Are You All Speaking The Same Language?

Are You All Speaking The Same Language?

In 2017, I was invited to speak at the Danish Dental Association Annual Convention. Coincidentally, the week after I spoke in Copenhagen, the rock band KISS were touring Scandinavia and performing in Helsinki, so it made sense to stay on after my speaking engagement and spend a few days in Sweden before travelling to Finland to see KISS.

One of the difficulties I had at the time was that when I needed to buy the concert tickets, I needed to purchase them online from Ticketmaster Finland. As a result of that purchase, I somehow ended up with an email subscription arriving into my computer inbox quite regularly from Ticketmaster Finland… the only problem was that the emails were written in Finnish, and I couldn’t read Finnish or speak Finnish.

No big deal.

Except that because I couldn’t read Finnish, I had no idea where to click to Unsubscribe, and if I did find the Unsubscribe link, it took me to another page online that was [yes, you guessed correctly] written totally and entirely in Finnish.

I was skewered!

However, I finally figured out a solution….

When Jayne and I attended this KISS concert in Finland, we did become friends with a Finnish couple who we have kept in touch with via Facebook.

So I finally decided that the best thing for me to do was to reach out to one of my Finnish friends and send her the Ticketmaster Finland email and see if she could unsubscribe me.

In the space of a few short minutes my friend had clicked on the relevant link [in Finnish] and PRESTO! …. I was finally unsubscribed and freed from these emails.

And the solution was that simple… all I needed to do was to find someone who could help me in this instance to speak the same language that I was needing to speak…. I just needed someone who could communicate for me in Finnish, the fact that I needed to unsubscribe.

Interestingly….

Interestingly, when Jayne and I listen to dental practice phone call recordings, we often hear two people on the phone call [the caller and the receptionist] communicating in totally different languages.

By that I mean that we listen to calls where the caller is asking or saying one thing, yet the dental receptionist is answering or replying on a completely different wavelength… its as if the receptionist has failed to hear or to listen to or to understand what the caller is asking about and what the caller is wanting to achieve.

This usually happens because the receptionist has a certain perspective [or lack of perspective] as to what they are hearing and what the outcome to the phone call needs to be.

This often happens because the receptionist hears one word in the caller’s initial comment or question, and then latches on to that word, and dismisses or ignores other key words or comments which actually are the true reason for the caller phoning that dentist.

I’m not sure whether this happens because the receptionist is busy doing other things when the phone rings, but there is often an “air of inconvenience” purveyed by the receptionist that tends to shorten the phone call and create a result that is less than desirable for the caller or for the practice.

You see….

You see, every caller who phones in to a dental practice does so because they have a genuine problem and they are looking for a solution to that problem.

Callers to dental practices are not window-shopping or browsing just to pass some time.

They all have a genuine dental need that they are looking to solve.

The dental receptionist…

The dental receptionist answering the phone needs to ask the caller some clarifying questions that get the caller telling more about what their issues are and what they are wanting to do.

If the caller says it, they own it.

If the receptionist says it, the caller is not as invested in the outcome.

When the caller is answering the clarifying questions, they take ownership of their situation and they take ownership of the things that need to happen for their situation to be fixed and to get better.

This is why a receptionist who lectures a caller with a tidal wave of product or procedural knowledge will have a higher instance of fail to attend appointments than a receptionist who helps give the caller some hope and assurance that their condition can and will be fixed, and that they have called the right dentist, and that they are in the best place to get the outcome that will solve their problem.

To maximise your NP phone enquiry bookings…

To maximise your NP phone enquiry bookings, your dental office receptionist and your new patient caller need to be speaking the same language.

And that’s the language of love.

So many times I listen to phone recordings where the dental practice is not in tune with the emotions of the caller, and because of that emotional disconnect, the call often ends with no booking or appointment being made, despite the fact that the caller definitely has an urgent dental issue that requires fixing.

It’s as if the caller is speaking English and the receptionist is trying to translate into Finnish.

And it’s a very bad translation…

The solution is simple…

Time needs to be taken to fully understand what the caller is hoping to achieve, and to create a solution that gives the caller true hope that the appointment they have made will move them closer to their desired dental outcome.

And to do that successfully, we need to make sure that for every phone call to our dental practice, whoever answers that call has the ability to help the caller into the appointment they need that creates genuine hope for the caller that everything will be just fine, and that they will be in safe hands…

The big problem is…

The big problem is that most dental practices don’t have a culture, and they don’t have a mission as to what they are trying to achieve with each and every communication in their dental practice.

And that means face-to-face communications as well as electronic communications, along with phone communications.

These communications can be between dental practice team members as well as communications between team members and patients.

And these communications must also include those that are overheard, and observed by people nearby.

If your office doesn’t have clearly defined guidelines for all of these types of communications, then your dental office has a problem.

And that problem is a major problem.

Everybody in your dental practice needs to be speaking the same language…. at all times.

It’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

 

Newton’s Third Law Of Customer Service…

Newton’s Third Law Of Customer Service…

One of the things I’m starting to hear more of when I call dental offices and when I listen to recorded calls at dental offices is that as a phone call is ending, but before the call has actually ended, I am hearing the dental receptionist begin or resume a conversation with someone nearby to them in the dental office.

In the old days this would mean that the dental team member starts talking to someone nearby before the phone receiver has been placed in the cradle.

For millennials, this is what we mean when we talk about “hanging up the phone”.

[If you don’t understand, go and ask your parents.]

If the phone at the dental office does not have a cradle but simply has an “End Call” button, then a conversation is being begun in the office before that “End Call” button is being activated.

This may not seem relevant or important to the dental receptionist, but to the caller, this action of beginning or resuming a conversation before the caller on the phone has been disengaged can send a message to the caller that the dental  practice may actually not want to be conveying.

When something like this happens, the caller may feel as though their call could have well been only an interruption to something else more important going on at the dental practice?

Or worse still, the caller may be left feeling undervalued and disrespected, by the speed at which the dental receptionist has moved on from the conversation with the caller, as if the caller’s phone call had been simply been taken for granted.

There’s no need for this sort of action.

There’s no need for this sort of action in the dental practice, where the person on the phone is left feeling taken for granted and undervalued because of the dental receptionist’s haste to engage or re-engage in conversation with someone that the caller cannot see.

Years ago…

I’ve written before about a job interview that I attended in 1983.

The owner of the practice needed a dentist to work Wednesdays and Thursdays. I had been offered another job elsewhere for three days per week, that would have allowed me availability to work at this practice on Wednesdays and Fridays, and so I asked the owner whether that might be a possibility.

The owner told me emphatically that a switch in days would not be possible.

At the end of the interview as I stood up and then walked to the door, I turned at the doorway to address the dentist owner, and as I looked, he was tossing my CV in the waste bin right there in front of me…

I thought to myself:

“At least the little sheet could have waited until I had left the building…”

The good news was…

The good news was that the other job [the three day job] ended up beginning [and staying as] a 4.5 days per week job that I worked at for three years before purchasing my own practice, and so I never actually needed any additional employment ….

As for the other dentist with the Wednesday and Thursday job, he used to run ultramarathons and mail out to the dental profession to ask them to make donations to his charitable causes… every time I received one of those letters in the mail from him it gave me great pleasure to celebrate its arrival at my practice by ceremoniously tossing the letter across the room and into the circular wastepaper basket….

Priceless…

It’s really just science…

It’s really just Newton’s Third Law of Action & Reaction

And that law states that for every action (force) in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction.

If object A exerts a force on object B, object B also exerts an equal and opposite force on object A.

In other words, forces result from interactions….

And that includes the forces of attraction…

And the forces of repulsion…

*****

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 Benefits Of Trying Harder

The Benefits Of Trying Harder

This quote below from Art Linkletter came across my desk again recently, and I’ve written previously about its implications in the Customer Service space

“Do a little more than you’re paid to. Give a little more than you have to. Try a little harder than you want to. Aim a little higher than you think possible, and give a lot of thanks to God for health, family, and friends.”

Art Linkletter was a Canadian-born American radio and television personality who lived to 97 years of age and was married for 74 years.

Wikipedia will tell you that Linkletter declined the opportunity offered by his friend Walt Disney to invest in Disneyland and the Disneyland Hotel, due to Linkletter’s doubts about the park’s prospects.

The story goes that Linkletter met his friend in a paddock in Orange County, but couldn’t get his head around the concept of a theme park, and a mouse.

Rumour has it that Linkletter recalls walking way from that meeting, out of the paddock, and saying that those steps that he took were the most expensive steps that he ever ended up taking in his whole life…. steps that he later regretted.

Wikipedia states that out of friendship for Disney, Linkletter volunteered his experience as a live program broadcaster to help organise ABC’s coverage of the Disneyland opening in 1955.

The park opening experience convinced Linkletter that Disneyland was going to be a huge success.

The key thoughts in this quote…

To me the two key thoughts in this quote are these:

“Aim a little higher than you think possible.”

and

“Try a little harder than you want to.”

These are internal thoughts that as human beings we need to be repeating and confirming to ourselves on a regular basis.

The extra mile, and going the extra mile, is where the magic happens.

Things don’t just happen because you think about them… you do need to take action and you do need to chart a course of action.

You do need to make a plan.

Action without a plan is illogical.

You need a sequence and processes that you can follow to achieve the results you desire.

And usually the best way to create a plan is to seek guidance from someone else who has knowledge and a proven track record in achieving the results you aspire to.

Once you have that plan you need to work that plan and work it hard.

A plan without action is just a piece of paper.

Joining a gym gives you a membership.

Going to the gym regularly gains you commitment.

Having a personal trainer to help you get things right creates accountability and removes distractions and roadblocks and speed bumps.

Sure, some people can achieve success on their own…

Sure, some people can achieve success on their own.

But 99% of successful people achieve their success with a team of trusted advisors and coaches that keep them focussed, so that they don’t get burned out by the efforts of wasted distractions and detours, and they can then concentrate all their efforts into aiming higher, and trying harder.

And achieving more.

More than they originally thought they ever would…

*****

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

 

Have Your Front Office People Been Prepared For These Situations?

Have Your Front Office People Been Prepared For These Situations?

We listen to a lot of dental practice phone call recordings.

Often the caller will ask the receptionist a question that the receptionist does not know the answer to.

Here’s what we hear when that happens:

1- Default to “You need to come in for a consultation”

This response often is a safety net used by the receptionist who has no idea of the correct answer they need to provide to the question being asked.

Sometimes, the answer needed is really a clarification for the caller rather than a detailed description.

If the practice defaults to a consultation in this situation it can frustrate the caller because it can appear to be wasting the caller’s time [having to come to an appointment] when the answer is actually available… its just that the receptionist needs to be able to access the required solution quickly and not default to the “consultation”.

2- The answer to the question is actually on the dental practice website….

Sometimes the question being asked of the receptionist is a clarification about something that the caller has read on the dental practice website, and they are looking for clarification or confirmation of this fact.

What is often disappointing is that treatment options and modalities that the practice offers [that are mentioned on the practice website] are not known by the person answering the phone, so the caller feels that they [the caller] are actually more knowledgeable than the person taking their call.

This should never happen.

Everybody empowered to answer the dental practice phone should know exactly what is listed on the practice website and be able to help every caller who asks about those treatments.

Ignorance is not an excuse for poor product knowledge and for this form of customer service fail being delivered.

Every business need to make sure that all staff dealing with customers needs to know their product knowledge.

3- Verbal diarrhea, vomiting information, and lecturing

Often the caller only wants to know that they have called the right place, and that your dental practice is kind, and can definitely help them….

The caller doesn’t need a ten minute lecture on the detailed procedural steps of drilling a tooth for a crown, along with gingival retraction and with the chemical composition of composite resin…

Yet sometimes that’s what we hear… an OVERSHARING of technical jargon that only puts the caller to sleep, or scares the caller.… and is rarely asked for, if ever.

The caller doesn’t care how much you know.

The caller needs to know how much you care.

4- Refer to a higher authority

Sometimes all that needs to be said to the caller is this:

“Mrs Smith, the best person here that can help you is Jodie. She’s just with another patient at the moment, is it OK if I have her call you back in 15 minutes when she’s finished, and she’ll be able to answer all your questions? Is that OK?”

If it’s just a short answer that you need to find out, and the person who has that answer is sitting right beside the team member answering the call, then it’s OK to ask the caller to hold for a moment, get the answer from the person nearby, and then go straight back to the caller.

Our role is to help. And to problem solve.

Interestingly….

Interestingly, these areas of difficulty rarely arise on a dental office phone if the dental receptionist follows the Checklist of steps in order as outlined in Jayne Bandy’s Eight Steps Of The New Patient Phone Call…. You can download your free copy of the Checklist here.

This is because the process of taking a phone enquiry in your dental practice needs to be like a recipe, with the correct steps being followed in a specific order that achieves the desired outcome.

Every phone call coming in to a dental practice needs to be considered as an opportunity to solve the caller’s problem, and to give the caller the hope and surety that they have called the right place, and that we are here to help them.

When dental receptionists are trained well, and have clarity and confidence in their processes, they will be able to schedule nearly all callers into a confirmed appointment that is anticipated, and is kept.

Our goal with every phone call is that we need to be a friend, and we are here to help.

*****

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

 

Where Should We Really Begin From? What’s Our True North?

Where Should We Really Begin From? What’s Our True North?

Years ago when my mother was alive I noticed that she had an interesting characteristic trait… on the very day when the cleaners were coming over to clean her home, she would always want to tidy the house herself before they arrived.

I found this odd… my mother would literally be cleaning up the rooms of the house, when that’s what she was paying the cleaners to turn up and come and do for her.

To me this made no sense.

But to my mum it was logical.

She said that it was easier for the cleaners to know where things belonged in the house if she [my mum] put those things into their place before the cleaners arrived.

Interestingly, I may have a similar quirk.

For the past three years while Jayne and I have been renovating our home, our cars have not been garaged as they once used to be. We have had to leave our cars out in the sun and the rain each day, and the cars have gotten considerably dirtier as the result of not being kept undercover.

And because of this new arrangement, when it’s time for the cars to go in for their service [they are serviced up in Sydney] or if Jayne and I are having a weekend stay up in Sydney, I will always wash the car before we go for that trip…

And that’s really crazy, because when our cars are finished being serviced, they are always returned to us washed and cleaned up, inside and out.

I just feel guilty that someone parking or servicing the car will feel that because the car arrives to them in a dirty state, that I/we don’t care or look after our cars.

Similarly…

Similarly, or in a similar [type of] vein, as dental practice coaches, when we find a dentist who is in need of, and wants to have us coaching at their dental practice, what we sometimes see is a dentist trying to quickly improve or declutter their dental practice prior to the coaching beginning, in an effort to make it look as though things in their practice are better than we had originally been led to believe.

Which is the wrong thing for these dentists to do.

In reality, it’s easier for us as coaches to help improve practices that we get to see warts and all in the first instance, because we get a better idea about the starting point in relation to where the practice is actually beginning this coaching journey from…. rather than us starting from a point that has been “created” or manufactured to give a better illusion than what the absolute reality truly is…

And truth be told, often the attempts of those dentists to create a false illusion that things are better than they actually are, are actually misdirected, and those efforts being done can sometimes take the dental practice into a position of greater financial vulnerability… that it often does not need to be visiting…

Because in reality, if the practice was actually in a better position than the owners make it appear to be needing to begin from, then it would already be better.

But in true reality, the practice never really is better off with that quick fix being done….

The quick fix is often an unnecessary stall… and distraction.

Its kind of a crazy thought… it’s like trying to lose weight before you go to join a gym… when the reason you are wanting to be joining the gym is to lose weight and to get into shape.

And that’s because the gym specialises in helping people get fit and lose weight… the gym will get the member results immediately from the get-go because the gym knows what to do, and they know best how to get the immediate wins faster, and more quickly for their new member, than the member will ever work out and achieve for themselves on their own….

It’s often sad… some people who need to lose weight never do so because they fail to seek expert advice in the beginning, and getting “ready” on their own to join a gym proves to be too difficult for them.

Learning golf is much the same…

Holding and swinging a golf club is a learned skill best taught by a professional from the beginning, rather than learned by trial and error on your own….

It can be tough learning to hold the golf club correctly, and taking the clubhead back on plane… but doing it correctly gets the best results for consistent ball striking and shot making…

In your business…

Are you telling people that you’re doing OK, when you have no real idea whether what you’re doing is anything better than average?

If at all?

Or what you’re doing in your business is actually choking the results that your business could easily be achieving, if only you had received better advice?

Everybody knows this story…

In 1996, after my practice had flatlined for the fifth year in a row at $400K per annum, my dentist neighbours two doors down the road decided to retire from dentistry and sell their two dentist, four chair practice.

This practice of theirs had the reputation of being the best practice in the city, and after all, they were always busy and had been around a very long time.

It was a four chair practice, each partner operating out of two rooms.

When I asked them what sort of numbers they were doing, one of them proudly told me:

“I’m doing $200K per year, and Bob’s doing $100K…”

Well, I nearly fell over….

Here was me internally admitting that at $400K per year that I was underperforming and could do better, and these two dentists were chuffed that between the two of them they were producing 75% of what I was underproducing.

You don’t know what you don’t know….

If you think you’re doing well, but you don’t have anything tangible as a reference, you might be in for a big shock some time…

Everybody has the same twenty-four hours…

We all have the same 24 hours each day to utilise, and once the day is over, that time is gone, never to be recouped…

So the results we achieve in that day, in that 24 hours is really reflective of the way we spend our time, the way we value our time, and how smart we are with our time.

And how smart we are with our knowledge…

*****

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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