If your car has a leaking radiator, it makes no sense driving along and refilling the coolant at the top while there’s a hole dripping coolant somewhere lower down.
And very impractical.
It’s a waste of your time.
And coolant costs money.
It’s the same with tyres.
It is very dangerous to drive a car with a slow leaking tyre.
Apart from the inconvenience of having to stop and keep adding air, there’s the chance that if you keep on ignoring the leak, the hole leaking air will expand to create a real-life blow-out!
And that’s dangerous.
And yet, in our Dental Offices, there are a lot of dentists doing exactly that same thing when it comes to managing their patients.
These dentists are leaking patients out through small holes in their systems, and they don’t even know it.
Or they kind of know it, but they’re happily or ignorantly turning a blind eye to these leaks.
Because they’d rather manage the problem by adding more new patients at the top of their Dental radiators.
I mean Dental Practices.
And that’s how they do it.
The trouble is, that with radiators and tyres, what’s leaking out is inanimate coolant and inanimate air.
Whereas with Dental Offices, the patients leaking out are real live humans, with mouths and brains and hearts.
And they’re going to talk.
About your Dental Office.
And that won’t be good.
You see the air that leaks out of your tyres doesn’t go telling the rest of the air about your lousy tyres.
And the leaking coolant doesn’t warn other coolants to steer clear of your radiator because of its lousy experience while in your radiator…
And that’s the tragedy of Dental Office ownership.
Patients leak through the cracks in our appointment books and sometimes we don’t even know why.
Or truly how many.
And most times we don’t even know how much the true cost of this loss to our Dental Offices actually is.
Truth be known, most times we probably don’t really want to know.
When air leaks out of our tyres, when coolant leaks from our radiators, we take action.
We replace the tyre. We fix the radiator.
Because the subsequent damage of ignoring these leaks is devastating!
The number one reason that patients leak away from our Dental Offices is apathy, and perceived apathy, shown toward them by Dentists and Dental Office staff as well.
And those patients are going to tell other people…
I recently spoke with a dentist who identified he had some leakage that he needed help with.
“I would like to have a process in place to allow us to track and do our recalls much better.”
He also said:
“We currently do not track patients who ring-up to cancel their treatment appointment. I would like to have a system in place where if a patient cancels, someone will call them…to follow-up on it.”
Patient retention, or client retention, should be a primary goal for all Dental Offices.
Maximum patient retention.
All Dental Offices should be trying to reduce and minimize and eliminate the leakage of patients through the cracks in their appointment books.
Because of the costs of replacement.
Appointments need to be kept, and not rescheduled.
Even if the appointment is rescheduled, the cost to the office in time, energy and anxiety needed to fill that space just created is quite large, when you really consider it.
And this cost can easily be reduced with better systems and protocols in place.
No appointment should ever be cancelled.
Every appointment is made for a reason.
Dental appointments are not like dinner parties.
They are not optional.
Dental appointments are to remove decay and fix patients’ problems.
Appointments cancelled and not rescheduled cost time in follow up.
Employing someone just to spend time following up these cancellations is a drain on practice resources.
When you add up all that follow up time, the person employed to follow up could be gainfully employed to be doing something else in the office that is far more productive.
And then this dentist answered his own question…
“the problem I have is that we do not have a standard way of doing things…”
Spending money on new patients to replace patients that leak out of your office because of your lack of systems costs more than just dollars.
Because there’s the extra time required by the whole office to build rapport with the new new patient replacing the lost patient.
Your Office has already done this with the lost patient…
There’s also the time taken to diagnose, and present treatment options and treatment recommendations to the new new patient.
Time taken by the whole office.
Again, time spent before…
It just makes no sense at all to be throwing good money away at extra marketing for extra new patients just to replace those patients forming a conga-line straight through your cracks in your Dental Office.
It makes no sense at all.
Fixing those cracks, and fixing them permanently makes much more sense.
And fixing those cracks is easy.
But it requires two things.
Firstly, you need metric systems.
Metric systems that are practical, and tight.
Metric systems that make sense.
And are trackable.
Remember what gets measured gets done.
And what gets measured gets improved upon.
Secondly, people like doing business with people they like doing business with.
So you need to look at your Customer Service Systems.
What you’ll find is that there are holes or inadequacies within your delivery of your total Dental Product that are letting your Office down.
They may only be small holes…
But they are still holes nonetheless.
Because it doesn’t matter how great your systems are, if some of your people are not the best at relating to your customers, you’ll always have issues.
Raising the Customer Service Awareness to front of mind is paramount in reducing the leakage and in improving patient retention in your Dental Office.
Fixing those leaks and making those necessary changes will raise your Dental Office to be *THE* Number One Go-To Dental Office in your area.
And that makes a whole lot of sense.
The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple easy to implement system that I developed that allowed me to build 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: david@theUPE.com
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