Last week, we went over the macro-view of good practices vs. not so good: The Recipient practice or the Donor practice. I had asked you to take a long hard look at exactly where you were and then, see where you are. For most of us, this viewpoint needs to be more specific. Today, I want to go over how to truly see your practice as others do. Based on these next strategies, you will have a clear picture of not only where you are in the recipient vs donor balance but also exactly where you are falling short in the minds of your clients. Please take the time to use these simple strategies to define exactly where you are and where to spend your time and money in order to correct these deficiencies.
Routing slips: These can be produced by most dental practice management software and allows you to follow each patient through the office. Patients may first contact you by phone. Then they arrive at office for the first time and experience hygiene, diagnosis, case presentation, financial discussion, scheduling, etc. The routing slip follows them thru your office. Somewhere along this journey you will find a point at which they do not go to the next step. Identify this point and you can correct the system or staff member and eliminate the blockage. Fail at this, and it is “Donor Doomsday”.
Exit Interviews: Whether it is with a staff member that does not work out, or a patient who goes down the street, you can benefit by taking the time to call and find out why. As difficult as it is to step up and ask the tough questions, you will find this strategy to be the number one way to see your practice the way your patients and staff do. Great leaders find the problem and deal with it immediately.
Comment Cards: These anonymous cards allow you to learn of potential problems from every patient you see. (Click here to see a sample of the card and click here to read a previous post on how to use the card.) Assume that if one patient mentions a problem, there are likely to be about 100 more patients who were silent but felt the same way. 96% of patients will leave without saying a thing if dissatisfied. Online review programs just don’t work because the patient knows you can track their IP address. It needs to be 100% anonymous. Discover and deal with the problem and most patients will stay with you.
Create a system for CA/NS: There should be a consistent, automatic way to deal with and prevent cancellations and no shows. We have at least a couple of previous posts in our archives you can access from our website. (https://.summitpracticesolutions.com/blog/) Simply search the word cancellations.
Reactivation: We have an incredible reactivation letter and system to pull those patients back into your schedule. Just click here to view a copy of this letter and then quickly implement this can’t miss strategy.
Record and monitor your calls into and out of the office. The number one piece of technology in your office is the telephone. If your staff does not come across as caring and compassionate, the patient will never show up to let the doctor mess up the relationship.
Don’t assume anything. Track your results and make course corrections as soon as possible. Implementing these checks on your performance allows you to no longer have to micromanage your staff. They add another level of competence that each area of the office is operating at peak performance. This is how you Summit.
Michael Abernathy, DDS