When I look back on my evolution as a dentist and a business owner, all I can say is “WOW”! Every year I say that the next year will be the best year ever, and it always is.
First I built a practice based on having strong core values and a unique office culture. Next, my TEAM and I put in systems of creating manuals and tracking and measuring everything. Then, once the systems were in place, we really worked on developing our brand.
2014 saw a 68% increase in revenue over 2013's numbers, and we were thrilled! However, I knew we could do more. We could expand our services. We could add additional providers. We could give back more to the community. We could expand our hours. We could create more unique patient experiences. And we did.
Next, I was introduced to the concept of tracking individual services based on revenue goals for the year. I thought, “I am a dentist! That doesn't make any sense. I can only diagnose and recommend treatment that a patient needs. I can't do that!” Then I got it….
Things that you focus on, grow.
So in order to accomplish our goal of completing a specific number of services, it would have to mean that our patients experiences would have to amazing. Our team would have to be well trained so that they could educate patients on the benefits of all of the services that we offer. We would have to ask lots of questions to find out what matters most to the patients. The quality of our services would have to be amazing. We would need tools and technology to show the patients why we recommend ideal treatment. We would need systems to start the same day. And we did.
So we started to track individual services. We set targets for every service that we offer based on revenue goals. The most interesting thing is that we really did not diagnose any more procedures, but everything else changed. We became obsessed with “Wowing” our patients. We became committed to not let a patient leave our practice without having all of their questions answered. We worked through lunch and stayed late.
The first month we met all of our goals except for one. My team told me that the target was too high. I said, “No we can do it!” And we did. The following month we met that goal, and all of the others. It was amazing. The third month, my TEAM actually increased the goals, and that's where it got really interesting.
Needless to say, at the end of month 6, it was time to celebrate! The entire TEAM received 1 month's salary as a bonus, which came as a percentage of profits.
Ready to receive massive growth? Here's how it works. We use a whiteboard to list all services that we offer.
-The target number is written next to the service in red
-Every day we place the number of how many of that service is completed month to date in blue.
-The blue number changes to green once we meet the target.
**The goal is to have all of the blue numbers change to green. This is where we currently are for September month to date.
Here's an example of how we implemented the system of tracking crowns:
- We only diagnose crowns for teeth that would benefit from a crown. These are teeth with large, leaky fillings, teeth with failing crowns, or teeth which have had root canals which were never restored.
- Our TEAM has had hours of training in crowns through our weekly lunch and learns. This includes understanding the benefits of crowns, the different types of crowns that we offer, and the long term effects if recommended crowns are not completed. As a result of their training, they are able to spend lots of time showing before and afters of cases done in our office, physical examples of crowns, as well as educational videos.
- We created a system of how the phone is answered when “shoppers” call and ask for the price. We, in fact, ask them questions such as which type of crown would you like, or what has caused you to need a crown. By asking questions, you can better serve your customers. This is because you know what they want and why they want it. Asking questions also shows them that you understand their needs, and can help them.
- We created the SYSTEMS to start a crown the same day. Our assistants do all of the preliminary work such as the impressions, x-rays, as well as fabricate the temps, so it is easy for me to work in a crown while I am completing a procedure on a different patient. We also offer complimentary arm and hand massages, so the next patient can be numbing and enjoying their massage while I finish my crown preparation.
- We offer several payment options, including a pre-payment courtesy and flexible financing with great payment terms.
- We ask the patients if they want to start today.
The other amazing thing is that if you track daily, you can influence the result. A great tool that we now have is Social Media. If you see that your number is low in a particular area by the mid part of week two, you can always send a promotion to your patients who have unscheduled crowns in their treatment plan or place a targeted ad on Facebook for those who know that they have a crown to do.
So it's actually the systems, not diagnosing anything more, that gets the results. We spend lots of time understanding what our patients want and make sure that all of their questions are answered. We offer flexible payment terms, have the right team and systems, and are committed to being different.
As a result of tracking systems, we have had a 100% increase in revenue from the same month last year. We can't wait to see what 2016 has in store!