If there’s one thing that controls the direction of your dental practice, it’s consistency. If you and your team do consistently well, you’ll build an amazing practice. If you do consistently poor or are inconsistent, you’ll never reach your practice’s full potential.
Building more positive consistency into your practice doesn’t need to be difficult either. In fact, it can make life easier for you and your team while improving your results. Here are two ways to improve consistency in your practice.
Get your team to take responsibility for practice tasks.
Accountability is one of the best-kept secrets of the most successful people in business and life. Think about how many people set New Year’s resolutions each year only to give up after a month, week, or even a day.
While sometimes the problem with New Years’ resolutions is that people set a goal without a plan, oftentimes, the real problem is a lack of accountability. Say you want to lose weight. You might set a New Year’s resolution to lose 30 pounds next year. Even without a complicated plan, most people know they’re likely going to have to eat better and get more exercise to achieve their goal. In other words, most people who want to lose weight have some vision of a plan.
The reason most weight loss resolutions fail, however, is people lack accountability. They have nobody encouraging them to follow through with their goal. They have nobody supporting them in eating better or exercising more. In fact, the support communities that usually come with organized programs are often the main reason many people have at least short-term success with organized diets. There’s no one perfect diet. There are a bunch of diets that help people lose weight. When people sign up and get held accountable through support networks, they lose weight.
The same is true for your dental practice. One of my favorite productivity tools we use in my practice is a simple whiteboard. We use it to write goals for procedures and hold each other accountable for completing the tasks that allow us to hit our goals. This is important. If we want to place 50 implants one month, we don’t just recommend implants to people. We market to attract implant patients. We follow up with patients who have talked with us about implants. We check in with patients who we think may be interested and invite them in for a consultation.
The act of using a whiteboard this way and checking in with our team to see where we are throughout the month helps hold us accountable and keeps our goals top of mind.
We don’t just list various goals for procedures, new patients, and the like. We also ask each team member to hold everyone accountable for one or two of our goals. We then write who is responsible for each goal next to it on the whiteboard so everyone knows.
For example, one team member might be in charge of holding us accountable for crowns goals. That person would do things such as follow up on crown marketing funnels and marketing. They would remind doctors and hygienists when they’re scheduled to see patients who may need a crown. They would also make follow-up phone calls with potential implant patients.
Having each person take primary responsibility for one or two goals does two things. First, it makes sure no task or goal gets overlooked. It’s sometimes easy for five people to each assume one of the other people is performing a task only to realize nobody was. Second, it spreads out work and allows each person to focus on one or two tasks. Together, this helps you ensure each goal for your practice is being consistently pushed forward.
Give your team a safe place to address patient issues.
Another important part of your practice where consistency matters is the way you deliver WOW experiences to your patients. For example, in my practice, we offer headphones and iPads to patients to take away the sounds of our tools. This helps ease people’s anxiety along with some of the other things we do to create a spa-like atmosphere. It’s one of the things that makes us different.
If we don’t consistently provide headphones and iPads, or gourmet coffees and teas, or warm towels, or any of the other things that help us deliver WOW experiences, we’re not us.
One morning, a patient mentioned that they weren’t offered headphones. I didn’t know why they weren’t offered headphones. Maybe the batteries were dead. Maybe a pair or two was broken and we needed to order more. All I knew was a patient wasn’t offered headphones.
With everything going on in a practice, it’s easy for issues like these to be forgotten. But we use our whiteboard to get to the bottom of all these issues while they’re still minor.
Right next to our list of practice goals, we have a box that says “issues.” Whenever an issue comes up, someone writes the issue down to make sure it gets addressed.
We don’t make a big issue out of things, and my team understands that. Our issues section on our whiteboard just acts as a safe place to list things for us to get to the bottom of the next day in our morning huddle. That ensures we address things quickly, get back on track, and move forward together. We all have little things that happen in our practices. If we can address those things in real time, it helps prevent little things from becoming bad habits. And that prevents bad habits from becoming inconsistencies in the experiences our patients receive when they come in.
How do you maintain consistency in your practice?
If you aren’t using one for practice goals, consistency, and accountability, you could be making life much more difficult for you and your team. You could also be making patient experiences subpar or inconsistent. A simple whiteboard could be all you need to make things run much smoother!
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