I had the pleasure of spending a day listening to Howard Farran share just a small part of his Dental Knowledge with a group of Dentists in Sydney last Saturday.
Howard is the founder and owner of Dentaltown forum.
Here are some of Howard’s pearls.
Not all of them.
I’ve also included my take [as well] on some of these gems…
1. “Look at Laws As Suggestions”
If Dental Insurance doesn’t cover treatment needed then it’s our role to convince the patient that they should be thinking about their health and not about their insurance.
So if they need to see the hygienist four times per year to maintain their teeth but the insurance only pays on two visits per year, then we must disregard the rules and encourage the patient to act in the best interests of their health, and their teeth, and not just think of the insurance classifications.
2. “Successful people have the most Uncomfortable Conversations”
Following on from the point above, sometimes we need to say things that may be uncomfortable to us, and to the patient.
But are in the best interests of the patient.
So be uncomfortable.
Get used to looking after the patient.
3. “The Receptionist’s Only Job Is To Get Butts On Seats“
Howard’s take was that the primary role of the person at the front is to schedule treatment and appointments for those calling in and those leaving after appointments.
An empty chair makes nobody happy.
My take is it is the role of the person at the front to ensure that nothing gets in the way of patients receiving their necessary treatment, when it is needed.
Not sometime later, if at all.
4. “Hire More on Attitude Than On Skill”
I agree with Howard here, that a long resume of previous Dental Offices worked at may not reveal the “negative” experiences, both for the offices and for the applicant.
It is easier to teach someone with a great attitude the necessary dental skills required to work efficiently in a Dental Office.
It is also true that it can be sometimes near impossible to train desired outlook and personality into some people with Dental skills.
5. “Fifty percent of incoming Dental Calls Come In when The Practice is closed”
These calls are made when it is convenient for the public:
- Before the Dental Office Opens
- After the Dental Office is closed
- During lunch hours
I’ve always believed that in this day and age people would prefer to talk to a live person rather than speak to a machine and leave a message.
So I always had my staff take split lunch shifts, so that there was always a team member available to answer the phone.
Howard espoused this, along with employing someone to come in ninety minutes prior to the office opening, just to answer the phone.
Similarly, at the end of the day, a team member stayed back for ninety minutes after the office closed, because this was another time when calls were not being answered.
It is also important to have somebody answering the phone on days when there is no dentist at the office. Never *NOT* have a live person answering your phone.
At my office we used to divert the Dental Office phone to a mobile phone or cell phone that a team member was paid to answer if it rang after hours.
Now we have an outside party record and track and follow up all incoming calls and all missed calls 24/7. Email me if you are interested in finding out more.
Remember, it’s impossible to treat patients whose calls you fail to answer….
6. “Nail the people side of Dentistry and Make Millions!”
Most dentists are “C” types, and as such, are overly technical.
In fact, most Dentists are under-done on the people skills side.
So, it makes sense that if your Dental Office stands out head and shoulders above its competitors because it focuses on providing its Customers with a well-structured, systemised World Class Customer Experience, you will always have patients beating a path to your door.
If all you are doing is simply providing just dental work, then your customers can get their dental work done at any old place….
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