To Be Better, You Need To Become An Active Listener

To Be Better, You Need To Become An Active Listener

One of the things that I see more and more of these days in dental practices is that the person who answers the phone is not one hundred percent committed to their duty of answering the phone.

They are not getting IN THE MOMENT with the caller on the phone.

It’s as if they’re mind is wandering to someplace else, when their mind should be one hundred percent committed to the call and helping the caller.

What is distracting them?

There could be a number of reasons why the dental receptionist is not one hundred percent committed to listening attentively to their incoming phone caller:

Is the receptionist attending to a live patient in front of them at that moment when the phone rings in the dental office?

Has the receptionist been on another phone call that they just now had to put on hold?

Has the receptionist been drawn away from a serious meeting with their boss by this ringing phone?

Was the receptionist otherwise involved in a private conversation with another office team member when the phone rang?

Were they being distracted by trying to multi-task and attend to something else on their computer at the same time that the phone rang?

Here’s what needs to happen:

The dental practice team need to understand that the ringing telephone in the dental practice represents an opportunity to serve someone.

And that someone is usually an existing patient, or someone who has decided to call our practice because they have a dental problem and they have decided that they WANT YOUR PRACTICE to solve their problem.

[Yes, in this day and age, there is the opportunity for any dental practice to put sufficient information out there on the internet for anybody without a dentist to be able to decide whether they want to be your patient, or not.]

The ringing phone is NOT an interruption.

How we perform on the phone will determine whether the caller will become [or remain] a patient of the dental practice.

Or not.

Here are some tips to ensure that you are indeed an active listener.

The person calling the dental practice on the phone must feel that the dental receptionist has been waiting and looking forward all day to them calling in.

If your front office people can convey this feeling on the phone to every caller to your dental practice then you will go a long way to securing a heck of a lot more business.

Sadly, the converse is the reality.

Most dental receptionists feel that the ringing phone is an interuption to their day, rather than being an opportunity to help someone and solve their dental problem.

The caller must feel that your receptionist is truly invested in the outcome that will solve their dental issue, and at that time on the phone, nothing else AT ALL matters [to the receptionist].

The receptionist must operate with a checklist and also make written notes of everything said by the caller, as a reference and as a cross reference point as well.

Nothing infuriates a caller more than being asked questions about things they have already provided information about, that was clearly ignored by the phone answerer.

At the end of the call, the caller must be so looking forward to coming to the dental practice with such anticipation, that they seriously HOPE WITH ALL THEIR MIGHT that a change in the practice schedule does arise and the receptionist phones them to bring their appointment forwards.

Ultimately, the caller should feel that they have now discovered a brand-new friend, and that they are looking forward to meeting them [the receptionist] in person.

So….

Pay attention to what the caller says.

Pay attention to the outcome that the caller is hoping to achieve.

Pay attention to the tales of discomfort and pain that the caller is enduring.

Pay attention to the caller’s name and whether or not they have been to your practice before….

Lastly….

Get feedback from the caller that your dental office has been able to be of great assistance to them.

Unless you receive accurate feedback from your callers you will only be guessing as to how well things are really going on your dental office phone.

*****

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.

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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 is the Secret To Success?

What is the Secret To Success?

I’m often asked about success.

As a coach, I’ve seen success and I’ve created success.

And as a business owner, [as a dentist and dental practice owner], I’ve seen success, I’ve created success, and I’ve been successful.

People say to me, they ask me:

“How can I be successful?”

Or they say:

“David, can you make me successful?”

The big question is…..

What makes people successful?

What are the underlying characteristics of success?

This quote came across my desk last week:

“Talent is a dreadfully cheap commodity, cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work and study.” Stephen King (1947 – ) American writer

Well summed up.

It is hard work and study that makes people successful.

There are plenty of people with talents who are lazy, and are defeated and beaten by less talented people who simply put in more effort, and exertion, and trained harder.

The talented people were outworked by the less talented people.

Ed McCauley said it brilliantly:

“When you are not practicing, remember, someone somewhere is practicing, and when you meet him he will win.”

The choice is yours.

You can try and rely on talent?

Or you can win by doing the hard yards, like Stephen King said, and grind out your success.

Perseverance wins the prize.

“Perseverantia Palman Obtinebit”

Perseverance wins the prize.

Persistence and hard work will reward you more than talent.

Talent alone can be distracted.

State of mind, and FOCUS, will be what drives your success.

Do you want to be successful?

Do you want to be successful?

How successful do you really want to be?

It is up to you…yes, it really is.

Your focus, your commitment, is what will drive your success.

If you are committed to succeed you will more likely succeed than someone who is “seeing how things turn out.”

Don’t be a dabbler.

Go for it with all of your might.

It is all best summed up in the words of Calvin Coolidge:

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.

Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

What is the Secret To Success?

Persistence and hard work are the keys to success….

*****

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

 

How Customer Friendly Is Your Written Correspondence?

How Customer Friendly Is Your Written Correspondence?

I remember receiving an unexpected surprise gift from a friend of mine seven years ago…

I sent him a message of thanks on Facebook Messenger:

It began:

“Kirk, you are full of surprises.”

As is the way with messages, personal devices can choose to shorten them so Kirk received a message from me that read:

“Kirk, you are full of s….”

Which brings me to this week…

I had been receiving text messages on my phone from Australia Post that an item that I had ordered was on its way and was being delivered to my Post Office Box [PO Box].

Which is where I get boxes and parcels delivered because I have a front gate at home, and the gate is a way away from the house, so the PO Box is just easier for deliveries.

So today at 8:54am I received the following text message:

“AusPost: You have an item(s) to collect at Robertson LPO. ID required. See http:??mypo.st/xyz.etc. Do not reply.”

I thought:

“OK. Message received and understood”

Then at 9:06am, some twelve minutes later I received the following shortened email notice:

“Australia Post

Please collect your PO Box item/s

Please pick it up by 13 Dec 2019 Your PO Box item/s

are ready to be picked up Addressed to your PO Bo…”

Opening the email presented me with a message even more impersonal than the abbreviated message:

 

I was shocked.

Is this the way that businesses talk to their customers?

In four word sentences?

With warnings?

Is this how things really are in 2019?

On a positive note, the word “please” was used….

Here’s how I would have structured the email message.

“Hi David,

A delivery has arrived for you at Robertson Post Office, and is now available for you to collect it.

I’m not sure whether it’s something you’ve been waiting on or not. It was addressed to your PO Box, and we’ll be able to hold it here for you until 13 December 2019.

But you’ll probably want to come and get it as soon as possible.”

Then I’d put in all the details, such as the Post Office address [with map] and the tracking number, photo ID etc.:

[Though I’m really not sure why I need a map to find the Post office where I have my PO Box….after all, that’s where I collect my mail?? I know where the Post Office is already]

Finally I’d end the email with:

“Oh by the way, if you can’t collect your item within thirty days, we’ll have to return it to the sender, and we wouldn’t want to have to do that…”

Just to personalise the email.

As it stands…

As it stands at present the email is jumbled in order of information and sounds more like a prison assembly announcement.

It is very sterile and impersonal, and need not be.

Because, most deliveries to PO Boxes have been ordered by the receiver, and with that order comes some degree of anticipation.

Australia Post should really be trying to SHARE in that feeling of anticipation, rather than ignore the excitement and divert around it.

How does this apply to dental?

Are there letters or SMS messages that your dental office is sending to customers that read more like a prison assembly announcement?

When they could be written to sound as though the writer is really one concerned friend who is reaching out to someone [they know well] with a solution to a problem that the receiver didn’t realise was so urgent?

Take a good look at your written correspondences that are being sent by your practice.

Are they written in a lecturing tone that conjures up an image of a finger being pointed at the reader?

Try addressing the conversations being had in a conciliatory and friendly manner, and watch and see what a difference this makes to your patients, and see how better they will respond to making and keeping those necessary dental 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

 

To Earn More, You Must Learn More.

To Earn More, You Must Learn More.

This message from Howard Farran from six years ago recently re-appeared upon my computer:

“Congratulations to all the dentists who are taking their teams with them to the ADA[congress] in New Orleans.

In the USA the dental market has consistently been split 50/50 for decades, where approximately half of Americans purchase dentistry as a commodity, shop for the lowest price and go wherever their insurance plan tells them to go, but the other half purchase dentistry on a relationship basis, based on trust and respect for the dentist and the dental office team.

In this half of the market the number of years your average employee has worked in your office correlates positively with production, collection and net income. Dentist must hire more slowly, take HR as important as endo and perio, and develop their team members. Congratulations again to all the dentists who are taking their teams to New Orleans.” – Howard Farran 31.10.2013

What do you think about Howard’s comments?

Is it the same in Australia as it is in the USA?

Have things changed in the dental employment environment in the last six years?

What I’ve seen is this:

The cream rises to the top.

When I say this, I mean that the good get better.

It’s always the same dentists, and the same practices that are attending all of the Continuing Education courses.

What this means is that there are also a large number of dentists and dental practices that DO NOT attend Continuing Education Courses regularly.

Attending Continuing Education courses allows us to expand our knowledge and to invest in ourselves and our teams so that we can learn what else is out there that is possible.

We can learn that there literally are no limits to expansion of the mind.

Production, Collection and Net Income.

Howard mentions that there is a positive correlation between the investment in education for yourself and your dental practice team, and the success of your business.

Put simply, you can say:

“The more you learn, the more you earn!”

When you know more, you grow more.

There are plenty of successful dental practices that have grown by investing in coaching and mentorship for their dentists and for their team.

You see, it’s one thing to be educated in dental skills…

But at Dental School, dentists are not taught about systems and protocols, and HR and motivation.

And sales.

When we know more about business, our business grows more.

Some of the best coaching I received for my business was about business and not about dentistry.

Are you investing in the right things for your practice?

There’s no point in learning a whole pile of fancy new procedures if your front office team do not know how to answer the phone correctly.

If the people who answer your phone are BLOWING AWAY potential leads and potential new patients because of a lack of training, and education, then you may as well go down to the bank and withdraw tens of thousands of dollars in cash and then throw it all into the river.

You need a great team.

As Howard said, there is a positive correlation between practice success and team and dentist improvement.

If you want that sort of success for your practice, my thoughts are that you need to find yourself a great mentor and coach.

*****

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 Secret To Providing Consistently Great Customer Service

The Secret To Providing Consistently Great Customer Service

When I raise the topic of Customer Service in dentistry, I’m often greeted with comments of surprise, and wonderment.

As well as comments such as:

Why bother?”

I also have dentists tell me:

“Oh yeah. We’re doing all that.”

But they’re not.

Providing great World Class Customer Service in your dental practice is a CULTURE.

It’s not something you do.

It’s more like something you and your office becomes.

You become a Customer Service FANATIC.

World Class Customer Service is about consistency.

The biggest failing I see in business is the lack of systems and lack of consistency when providing service.

Service standards vary from operator to operator.

They vary from day to day.

And sometimes they vary from hour to hour and from minute to minute.

Customers are people.

And people are on the whole, creatures of habit.

Customers crave consistency.

And when there’s a flaw in the system, and their “product” is varied and devalued, they will complain.

Or they’ll walk.

And go elsewhere.

The reason our valued customers leave and take their business elsewhere is because they feel ignored and taken for granted.

And that’s easily fixed…in principle.

But in application?

The secret to providing great customer service can be summed up in this quotation from American footballer Steve Young:

“The principle is competing against yourself. It’s about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before.”

Our aim in the service industry is to always be trying to create an experience for our customers today that is better than the experience they enjoyed at their previous visit.

And to do that consistently across the board, day in and day out, week in and week out, is the key.

This is what separates the truly great service companies from those who are simply just “dabbling” with service.

Providing a consistently better than average experience for my patients in my own dental practice is what helped me to create a truly World Class Service environment of Customer Service in an industry and profession renowned for causing pain and discomfort.

It’s what I did.

And it’s what I now successfully teach other dentists to do.

*****

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

 

Building A Successful Dental Business. Secret Number 2.

Building A Successful Dental Business. Secret Number 2.

As I told you last Friday, building a successful business is not difficult.

If you have a good product and provide good service, you will succeed.

But there are some things that you need to be mindful of.

Flowing on from last week’s secret [about not reaching out to enough potential customers], you need to be mindful that your business must stay in touch with those potential customers on a very regular basis.

Many business owners make this classic mistake when they start or take over a business.

They reach out to plenty of potential clients, but then they fail to stay in contact with those potential clients.

They fail to nurture their potential client list.

Oh sure, they might contact some of the potential clients on their list once or twice a year [out of the blue, say], but that’s never enough to stay in the front of these potential clients’ minds.

Just having a list and contacting people from that list sporadically certainly won’t get those people to buy your services and become raving fans.

What you need to be doing is communicating with these potential clients on multiple occasions throughout the year, so that your company is at the forefront of their thoughts.

The art of course, is to do this in such a way that makes your business valued, rather than detested.

Get this right, and your business will grow.

Get this wrong and even if you have a great product, your growth will only be a fraction of what it could have been.

*****

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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