“That’s Not In My Paycheque”

“That’s Not In My Paycheque”

Have you ever heard someone use this phrase:

“That’s not in my paycheque”

Or in another language, they might say:

“That’s not my job”

Or

“That’s not in my job description”

Or

“I don’t get paid to do that” 

Let’s get one thing straight here…

As dental practice owners and employees, we’re not in the dental business…

We’re in the Customer Service business.

If our practice ain’t got no customers, then our practice ain’t got no business.

Looking after customers, serving our customers, and making them feel special, is what we need to do so that those customers come back, and those customers tell everyone they know and they meet about how great our dental business is, and how great we all made them feel while they were at our place of business.

Dentistry is simply a medium we use for providing great customer service.

Our job is to provide exemplary service of a World Class standard to all of our customers, so that they cannot stop talking about how wonderful we are.

And so….

And so when someone in our business is asked by a customer, or by a co-worker, or by their employer to perform a certain task or duty, so long as that task is not illegal or dangerous, if it’s good for the patient, and/or it’s good for the dental practice, then it is INDEED something they do need to do.

It is their job.

In a dental practice, any task that needs to be performed by an employee, or by the owner, that adds value to the patient’s experience at our practice, or adds value to the functionality of the practice, is within the paycheque and is immediately part of the job that that person is there to do.

Nobody at our practice is there to devalue the purpose and the mission of our practice, or devalue the experiences of our valued customers.

Our mission is to consistently provide World Class Customer Service to our patients.

Including any Above and Beyond experiences.

That’s a non-negotiable.

*****

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

 

“Thinking About It” Is Not The Solution

“Thinking About It” Is Not The Solution

In 2020 I needed delicate eye surgery to have a floater removed from my left eye.

The problem I was having was that I felt that my left eye and my right eye were not working together.

Not all the time, but a lot of the time. And this was annoying me.

After much misdiagnosis from one optometrist, I ended up at another optometrist who spent more time inspecting my eyes rather than simply just measuring my prescription.

The first optometrist had simply prescribed me new lenses.

That was not the answer.

The second optometrist diagnosed a structural issue in my left eye and quickly referred me to a retinal surgeon that had treated me for a retinal tear and detachment some years ago.

The retinal surgeon diagnosed the floater. But he said he usually only operates on floaters after they have been present for twelve to eighteen months.

When I told the retinal surgeon that my left eye had been bothering me for over twelve months he was still hesitant to operate.

But I insisted that if we delayed the surgery for six months as he suggested, the only thing that I could be certain about was that I would return to him “hating his guts” for making me wait and suffer.

[So the retinal surgeon performed the surgery and removed the floater. When I asked him how big the floater actually was, on a Titanic iceberg scale from one to ten, he told me it was “a nine”. One of the biggest he had ever seen.]

Once the floater is removed, new lenses can be prescribed, but the vision will deteriorate quickly and the eye will need cataract surgery after twelve months.

For this surgery, my retinal surgeon referred me to a cataract surgeon.

When I saw the cataract surgeon, although I definitely needed cataract surgery in my left eye, it was discovered that my right eye was experiencing the early stages of a cataract. And would need surgery at a date in the future.

I was told that some people choose to have both eyes done at the same time.

I spent some time with the office manager who told me about the procedures and the various options.

What surprised me…..

What surprised me was her reaction to what I then said to her.

The office manager was indeed genuinely surprised when I asked her:

“How soon can you book me in?”

She was taken aback.

She told me that nearly every patient gets sent home to “think about it” and to then call back, or to then be followed up.

This surprised me.

What was there to think about?

The reason I was at the office of the cataract surgeon was because I was basically blind in my left eye and cataract surgery was the only option I had to restore my vision and see.

I needed to do something.

Unless I wanted to remain blind.

Which was a pretty poor second option.

And my eye wasn’t going to miraculously fix itself.

So, she booked me in for the surgery.

Sometimes I talk to dentists….

Sometimes I talk to dentists who have things going wrong at their practices.

And when I tell them that I can help them to fix their problem, because that’s what I do, some of the dentists go ahead and engage my services, while others choose to delay fixing the problem, hoping that it will miraculously heal itself.

One thing is for sure.

In business, the behaviours and habits that have caused the problem need to be addressed before the problem has any chance of resolution.

Henry Ford said:

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

If you want your business to improve, sometimes the best thing to do is to stop taking your own advice and start taking the advice of someone who has achieved results that have made a difference.

Doing nothing is never the correct answer.

Doing nothing wasn’t going to fix my cataract.

And doing nothing won’t fix your broken business.

*****

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 Flow-On Benefits Of Providing World Class Customer Service: Lesson One

The Flow-On Benefits Of Providing World Class Customer Service: Lesson One

I had a dentist ask me this question recently:

“What’s your protocol for when patients fail to attend their appointment?

Does your office call the patient?

Should an SMS be sent out to the patient who fails to attend saying that your office is now cancelling the missed appointment (if the patient doesn’t answer the call)?”

It was a great question, because a lot of dental practices experience these same issues.

But in answering this dentist’s question, the real key to the answer is not what your practice does or says when a patient fails to attend or turns up late…. The real key is identifying the root cause of the issue and fixing the issue at the root cause.

For example, if you discovered that your basement at home had flooded, it would make more sense to find out where the water was coming from and stem the flow [maybe a burst pipe], rather than try mopping up a continuous torrent of water?

So I answered:

 

“Hi Doctor,

We rarely had this at our office because our patients had valued relationships with our practice.

So if Fail To Attends [FTAs] are a problem in your practice I would be looking at the following factors first before looking at a reaction:

  • Which dentist did the patient see last time?
  • What treatment or procedure was the patient meant to be having at the appointment they failed to attend?
  • If it is a new patient who fails to attend, who took the phone call when the appointment was made, and how did that call go?

 

Patients fail to keep appointments because they do not understand the urgency of their treatment, and they do not understand what will go wrong when they choose to delay their treatment.

Once your patients all clearly understand these two things, they will attend.

And when you have good long-term patients, these people never fail to attend.”

And then I also added this:

“What we used to do with patients who were late arriving for their appointment is this:

We would phone them at 1 minute past their appointment time and tell them we were calling to see if they were OK, or had they been in an accident…. making sure to talk about them, not about our appointment time…

We never texted until the next day.”

Our concern should always be about the patient’s well-being.

Not about our appointment book.

Lastly, if a patient had an appointment scheduled but had not replied to confirmation SMSs and calls, this is a red flag if it is a newer patient.

It is a red flag that this patient probably will not be attending.

All patients should be aware that they do need to respond to these messages to make sure their appointment is kept for them, and that if they fail to respond before the end of the day prior to their appointment, then that appointment time will be given to another patient.

Remember…

When your dental practice operates from a position of providing World Class Customer Service, you will find that your practice has very few patients who abuse the relationship with your practice by not keeping appointments.

*****

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

 

Be A Better Marketer Of What You Do

Be A Better Marketer Of What You Do

Another great quote came across my desk again recently.

It was from successful Australian business entrepreneur Brad Sugars, and it said:

“Growing a business is less about the products and services and more about the sales, marketing and customers … where do you invest most of your day ???….”

A solid thought indeed.

Winston Marsh offered up this advice many years ago. He said:

“Be a better marketer of what you do than a doer of what you do.”

Putting those things together simply…

Putting those things together simply means this:

Nobody will ever find out how good you are at what you do if you don’t tell them what you do, where you do it, and when you do it, and tell them THE BENEFITS OF RECEIVING WHAT YOU DO and how much better off they will be for having invested in what you do.

There will always be people who know you, and know your business, and will say to you:

“I never knew that you did that [provided that service]”

Because these people had some preconceptual image of what your business did, and THEY HAD NO IDEA what your business could actually do, and do for them.

And some of these people may be your regular customers, and may go elsewhere to receive services that you provide, because they don’t know that your business provides them.

And all because YOU FAILED TO MARKET what you do to people who already knew you, but didn’t quite know much about you.

The Lesson Is Simple:

Do not fail to tell everybody you know everything that you do and can do for them, and how good you are at doing those things.

And tell them that you have people and patients who travel from all corners of the country, and from all corners of the globe to receive those services from you.

*****

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

 

Great Service Begins With Intent

Great Service Begins With Intent

I’m often told by people in business that their business gives great customer service.

But what I find when I look at these businesses, is that the owner tells the employees to give great service to the customers, but the employees are not told what they need to do and they are not told why they need to be doing it.

And so in most cases, the employees try giving customer service a go for a certain period of time, and then they stop, and they default back to what they were doing before.

Which is four fifths of sweet not much.

And so nothing really happens.

And the business goes back to suffering. And the employees default back to trying to get by.

But the boss, or the owner, believe that customer service has been implemented, because the employees attempted to improve their customer service skills…. but what he doesn’t realise is that the employees have ceased that implementation.

It’s pathetic really.

And so some businesses say this:

“Customer service? Yeah, we tried that. It didn’t work.”

But what didn’t work was the employees.

Because they weren’t given adequate training and follow up.

The jury is not out….

The jury is not out when it comes to customer service.

There is a reason why the great retailers are serial implementers of World Class Customer Service Systems and processes.

And that reason is because Customer Service works.

It works because customers love being made to feel special.

And when customers are made to feel special, what happens is a stronger bond is created between the customer and the retailer, or the service provider.

Your intent, when you begin your journey into the world of customer service must be the mission of making your customer feel special, and of providing a solution for their problem.

When you do this for every customer, your customers will become your biggest and best evangelists for what you do for them.

They will tell everyone they know how good you are, and how great you are.

Remember, your customers may not remember the exact service you provided for them each time, but they will always remember how you looked after them, and how important you made them feel.

And that feeling is priceless.

*****

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

 

To Fee, Or Not To Fee…. That Is The Question

To Fee, Or Not To Fee…. That Is The Question

I was asked this question by another dentist this week:

“Regarding wisdom teeth extractions – in the event that the extraction ends up being ”simpler” than the dentist had expected, and in the event that the patient was already quoted for a higher fee (and time was allowed in the appointment book for a more difficult procedure) – should the dentist reduce the fee from the original higher fee quoted?”

Here’s my answer:

This question is one where there are answers for a number of scenarios, but ultimately, the answer that a practitioner chooses has to be one that the practitioner is comfortable with.

Firstly, I don’t believe that dentists should “quote” or “do quotes” or “offer quotes”.

Quotes are what tradies do to try to get business, and the word “quote” implies that the price is variable and negotiable, and that when offering a “quote” the tradie is hoping to be the lowest “quote” to get the business.

Alternately, health professionals do procedures for “fees”.

The language used by dentists and team should be:

“And Mrs. Patient, the fee for this procedure will be xxx dollars.”

We do not “quote”.

Now, having framed that up, let’s take a look at setting fees for procedures.

The time taken for some procedures such as crown preps and tooth extractions can be variable, because of circumstances, and degrees of difficulty, and also the level of experience of the operator.

With crowns, let me ask you a question….is your fee for a crown the same for a crown prep on an upper right second molar as it is for a crown prep on a lower left first premolar?

Or should it be more? The upper right second molar has a more difficult access, requires more gingival retraction, and has twice the drilling…surely the fee for a crown on an upper right second molar should be significantly more?

What about the speed of an operator? Surely a proficient dentist who preps a C&B case in less time than a less proficient dentist should charge a lower fee?

With the extraction of a wisdom tooth, sometimes we do not know whether an extraction will be more difficult or less difficult until we are in there doing the extraction?

I have found that with the passing of the years, there have been times where I had wished I had charged more for an extraction that ended up being more difficult than I had estimated, and there were other times where I could also have charged less…. but overall, things tended to balance out.

If you were to ask patients whether they wanted you to take 20 minutes to pull a tooth or 5 minutes to pull a tooth, guess what they would say?

They would say:

“Do it in 5 minutes!!”

every time, before they would even bother to ask whether five minutes would mean a lower fee.

Lastly, sometimes the most innocuous extractions become dry sockets, while some very long surgical procedures end up having zero post-operative issues…

It’s the same with fillings… if you asked a patient whether they wanted you to drill their teeth for 35 minutes or 55 minutes, which do you think they would answer?

Occasionally we may over-estimate the time required to remove wisdom teeth. But you do need to be paid for time that you’ve reserved for difficult procedures.

However, if a dentist repeatedly overestimates the appointment length needed for an extraction, and continually “clips” patients, it might be best for someone to “have a quiet word” with the dentist about this perceived “clipping”.

The other dentist replied, asking:

“Just wondering what the rationale is for the more proficient/experienced dentist charging less than the less proficient dentist? Surely most patients would prefer to see someone who gets things done more efficiently?”

I replied:

There are two schools of thought to consider here for the patient.

One school of thought is “well that didn’t take you long Mr. Service Provider, your fee should be reflective of the time you took”.

The other school of thought is “well, the reason I took less time was because of my knowledge and proficiency that I have developed over the years, therefore my fee is reflective of you purchasing that acquired knowledge and IP”.

In life, there is an argument for both cases.

Service providers need to be assertive as to which of those two schools of thought they decide to operate by.

Once you have chosen your lane, you must commit to your choice, and not waiver.

*****

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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