom, do you?

*****

LIVE Workshop: Dr David Moffet and Jayne Bandy:

“How To Easily Run, Maintain And Grow The Ultimate Dental Practice In 2021”

If you’re sick and tired of drilling all day long, and not having anything close to what you deserve, to show for it… or if you’ve ever wondered, “What can successful dentists POSSIBLY know, that I don’t?”… then register for this LIVE workshop Friday July 30, 2021 in Melbourne, VIC.

Click here for more details.

*****

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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