How Much Should I Pay My Dental Team?

3 Ways to Train Your Dental Team to Collect Payments Well

How to Turn Around a Failing Dental Practice

How to Find a Good Dental Team Member

How-to-Find-A-Good-Dental-Team-Member3

How To Build a Successful Dental Practice

How-to-Build-a-Successful-Dental-Practice

Why I’m Excited About Dental Intel’s New Morning Huddle

Why I'm Excited About Dental Intel's New Morning Huddle

Are you making the most of your morning huddles?

Dental Intelligence is the smartest software ever built for dentists. Their innovative technology helps dentists keep on top of tracking, analyzing, and growing their dental practices.

Dental Intel has recently launched a new Morning Huddle software that helps practice’s make the most of their morning huddles. The morning huddle is arguably the most important time of your day because it gives the entire team the opportunity to come together, review targets, celebrate victories, track progress, and so much more.

I was so excited when I found out about Dental Intel’s Morning Huddle that I couldn’t wait to invite my good friend, Jarom Dastrup, onto the podcast to talk about this amazing new software feature in more detail.

Why I'm Excited About Dental Intel's New Morning Huddle

In this episode, we discuss:

  • What a traditional ‘morning huddle’ usually looks like
  • Why your practice needs to start every day with a morning huddle
  • How morning huddles can help you reverse engineer success
  • How Dental Intel’s new Morning Huddle software works
  • The importance of having a morning huddle
  • New features included with Dental Intel’s Morning Huddle software update
  • How Morning Huddle can help your practice drive more revenue

Want to find out more about Morning Huddle and how to make your next morning huddle a complete success?

Download Dental Intel’s e-book – a 30-page document that explains everything you need to know about morning huddles, including why they’re so important and how to structure a morning huddle for maximum impact.

 

Why You Need to Invest in Team Training with Laura Hatch

Why You Need to Invest in Team Training with Laura Hatch

As dental professionals, we all want to provide the best care possible for our patients. But, it’s not just about your capability and skill as a dentist. Delivering ‘WOW’ to patients starts with the front office team and making sure patients have a great experience from the moment they schedule an appointment to the moment they leave the practice.

So, how can you make sure you’re delivering a WOW experience to each of your patients?

Joining me on this episode of the Delivering WOW Podcast is Laura Hatch, the Chief Vision Officer at Front Office Rocks. Laura is committed to learning how to manage and empower team members. She is a Fellow of the American Association of Dental Office Managers, a national and international speaker for dental authorities like AADOM, Patterson, and Mid-Atlantic Dental Society, and has been recognized as one of DPR’s Top 25 Women in Dentistry for 2016.

She and her team at Front Office Rocks help dental practices train their teams in a way that makes sense for them. They focus on patient retention and carry out training online through videos and webinars, which means you can train your entire team whenever and wherever your staff learns best, desktop, phone, or tablet.

 

Why You Need to Invest in Team Training with Laura Hatch

 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Tips to improve training processes in your practice
  • Why you should always schedule a time for training
  • The importance of investing in training
  • Why investing in your team is the best investment you’ll ever make
  • The connection between the front and back office of your practice

 

Why You Need to Invest in Team Training with Laura Hatch

 

Want to learn more about Front Office Rocks and their training? Visit their website and discover how they can help change the way you train your team!

Don’t forget to grab a copy of Laura’s book, ‘Step Away from the Drill: Your Dental Front Office Handbook to Accelerate Training and Elevate Customer Service.’

To watch a video trailer of the episode, hit play below:

 

How to Use the 5 Love Languages to Improve Team Communication with Dr. Trent Redfearn

How to Use the 5 Love Languages to Improve Team Communication with Dr. Trent Redfearn

Did you know that the five love languages can help improve your relationships with your team and your patients?

Dr. Trent Redfearn is a dentist with a unique skillset. He attended the University of Missouri-Columbia and graduated with a B.S. in chemical engineering. He then attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry, receiving his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) in 2008. Since then, he has done extensive training in communication and teaches dental teams how to strengthen and improve their relationships using the five love languages. Dr. Trent Redfearn is also the Founder of Dentovation Academy of Dental Assisting.

The five love languages include words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. Not everyone responds to these five love languages in the same way. Some people value gifts while others prefer to build relationships by spending quality time with someone they want to connect with. By understanding each of the five love languages further, you can use that knowledge to build both your personal and professional relationships – including the connections you build with patients in your dental practice.

 

 How to Use the 5 Love Languages to Improve Team Communication with Dr. Trent Redfearn

 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Why it’s important to show appreciation to your team and vice versa
  • How to improve your team’s communication skills with each other and patients
  • Understanding how the five love languages work when it comes to improving relationships
  • Why you should figure out what love language each team member responds to the most
  • How to resolve conflict using your knowledge on the five love languages
  • How to identify your blind spots and respond to people with a different love language than your own

 

How to Use the 5 Love Languages to Improve Team Communication with Dr. Trent Redfearn

 

If you would like to connect with Dr. Trent Redfearn and learn more about using the five love languages to help build deeper connections with team members and patients, you can reach out to him via his LinkedIn profile.

 

Check out this short video trailer of the episode where Dr. Trent Redfearn discusses how to improve your team’s communication skills:

How to Set Your Hygienist up to Reach Peak Productivity

How-to-Set-Your-Hygienist-up-to-Reach-Peak-Productivity

You can’t run a practice alone. That’s why you need to find the best team members you can get to support your vision and help you build the practice of your dreams. Every team member plays an important role.

If your front office member isn’t delivering WOW customer service, you won’t get as many appointments scheduled. If your dental assistant isn’t going above and beyond to give patients a WOW experience, they won’t become raving patients. When any team member falls short, your practice won’t be as amazing as it can be.

One team member that directly impacts the growth of your practice is your hygienist. Hygiene is one of the most important factors in the profitability of your practice—30% of your revenue will come from hygiene. That’s why you need to do these things to set your hygienist up to reach peak productivity.

Make sure the hygiene schedule is productive.

 

How to Set Your Hygienist up to Reach Peak Productivity

 

Oftentimes, your scheduler will block out a whole hour for your hygienist to treat a patient. And, oftentimes, your hygienist will finish treating them before the hour is up. You don’t want there to be periods in between appointments. It's an unproductive day if they spend portions of it sitting around, bored, and twiddling their thumbs. It doesn't matter if they're only doing that for thirty minutes or ten minutes. That unoccupied time is going to add up to a lot of lost revenue.

So, make sure there are no gaps in time. Make sure your hygienist is getting as many patients in their chair as they can with the time allotted. Getting more patients in their chairs means better productivity. Better productivity means better profitability. Better productivity and better profitability mean better practice growth.

However, don’t overwork your hygienist. You don’t want them overwhelmed and laboring until they get so stressed they up and quit.

Train your hygienist to explain a patient’s needs to you before you evaluate them.

Train your hygienist to share a patient’s medical history with you and explain their needs immediately when you come in to check on them. That way, you aren’t coming in and poking around the patient’s mouth for a few minutes to determine what treatment they need. You can speed things up by having your hygienist explain the issue at hand so you can direct your time and focus toward it right away and save time.

Teach your hygienist the right communication skills. 

 

How to Set Your Hygienist up to Reach Peak Productivity

 

It can get monotonous for your hygienist to constantly do the same thing every day. But there's a way to boost the treatment experience for both your hygienist and their patient. It's all about learning the right communication skills.

Teach your hygienist to use the right words when discussing treatment. Encourage them to converse with the patient in a natural way rather than speak dentalese. Show them how to make the patient feel like a VIP. This will lead to a connection between your hygienist and patient that will spice things up. It'll make the time more enjoyable for them both. That smooth relationship will result in increased case acceptance from patients and increased engagement from your hygienist.

Allocate a bigger budget for optimal dental-hygiene instruments.

You want integrity in your dental tools if you want to provide the care your patients deserve and make your job easier. Part of that is sharpening your instruments on a regular basis and keeping good care of them so they can last longer. But you can’t use your dental instruments until they’re rusty.

Put yourself in the shoes of the patient: would you want to be treated with dull, old instruments? Now put yourself in the shoes of your hygienist. Would you want to have to use dull, old instruments to treat a patient? It’s like giving someone a butter knife to cut a steak! It’s a great way to get carpal tunnel, that’s for sure. Make it easier for your hygienist to treat patients efficiently by giving them optimal dental-hygiene instruments.

Have everyone on your team use scorecards.

Every dentist has a vision they share with their team and, if they don’t, they should develop one. But if your team members aren’t measuring anything, how do you know where you’re going? That’s why every team member, especially your hygienist, needs to be using scorecards.

 Is your hygienist helping your practice reach peak profitability?

 

How to Set Your Hygienist up to Reach Peak Productivity

 

If your hygienist isn’t doing these things, then money could be flying out your back door. You can make your practice a whole lot more productive just by making these simple adjustments.

 If you want more help with getting practice to be as productive as it can be, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a high-growth dental practice.

How to Lead Your Practice During Challenging Times

In dentistry, it’s not a matter of if challenges will arise. It’s a matter of when those challenges will arise and what the nature of those challenges will be. They can be practice specific, due to a local event or health problem with yourself or a key team member. Or, they can be broader, like the Covid-19 pandemic that started in late 2019.
Challenges test our practice and leadership strength. If our practices are sound, we will be better prepared to navigate the challenging times. If our leadership is strong, we will be much better positioned to support our teams and maintain a healthy practice.

But none of it is easy. And some of it is out of our control. No matter what, the way we respond to the challenge will go a long way to determining how it works out for our practice, our team members, and ourselves in the end.

Here is how you can rise to the occasion, to lead your practice with strength, even in the most challenging times.

1. Stay true to who you are.

The first steps to building a WOW practice include setting a vision for your practice and determining your practice culture and values. During challenging times, it is even more important to lean into your vision, culture, and core values. Use those as a filter through which you make decisions. If you need to make cuts to save the practice, how can you do that in a way that stays true to your culture and core values? How would you deliver the message?

Difficult decisions and conversations often must be made. Make those decisions consistent with your vision, culture, and core values but within the context of your circumstances. That will help you make better decisions and conduct any challenging conversations with the right heart.

2. Focus on relationships, not transactions.

Any crisis will make people worry about their jobs, especially one that reaches far and wide, like the Covid-19 pandemic. That does not only include your team members. It also includes your patients. Be sensitive to the reality of the world around you, and focus on building deeper relationships with the people who matter most to your practice—your team members and your patients.

With the Covid-19 pandemic temporarily closing many dental practices for non-emergencies, you have an opportunity to build deeper relationships with the people who matter most to your practice. This can take several forms, including having team members reach out to patients to check in on how they are doing without any attempt to schedule an appointment. Let them know you care about them and wanted to call and see how they were doing. They will appreciate the outreach and see you for who you really are: a caring group of neighbors.

If you can perform emergency procedures, let them know that, while you are closed for non-emergencies, you are here for them if they need urgent care. It will help put their mind at ease that while you are closing for the greater good of the community, you are not abandoning them. If you are looking for solutions for virtual consults, have a listen to this interview about how virtual consults work.

Also, let your team members know how much you appreciate them and keep them informed with the reality of the challenge. Be open and transparent about the reality and, if you need to let people go, help them apply for available benefits. You can even reach out to them to keep them updated on when the practice might be in a position to hire them back. Here is where you can learn more about Employment Considerations in Uncertain Times.

Investing in treating the most important people to your practice well—and not just focusing on patient or employment transactions—will pay dividends for years to come.

 

3. Look for opportunities.

In every challenging time, there will be opportunities. There will be opportunities to help. There will be opportunities to limit the downsides. And there even will be opportunities to thrive.

What opportunities do you see around you? Could you invest in training for your hygienists? What about your front office team? Could you invest in putting new systems or processes in place? What about putting together a social media strategy for your dental practice or building dental marketing funnels for when things pick up. Zoom is a great resource for having virtual meetings with your team to work on the business.

Can you start a Facebook group for local dental professionals navigating the challenge? You could rise to a community leader and even find high-performers to hire for your practice when things turn around. Whether it’s internally or externally focused, in any challenge, you will find opportunities to come out on the other side of the challenge stronger.

Delivering WOW is here to help train your teams during this time and is providing FREE Training for the next 4 weeks through our Delivering WOW Platinum online training portal. (Use the code FIGHTCOVID) to get started. We will also be hosting a Facebook Live 12 Day Summit on the Delivering WOW Facebook Page starting Monday, March 23rd.

 

4. Focus on the present, not the past or even the future.

When challenges arise, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut focusing on things of the past or stressing about an uncertain future. The strongest leaders, however, focus on the present. If your systems weren’t strong, put new ones in place. If your team training was lacking, start training your team. Stressing about what put your practice in the condition it is today is natural, but it won’t help you come out any stronger.

The same is true about the future. An unlimited number of variables will impact the future, and there’s no way to predict exactly what it will look like. And when you’re in the midst of a challenging time, it’s hard to see a positive future ahead. But we have gone through crises before, and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes the tunnel is longer than we expect. Sometimes it is shorter. But the tunnel will end, and the future will be better and brighter if you focus on making the best decisions in the present.

 

5. Decide who you want to become, and begin working toward making that a reality.

What type of leader do you wish you had during times of crisis? What type of leader do you think your team members need? Visualize that leader, and work toward becoming that leader.

Crises give us an opportunity to rise to the occasion and become the leader we were meant to be. It happens with every crisis. Someone rises to the occasion and shows grit, resiliency, and determination they didn’t even know they had inside them. You can be that leader, rising to the occasion to lead your team like never before.

6. Focus on what you can control.

You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control your responses. Even in good times, life is unpredictable. And in challenging times, there will be many more things that are out of your control than are in your control.

But at all times, there will be one thing you can control: your response. Your results will be determined by how you respond to the events around you.
When times get tough and the stress levels rise, ask yourself what part of your circumstances you can control. Then make the best decisions possible about what you can control, and you will make the best out of any situation.

7. Be creative and resourceful.

It can be very hard, especially for those of us who are used to a routine but, in challenging times, the most creative and resourceful leaders will come out strongest. Encourage your team members to do the same.

This could be as simple as looking for alternatives to in-demand items before you need them. Be ready to order those alternatives because those might be in short supply down the road. Resourcefulness is a skill that will come in handy for a long time.

8. Express gratitude daily.

No matter how bad things get, there will always be room for gratitude. Every day, wake up and name three things you’re grateful for, even if it’s just clean linens, hot coffee, and fresh air to breathe. When things get stressful, take a moment to repeat the exercise. Look for things to be grateful for in everything you do.
Gratitude is powerful. It puts things in perspective. It helps us focus on what matters most in life. It often makes us realize that, no matter what happens with our practices, we have what matters most in life and will be okay in the long term.

9. Stay connected with other leaders.

In times of crisis—especially world-wide ones like the Covid-19 pandemic—the collective wisdom of those around you will help get through it.
Join Facebook groups like the Delivering WOW Dental Hangout. Follow the guidance of local or national dental associations, like the ADA, which issued important guidance about performing emergency and nonemergency dental care during the coronavirus pandemic.

The other leaders will help share vital information about resources, restrictions, and decisions they’re making. They will also be shoulders to lean on to help you more confidently lead your team well.

You have what it takes to lead your team through challenging times.

If there’s one thing that’s true about dental professionals everywhere, it’s that we all have the ability to lead our teams well, even during times of crisis.
We have a strong work ethic. Otherwise, we would not have made it through our education and training. We have strong decision-making skills. Without them, we would not be able to help patients make the best decisions for their health. And we have strong interpersonal skills. Otherwise, we would not survive in such a high-touch industry like dentistry.

And in times of crisis, we have an opportunity to demonstrate the best of our abilities and lead our teams better than we ever have before. You have what it takes. If you need help, join me and thousands of other dental professionals in my FREE Facebook group, the Delivering WOW Dental Hangout. We’re here to support you.

Delivering WOW is here to help train your teams during this time and is providing FREE Training for the next 4 weeks through our Delivering WOW Platinum online training portal. (Use the code FIGHTCOVID) to get started. We will also be hosting a Facebook Live 12 Day Summit on the Delivering WOW Facebook Page starting Monday, March 23rd.

2 Ways to Get Your Team Started off on the Right Foot Every Morning

Your team needs to start off every morning the right way if you want the amazing results you deserve. If you aren’t doing morning huddles, you should; they’re one of the best ways to get your team to do their best work every day.

We can work towards our vision by sharing our objectives with our team, and this can be done easiest during the morning huddle. But even if we meet every morning, sometimes we can find that our team still isn’t doing their best work. Believe it or not, it’s usually because one of your team members is upset — and their negativity is contagious. Their sour mood has a huge impact on your patients and other team members.

Your team is your family. The key to getting them started off on the right foot every day is being there for them through thick and thin. Here are two ways you can ensure they’re feeling in good spirits every morning.

1. Focus on how your team members are feeling during the morning huddle, not the numbers.

 

2 Ways to Get Your Team Started off on the Right Foot Every Morning

 

It’s great to monitor KPI’s and make adjustments during your morning huddles. But that’s not the only thing you should be focusing on. Measuring stats should only be a small part of the meeting. Designate the majority of the huddle to check in with how your team is feeling.

If one of your team members is grouchy, it’s going to breed drama. It's going to put a dark cloud over your practice where everyone is in a bad mood. Energy vampires can ruin the mornings for everyone else.

So, in your team huddle, ask one question: “Who is not at ten today?” Encourage your team members to be honest about their current mood. If someone is feeling at three, then it’s up to the rest of the team to support them, build them up, and bring them up to a ten.

Even if everybody is at a ten, continue to support them by showing appreciation. It's demoralizing when you work your butt off at work and nobody ever shows that they appreciate you. You’ll feel like you aren’t worth anything to anyone. You won’t be enthusiastic about getting out of bed on a cold morning. It won't be exciting to make the commute into the office and interact with your team or do your job. But when your team members come in feeling like they’re a big part of the practice, they’ll be happy to get to work and they'll be more engaged.

2. Put the morning people upfront and the non-morning people in the back for the first hour of the day.

 

2 Ways to Get Your Team Started off on the Right Foot Every Morning

 

We all know someone who isn't a “morning person.” If you have a front desk team member who isn’t a morning person, get into a routine where they sit in the back for the first hour of the morning.

Have another front desk team member who is a morning person replace them for the time being. That way, the non-morning person isn't shooing patients away with an unhappy-looking face. They can remain productive in the back. Have them handle insurance or whatever other tasks they can do that doesn’t require interacting with patients.

Now, that being said, you wouldn’t put a hygienist up at the front desk. That’s not what they’re trained to do and it’d mean patients aren’t getting the treatment they need. But, if your hygienist is a non-morning person, tell your scheduler not to book the hygiene appointments in the first hour of the day. They can stay an hour later, instead, so you can still meet those productivity goals.

Is your team getting started off on the right foot every morning?

 

2 Ways to Get Your Team Started off on the Right Foot Every Morning

 

A lot of the time, you don’t know what’s going on at home that’s making one of your team members grouchy. They could be dealing with a really bad situation that’s spilling into their attitude at work. A loved one could be sick. Their newborn could be keeping them up all night. They could be going through a divorce. The possibilities are endless.

For some team members, the issue might just be that they're not a morning person. Regardless of what's going on in the lives of your team members, you need to be emotionally available. Being sensitive to the needs of your team members is the key to getting them started off on the right foot every day.

If you want more help with building a WOW practice, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a high-growth dental practice.

3 Ways Your Team Members Can Make Your Practice More Productive

Every dental practice, no matter how productive, has missed opportunities and money flying out the door. Even practices doing an amazing job meeting or exceeding production goals have room for improvement.

No one will ever reach perfection in any aspect of their practice. If your vision is to become a highly productive practice, then you’ll need a highly productive team to support your practice vision

Whether you’re struggling to stay in business or firing on all cylinders and looking to increase your bottom line, these three tactics can do amazing things for your practice.

Review charts before each patient comes in.

 

3 Ways Your Team Members Can Make Your Practice More Productive

 

Whether you keep them online or in a file cabinet, every patient’s chart should be well documented. Most dentists keep documents for patients to deal with logistical concerns when they arise. But these documents can actually lead to increased productivity just by being reviewed daily.

Every day, before a patient comes in, have a team member review their chart. Have them look at health histories, x-rays, any unscheduled pending treatment, and more. Have this information top-of-mind for when the patient comes in. That will make sure any issues or procedures that need to be addressed will get done. With more gets done, revenue and profits go up and your patients will get the care they need.

Take intraoral photos and discuss issues with patients.

 

3 Ways Your Team Members Can Make Your Practice More Productive

 

You know the old saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” 

Have your assistant show your patients the dental issues that need to be resolved—such as cracked teeth, or leaking fillings—and explain to the patient what's going on in their mouth. 

Something as simple as having a visual to go along with the case presentation can make you thousands of dollars month after month. Taking intraoral photos of all of your patients ensures you can see—and show patients—everything that needs to be done to ensure optimal oral health.

If you need help training your team to discuss issues in ways that resonate with patients, these three strategies can help you improve case acceptance. If your team members get trained to discuss issues well, patients will be much more inclined to say yes to your treatment plan.

Help patients visualize a better life.

 

3 Ways Your Team Members Can Make Your Practice More Productive

 

Your patients want treatment for a reason. They have a vision of what it can mean for them and their personal lives. Make sure your team members discuss how their oral health issues are impacting each patient’s life.

Perhaps someone is coming in for teeth whitening because they have work or school photos coming up. Someone else might want dental implants because they’re sick of not being able to eat their favorite type of food or smile confidently. The list goes on.

If your team member can determine what is motivating your patient to get treatment, it will be much easier to present your treatment plan in the right context. In that case, present your treatment plan in such a way that it makes clear to your patient that getting treatment will help them achieve something they desire. That type of presentation will make the patient equate the cost of treatment as an investment in the outcome they want, instead of as a payment for a dental procedure. With an investor’s mindset, they will be much more likely to move forward with treatment.

What are your team members doing to make your practice more productive?

There are many strategies your team members can use to help make your practice more productive. At Delivering WOW, we’re determined to help you develop those strategies to get the results you deserve. 

If you want more help with getting your team members to help make your practice more productive, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a high-growth dental practice.

How to Always Get the Best Work From Your Team

 

You can deliver the best dental care in the world, have the latest technology, and serve the most gourmet coffee to your patients, but you can’t run a WOW practice without an amazing team.

One of the best ways to make your team do great work is to make them feel a part of the process. When they feel like they’re a part of a practice family and are contributing to achieving your practice story, they’ll be more motivated and happier to wake up in the morning and come to work. They’ll feel their role is meaningful.

So how do you achieve that? One of the best ways to do that is to create a culture in which both you and your team are open to receiving feedback from one another. This creates a safe environment for growth and support and ensures you and your team are constantly improving. With many leaders, this can be a struggle because many of us feel like we need to have all the answers. But when we hire the best team members, their talents and experiences will complement ours and make their feedback extremely valuable to elevating our practices to a whole different level.

Here are three keys to creating a culture in which giving and receiving feedback leads to consistent growth and high performance.

Always ask for feedback.

 

How to Always Get the Best Work From Your Team

 

Many times, team members are uncomfortable giving feedback to the doctors. It’s a natural concern for people to be concerned giving feedback to their leaders—especially when it’s constructive criticism.

To make your team members more comfortable with giving you feedback, ask for it. Also, ask for it in a very specific area, and request suggestions for improvement. The more focused and specific you are, the easier it will be for someone to respond. For example, you could ask, “Do you have any suggestions for how we can adjust how we schedule to improve production?”

Also, try to get a more rounded perspective when asking for feedback. Ask a number of team members for input when it makes sense to do so. Get everyone involved.

Be grateful for feedback even if you don’t like it.

 

How to Always Get the Best Work From Your Team

 

Receiving feedback helps build vulnerability-based trust and a safe environment where people help each other improve. You don’t have to agree or disagree with what they have to say. Just thank them for having the confidence to try to help you improve. By encouraging it, you also won’t seem hypocritical when you give someone feedback.

For example, it’s hard to not get upset when someone says you were tone-deaf with a patient. But if you want to get the best work from yourself, you have to take a step back and be objective about their feedback.

Everyone has room for improvement. If everyone is able to look at constructive criticism pragmatically, you can start to create a culture of consistent improvement.

Encourage everyone to seek feedback from patients.

 

How to Always Get the Best Work From Your Team

 

Make sure everyone on your team looks for feedback from patients. In your office or online, what do they say? What can you read into how they act when they are in your chair? And what is their body language like when they are in your chair?

Team members aren’t the only ones who can give you feedback, but they can be a very helpful resource for gathering patient feedback. Make sure they pay attention to all forms of feedback from them, and not just from the online reviews.

When you receive feedback from patients, react the same way you would with a team member delivering feedback. Be grateful for it, and look for the practical takeaways you and your team can use to improve.

Are you getting amazing work from your team consistently?

Nobody is perfect, and nobody is going to do everything right all the time. We all have development areas. The best way to improve everyone's performance is to ask for feedback, be grateful when we receive it, and encourage everyone to seek feedback from patients. Then, you will create a culture of constant growth and improvement with a free flow of feedback in all directions. It will set the standard that all team members are expected to do their best work and constantly improve—leaders included.

If you want to learn more about building a practice culture in which everyone thrives, join our Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching program, and start learning from the best experts in the dental industry today!

4 Ways Your Scheduler Can Help You Grow

Effective scheduling is one of the most important components of any dental practice. When done well, it can instantly boost productivity, profitability, and the return on investment for your marketing efforts.

Do you have a dedicated scheduler? If not, having one who is trained in four key growth strategies could be what your practice is missing. And if you already have a dedicated scheduler in place, here are the four growth strategies they should be doing to help you unlock your practice’s full profitability potential.

1. Use “block scheduling” to maximize productivity.

 

4 Ways Your Scheduler Can Help You Grow

 

A good scheduler will make sure you don’t end up with a scrambled schedule where you’re treating patients with different needs at the same time, hopping from one room to the other.

Instead, they’ll set up your calendar so you’re seeing patients with similar needs at the same time of day, scheduling patients for high-value procedures at the most convenient times, and using other block scheduling strategies to maximize productivity.

At my practice, we moved to a block-scheduling system that split our days into time blocks depending on the services needed by our patients. Our block-scheduling process helped us regularly meet up to 90% of our daily revenue goals before lunchtime.

Not only did profits grow, but everyone felt much less stressed, our schedule becomes much easier to manage, and we make sure we give each patient the quality care they need without anyone feeling overwhelmed.

2. Follow up with patients who have unscheduled treatment.

 

4 Ways Your Scheduler Can Help You Grow

 

Many practices have a long list of patients with unscheduled treatment. Not only is that list untapped production for your practices but it is also a list of patients with unmet dental needs. While some patients need to save up or secure financing for treatment, many simply forget to schedule treatment. They get on with their busy lives and their oral health needs to move down on their list of priorities.

Your scheduler should have a system in place for calling patients with unscheduled treatment. The system can be as simple as calling patients who leave without scheduling treatment. You could even prioritize patients with specific procedures you want to perform more of. Either way, your scheduler can help you fill your calendar by regularly contacting patients you know need treatment and getting them scheduled.

3. Make sure all patients are confirmed for the treatment they’ve scheduled.

 

4 Ways Your Scheduler Can Help You Grow

 

Missed appointments are not only an inconvenience but they represent a lost opportunity to get another patient in the chair. While confirmation is often automated, having a scheduler keeping on top of who is confirmed and who is not is key.

If someone has not confirmed, have your scheduler call them. They may have missed the email or text message. Or maybe they saw it and forgot to confirm. If they can’t make it, your scheduler can then call people with unscheduled treatment to fill the newly open appointment time and get the patient who can no longer make it scheduled for another time.

4. Track key statistics.

 

4 Ways Your Scheduler Can Help You Grow

 

An effective scheduler keeps track of key statistics for your practice. For example, they can keep track of and report the number of cancellations or no-shows. They can track the amount of time utilized per appointment.  And they can track the number of calls made to patients and new appointments generated. They can also track the number of new patients scheduled and how those patients learned about your practice. That can help you evaluate your marketing efforts and thank current patients for referrals.

Is your scheduler helping you grow?

If you do not have a growth-focused scheduler, you likely have significant untapped potential for your practice. Start utilizing these four growth strategies and you can quickly see more productivity for your practice.

If you want help training your scheduler to help you go, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a high-growth dental practice.

4 Team Members Who are Critical to Practice Growth

The best dental practices are built with the best team members. That’s why it’s so important to get only high performers to join your practice. Top performance can help improve systems and processes and work together to help you fulfill your practice vision.

While all team members are important, many practices miss tremendous opportunities to grow their practice by not involving all team members in their growth plan. Adjusting your growth plan to delegate to all team members can help unlock a practice’s full potential. That’s why we train practice owners and team members in the Delivering Wow Platinum Coaching Program. Doing so equips team members for success and empowers practice owners to delegate to all team members with confidence.

Here are four roles that are often underutilized in dental practices. Helping team members in these four roles unlock their full potential could be the key to helping your practice unlock its full potential.

How Front Office Team Members Help Your Practice

Front office team members can help you exponentially grow your practice. They are the first people patients meet, whether on the phone or in person. Are they personable? Do they have phone training? Do they have customer service, personal care training? And do they know the answers to your patients’ frequently asked questions?

Patients are often more swayed by their experience with your front office team members than they are with other roles. If a new patient calls, they assume you do good clinical work. Their decision to become a patient will often be based on other factors, such as first impressions, feeling important, and their in-office experience.

An effective front office team member will build deep relationships with patients and make them look forward to coming to your practice. Make sure your front office team members are personable, have the right training and tools to serve patients well, and is properly trained to address the most frequently asked questions of your patients.

How Dental Assistants Help Your Practice Grow

 

4 Team Members Who are Critical to Practice Growth

 

If you set your dental assistant up for success, they will make your practice run smoother and improve patient experience. They will handle all the little details that matter a lot to patients. This includes meeting and greeting patients and knowing a patient's medical history. It also includes explaining procedures to patients and getting informed consent, and giving post-operative instructions.

Having those little details taken care of help patients understand what to expect during and after procedures. They make a big difference in a patient's comfort with your practice. And they can help avoid confusion and misunderstanding. All of these small things are important. Many times, small confusion or misunderstandings can cause an otherwise positive experience to be perceived negatively. Get the details right and you and your patient can focus on the important issues, such as helping them get the best treatment. They’ll leave happy, well cared for, and more likely to refer you to their friends and family.

Empowering Your Office Manager to Grow Your Practice

4 Team Members Who are Critical to Practice Growth

 

Your practice will never reach its full potential if you don’t delegate and delegate well. That’s why we love helping people delegate more in their dental practice. One of the most liberating sets of tasks to delegate is office management. Way too many dentists keep office management tasks to themselves.

With so many responsibilities on our shoulders, delegating the task of office management frees us up to do much more important tasks, such as generating more revenue or enjoying time outside of the office. 

An effective office manager can do wonders for the productivity of your practice. In order for an office manager to be effective, they need to have leadership, initiative, emotional agility, communication proficiency, organizational abilities, time management, confidentiality, and many other skills. But getting them the proper training and empowering them to take care of office management duties could be one of the best investments of your time and allow you to unlock incredible practice growth.

How Your Scheduler Can Unlock Tremendous Profits

 

4 Team Members Who are Critical to Practice Growth

 

Effective scheduling is an art and a science. It takes a lot of effort to do this yourself, and by delegating this task you can focus on what you do best: dentistry. 

The best way to set your day up to meet production goals in a low-stress environment is through “block scheduling.”  That can maximize your profits and free you up to do your best work.

Do you have these four roles filled at your practice?

Make sure you have the right people in the right seats at your practice. It can be the best decision you make in your practice. And these four roles can be the key to unlocking your full potential.

If you want more help leading your team and event training them to do their best work, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you and your team can get the best information and even coaching from industry experts on growing your practice.

6 Bad Excuses for Not Delegating Tasks to Team Members

We all know dentists work harder than many other people, running a business, leading a team, and serving patients. Unless we delegate effectively to team members, we will live lives full of stress and burnout. Yet way too many dentists still do way too much themselves.

It’s natural to roll up our sleeves and push through a busy season or two, but if those busy seasons turn into months or even years, it’s not sustainable. We need to delegate more.

Many dentists struggle to delegate, though. Some of them just need some help identifying tasks to delegate and training their team to perform. Others resist, making up excuse after excuse for why they can’t or won’t delegate. Here are six common—but bad—excuses dentists use to avoid delegating.

1. “I’m better at the task than anyone I’d delegate it to.”

 

6 Bad Excuses for Not Delegating Tasks to Team Members

 

If you’re using this excuse, you need to focus on building a better team, training an existing team, or implementing systems and processes.

You may have more experience than your team members, but that doesn’t mean you need to do everything just because you’re better at doing those things than your team members are. For many of those tasks, you will be wasting valuable chairside time to non-revenue-generating work. That can cost you a lot of money. If you’re better at the task, have someone shadow you while you do it a few times, documenting how you do it and asking clarifying questions. Over time, let them take over while you supervise during the time you would normally do the task. Soon enough, you’ll be ready to hand off the task without adding additional burdens to your schedule.

2. “It’ll take less time if I do it instead.”

If you do something that takes 12 minutes a day, you can save an hour every week by training someone to do it.

Even if it takes you four hours to train someone to take over the task over the course of several weeks, you will save that amount of time in just four weeks once they take over. It might take less time to do a task one time, but delegating is a long-term investment.

3. “I don’t trust someone else to get the job done right.”

 

6 Bad Excuses for Not Delegating Tasks to Team Members

 

The problem with this logic is that you shouldn’t have anyone on your team if they can’t be trusted to get a job done right that’s under their responsibility with proper training and systems. We must be able to trust everyone on our team to the point that we can train them, give them systems or processes, and confidently delegate appropriate tasks to them.

For example, if you can’t run the morning huddle one day—which you need to do to get your team to do their best work every day—you should be able to trust delegating that task to another leader on your team. If not, a key activity that promotes productivity will be completely dependent on you. That’s very risky.

4. “I need to be indispensable.”

Some doctors—and even team members—resist delegating because they want to be indispensable. This is a very bad idea. In addition to coming off to team members as arrogant, if you’re the only one who can perform a task, you’ll never be able to pull away from the practice. You’ll be a bottleneck. And if you’re sick or unavailable, productivity across the entire practice will suffer.

5. “I like doing the task, so I should be the one to do it.”

 

6 Bad Excuses for Not Delegating Tasks to Team Members

 

You might enjoy doing administrative work but that doesn’t mean it’s a good use of your time.

You didn’t go to dental school to do administrative work. Let someone whose job it is to do that work do it instead. They can likely do a better job than you, too, because they do those tasks all day.

It’s not a good use of your time to take you away from revenue generation or family time to do administrative work. Delegate tasks you shouldn’t be doing to people who should be doing them.

6. “My team is already busy enough.”

This excuse marks a bigger issue. If they’re already busy, you either need more team members or better systems and processes. Otherwise, your team will end up overworked and overwhelmed. It will only be a matter of time before they leave—especially the top performers who can more easily find other jobs.

Are you making excuses for not delegating?

You’ll never be able to grow your dream practice without being able to delegate confidently. So, if you find yourself making these excuses (or others), challenge yourself to look at the deeper issue and find a way to delegate more.

If you want help, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program today, where you can access top training and get coaching for yourself and your team members from our roster of experts in all facets of running a practice.

Should We Share Numbers With Our Team?

Should We Share Numbers With Our Team?

 

In this solo episode of the Delivering WOW Podcast, I explore whether or not practice owners should share numbers and even personal expenses with their team.

Sharing practice numbers with certain team members is a great way to increase trust. And, also can empower the people you work with every day. After all, when more people in your team are aware of the numbers it makes it easier to reach new milestones. And therefore it becomes easier to smash goals and even grow your practice.

However, knowing which team members to share this valuable information with and what numbers you should share with them can be difficult. Listen in to discover what numbers to share with your team. And, learn how sharing numbers with certain team members can help increase profits.

 

Should We Share Numbers With Our Team?

 

In this episode, I discuss:

  • Why you should share your practice vision and numbers with your team
  • The role of an office manager
  • Important practice numbers to share with your team
  • How to calculate your practice’s profits and manage your cash flow
  • Tips to help hold your team accountable for meeting practice goals
  • Why you should share a percentage of profits with your team

 

Should We Share Numbers With Our Team?

 

Do you want to grow, scale and market your dental practice, FAST?

The Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program is the #1 program for dentists and teams to help scale and market their practices to new heights.

Inside of this Game-Changing Program, you will learn unique practice growth systems, how to manage your time, the best strategies for building a Rockstar Team, how to market your practice and so much more…PLUS…you’ll get NEW practice marketing campaigns every single month!

To find out more about the Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program, click here!

Watch a short trailer for this episode below:

 

How to Get High-Performers to Join Your Practice

As nice as it would be, high-performing team members don’t typically fall in our laps. We need to be intentional in finding them. Many times, they aren’t even actively looking for jobs. So, we need to be actively looking for people. We also never know when we’re going to come across a high-performer to add to our team.

When we find high performers, we must be ready to discuss joining our practice with them. This is especially true when building a high-growth, Delivering WOW practice because high performers can help us accelerate our growth. 

Delivering WOW practices are designed to be attractive to candidates, with training, support, and a WOW practice culture in place. Those factors tend to be ready to describe to candidates. We must also make sure we have accurate job descriptions ready to go when we run into candidates so we can begin a discussion about what their position at our practice could look like. 

In the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program, Office Managers & Front Office Team Engagement coach, Dana Pardue Salisbury shared four things to put in every job description to woo high-performers to your practice.

Job Classification

 

How to Get High-Performers to Join Your Practice

 

Dana suggests putting whether the job has an exempt or non-exempt employment status at the top of your job description so candidates can know whether they have upside earning potential through overtime work.

Most team members working in dental offices tend to be considered non-exempt. This means they are qualified to receive overtime and are paid by the hour rather than given a yearly salary. Those with salaries are typically exempt employees. They make what they make whether they work twenty-seven hours a week or fifty hours a week. When non-exempt employees work more than forty hours a week, then they must be paid at 1.5x their pay rate per hour.

When in doubt, reach out for help. Improperly classifying employees can have a big effect on a small business. Ramifications could include paying back-due wages to that employee plus additional penalties.

A Short Job Summary

After you’ve identified the classification of the role, write a job summary that lets candidates know what to actually expect if they join your practice. This is an objective three-sentence paragraph talking about what the job entails as well as a general summary of the job. It should immediately make clear to the potential hire whether the job is a good fit for their talents, dreams, and passions.

An Accurate List of Essential Duties and Responsibilities

 

How to Get High-Performers to Join Your Practice

 

Beyond core attributes, such as having a positive attitude and strong work ethic, the truth is, what constitutes a high-performer varies for each position. That’s why it is very important to have an accurate list of duties and responsibilities laid out for each position.

The accuracy of the list is key. That way, the candidate can evaluate whether they have the skills to excel in on a day-to-day basis. It also identifies areas where they might need additional training beyond adapting to your office’s specific systems and processes. 

Be sure to include a statement that indicates the employee may be asked to handle special projects or other tasks as needed by management so they come in knowing your office is dynamic and needs might change. Also, be sure to mention whether there are travel or supervisory duties affiliated with the role so there are no surprises in those key areas.

An Accurate List of Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Core Competencies

In addition to a list of duties and responsibilities, list at least five to ten points of knowledge, skills, abilities, and core competencies that describe an ideal candidate.

These could include qualities like intuitive, creative, emotionally agile, collaborative, self-starter, and others. It could also include knowledge of practice management software or specific people skills. 

Listing the knowledge, skills, abilities, and core competencies lets people know about the environment they will be walking into and whether that’s a good fit for their experience and personality.

Do your job descriptions attract high-performers?

 

How to Get High-Performers to Join Your Practice

 

One of the best ways to attract high-performers to your practice is to be constantly growing and ready to bring exceptional people on your team. One critical piece to being able to do so is to have job descriptions ready that let people know exactly what they can expect and what will be expected of them at your practice. 

If you want help consistently attracting high-performers to your practice sign up for the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you and your team can access training and coaching from our team of experts in every part of running a WOW dental practice.

Would You Have Put This in a Safe?

Would You Have Put This in a Safe?

I recently went to a local jewelry store with my daughter to pick out a birthday present for her friend. I thought it would be a great opportunity to find out what she would like for her own birthday. As she was looking, I told the sales-person to put whatever she liked aside. Then I would come back and pay for it later.

However, when I went back to pick up the items and the sales-person who was helping me checked the reserve section they couldn’t find the jewelry my daughter had picked out.

After searching the entire store, the sales-person said that sometimes people don’t come back so they put the items back. My surprise was ruined. The owner then steps in saying “The next time we have an item to be reserved, what I want you to do is just give it to me and I’ll put it into the safe myself.”

This is something that I see happening in our dental practices. As the owner of a business it can be easy to just step in and “do it yourself.” But, if we want to level up in our leadership, we need to stop saying things like “I’ll put it in the safe myself.”

You can’t grow and scale your business by doing everything yourself. So, don’t be like that jewelry owner. Become the business owner that empowers your team and put processes in place that will help you build your business. Find out how on this episode of the podcast.

 

Would You Have Put This in a Safe?

In this podcast episode, I discuss:

  • Why a ‘do it yourself' attitude is taking focus away from your business
  • The importance of empowering your team to be problem solvers
  • Why it is important to your business' success to make your team effective leaders
  • Why you need to elevate and delegate to get you to the point where you no longer need to do it yourself
  • That to elevate your business, you need that skill-set and knowledge of how to delegate

 

Would You Have Put This in a Safe?

 

Do you want to grow, scale and market your dental practice, FAST?

The Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program is the #1 program for dentists and teams to help scale and market their practices to new heights.

Inside of this Game-Changing Program, you will learn unique practice growth systems, how to manage your time, the best strategies for building a Rockstar Team, how to market your practice and so much more…PLUS…you’ll get NEW practice marketing campaigns every single month!

To find out more about the Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program, click here!

Watch a short trailer of the episode below, where I discuss how to grow your business by empowering your team members:

How to Conduct Effective Exit Interviews

No matter how well we recruit, onboard, and train team members, people will leave your practice. When you first start building a WOW practice, some team members will find that they are no longer aligned with your vision. As you continue, people will leave for many other reasons, too. An exit interview provides a great opportunity to learn exactly what happened.

If you do not conduct exit interviews, you miss the opportunity to gain important information about your practice. Here's what you need to know about exit interviews and how to conduct one.

Why Every Practice Should Conduct Exit Interviews

 

How to Conduct Effective Exit Interviews

 

One of the benefits of building a WOW practice is developing trust between you and your team members. Establishing shared goals and investing in team member development builds tremendous trust.

No matter how much trust you build, team members will sometimes still feel uncomfortable providing feedback. This is especially true with negative feedback about coworkers or the work environment. If they leave your practice without sharing the information, you may never know what changes you need to make to improve.

Exit interviews give you an opportunity to get open and honest feedback about your practice. Because the person will no longer rely upon your practice for income or see their colleagues, they are more likely to be forthcoming. These insights can help you reduce turnover and improve your practice in many ways.

How to Conduct an Exit Interview

 

How to Conduct Effective Exit Interviews

 

In Delivering WOW Platinum, we recommend using a formal exit interview questionnaire to get feedback from departing employees. Using a formal questionnaire helps you standardize the process and ensure you address everything you need to address.

Exit interviews do not have to be long processes. But it's important that they be free from distraction and private in nature. Additionally, it should be comprehensive. Questions we recommend asking include:

  • What is/are your reason(s) for leaving?
  • If you are accepting another position, what makes it more attractive than your current position?
  • How would you rate your training received at the practice?
  • How would you rate the practice's pay and benefits?
  • Do you have any recommendations regarding our compensation, benefits, and other reward and recognition efforts?
  • How would you rate your working relationship with your supervisor?
  • How would you rate your working relationship with other management staff?
  • Do you believe management adequately recognized staff member contributions?
  • How would you rate your working relationship with other team members?
  • What did you enjoy most about your position?
  • What were some of the challenges you experienced?
  • Describe the qualities and characteristics of the person who is most likely to succeed in this practice.
  • What suggestions do you have to make the practice an even better place to work?
  • Is there anything else you would like to share as a final comment?

For answers asking people to rate their experience, we recommend asking them to rate them on a scale, such as on a scale of poor to excellent.

How to Spot Areas for Improvement From Exit Interviews

 

How to Conduct Effective Exit Interviews

 

Once you record each team member's answers, conclude the exit interview. Then, immediately record your thoughts on paper while it's fresh in your mind. Specifically, ask yourself three questions:

  • Did the reason for leaving expressed during the interview match the stated reason?
  • Could the resignation have been averted?
  • What would need to change to have averted the resignation?

Finally, record any other comments or observations from the exit interview. When doing so, focus on reflections you can revisit on your own or with practice leadership to improve the practice moving forward. Spending time to reflect on what you can do to change can help you avoid other people leaving for those reasons in the future. Also, if a team member who was not a good fit for your practice leaves, what they say during the interview can help you put things in place to avoid hiring similar team members in the future.

Do you conduct exit interviews when people leave your practice?

Building amazing teams involves attracting and retaining top-quality team members while avoiding or moving on from team members who do not fit your practice vision. Conducting exit interviews can help you with both of these goals. If you don't yet conduct exit interviews in your practice, these questions can help you get started.

If you want help, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program today. There, you'll get access to top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a practice, including our exit interview questionnaire that gives you everything you need to conduct an effective exit interview.

Is Your Team Frustrating You?

Is Your Team Frustrating You?

I recently had somebody reach out to me for advice on training new team members. This doctor was feeling frustrated because they had just hired a new team member and they found themselves having to repeatedly tell the new hire what to do.

I understand that hiring someone new and training them over and over again can be super frustrating and time-consuming. As a result I wanted to talk about the steps you can take to get through this process much quicker.

In this episode of the podcast, I reveal why so many dentists struggle to train new team members. And, what you can do to document your practice’s processes so that you don’t have to keep repeating yourself every time you welcome new team members into your practice.

 

Is Your Team Frustrating You?

 

In this podcast episode, I discuss:

  • A lesson we learned at my practice when it comes to developing new processes for the future
  • Why it’s so easy to get frustrated with new team members
  • How to document your practice’s processes and save time training new team members
  • Why you should create training videos and use them for onboarding new staff
  • The importance of providing clear guidance and direction to your team

 

Is Your Team Frustrating You?

 

Do you want to grow, scale and market your dental practice, FAST?

The Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program is the #1 program for dentists and teams to help scale and market their practices to new heights.

Inside of this Game-Changing Program, you will learn unique practice growth systems, how to manage your time, the best strategies for building a Rockstar Team, how to market your practice and so much more…PLUS…you’ll get NEW practice marketing campaigns every single month!

To find out more about the Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program, click here!

Watch a short trailer video for this episode below:

The Secret to Preventing Employee Turnover with Dr. Paul Etchison

The Secret to Preventing Employee Turnover with Dr. Paul Etchison

On this episode of the Delivering WOW Podcast, I’m thrilled to be joined by Dr. Paul Etchison. In this episode, Paul reveals the secret to building a powerful dental team and preventing employee turnover.

Paul is the author of ‘Dental Practice Hero: From Ordinary Practice to Extraordinary Experience. The book details how dentists can grow startups to $1m in collections the first year. As well as explaining how to de-stress the day to day running of a practice and how to become a leader that influences practice culture so positively that practice growth becomes organic.

Paul owns a large office in the Chicago suburbs and only does two days per week clinical dentistry. He is also the host of the Dental Practice Heroes Podcast. During our conversation, he talks about dealing with team power, culture and running a great practice. The practice is likely to collect a staggering $4.5 million in collections this year. And, if that’s not enough, Paul has never lost a single team member throughout the eight years his practice has been running, and as a result he has zero employee turnover.

 

The Secret to Preventing Employee Turnover with Dr. Paul Etchison

On the podcast, we discuss:

  • How Dr. Paul Etchison got into dentistry and started his own dental practice
  • Why Dr. Paul Etchison has experienced zero turnover and what he attributes that to
  • Tips for hiring the best team members, no matter where you are positioned
  • How to grow demand for your services and why block booking is so beneficial to your bottom line
  • The importance of creating an amazing patient experience and getting referrals from your existing patients
  • How to keep your team happy, engaged and accountable for practice growth

 

The Secret to Preventing Employee Turnover with Dr. Paul Etchison

 

If you want to find out more about Dr. Paul Etchison, you can check out his podcast, Dental Practice Heroes and read his book, ‘Dental Practice Hero.’

Dr. Paul Etchison and his good friend, Dr. Justin Bhullar have released an amazing online course called ‘Dental Business Mentor,’ which includes over 175 videos and 50 documents relevant to dental practice management. So, if you are interested in taking part in this course, you can learn more about it here.

To watch a short trailer video of the episode, click play below:

3 Reasons to Share Practice Numbers with Key Team Members

Sharing practice numbers with team members is a touchy subject for some practice owners. But it’s an important subject to consider because it can have a big impact on practice performance.

I recently reached out to the members of the Delivering WOW Dental Hangout Facebook group to get their take on the issue. My questions to them were simple: Should the practice numbers be shared with the office manager or team leader. And I asked them to defend their answer: If so, why? If not, why not?

Members were overwhelmingly in favor of sharing. In defending their answers these three themes formed.

Sharing numbers gives your team more context to their work.

 

3 Reasons to Share Practice Numbers with Key Team Members

 

Sharing your numbers is similar to sharing your practice vision with your team in that it helps you put context into key areas of team member performance.

For example, as I shared in my book (which you can get for free here) in 2011 I walked into my practice and told my small team I had a big vision. I wanted to grow while making a greater impact on people’s lives than we had been making. And I wanted to be different. I wanted to create an extraordinary customer experience for my patients. I wanted more! Had I tasked my team to help me achieve that vision without more context, they would have no idea what to do next.

The same is true with sharing numbers with key team members. With so many tasks that need to be performed in our practice, important things can seem like “busy work” without putting them into context. By sharing numbers with key team members, we let them know how seemingly disconnected tasks work together.

Additionally, sharing numbers shows team members where revenue goes. It shows them costs they don’t realize you encounter and trends in practice spending. They can see when things like supply costs, lease payments, or real estate taxes rise. When team members see the costs of running a practice, they often get even more aware the areas where they can help, such as reducing waste, negotiating supply costs, and more.

Sharing your numbers with your office manager or team leader builds trust.

 

3 Reasons to Share Practice Numbers with Key Team Members

 

Although some people hesitate to share numbers because they fear it could cause a rift between team members and practice ownership, many people found otherwise.

One member commented that sharing the numbers ensures the “boat will be going in the right direction.” She said it fosters an environment of “trust” and “honesty,” in her practice, which she described as “two vital things for a lasting (and rewarding) relationship.” She continued, “It’s been a huge part of our success, if everyone knows where we are, where we’ve been, and where we are going… those who are the right fit will be ready to help row!”

Another member said, “It breeds trust, it breeds culture and the numbers are the way to measure success!”

Because the Facebook group is closed, I have kept these responses anonymous. But trust was a common theme from the members.

Sharing numbers helps you incentivize and reward based on practice health.

 

3 Reasons to Share Practice Numbers with Key Team Members

 

Another common theme with the members was something else I talked about in my book, rewarding based on practice health. In my book, I mentioned that my team understands that as our business becomes more profitable, they can earn more money because I share the increasing profits with them. They know that can enable them to do things in their lives to achieve their personal dreams. Having conversations connecting practice success with their personal success helps connect their personal goals to my practice vision.

One member put it this way:

When you share the performance results with those who are performing, performance begins to improve every time. It’s a form of transferring ownership. Every day we come into the practice we surround ourselves with brilliant people. Letting them see the successes and opportunities for improvement will allow their creative juices to flow and help capture those opportunities. Use data as a way to empower and motivate. Celebrate successes daily and identify one to two opportunities daily as you review together and incredible things will happen

Another added:

Your numbers should be shared with your entire team on a monthly basis. A goal and bonus system should be in place in every dental practice. If you invest in your team they will invest in you and your patients.

Sharing numbers, setting goals based on those numbers, and assigning a bonus system that allows you to share in the upside helps get the entire team working together.

Do you share practice numbers with team members?

Do you share your practice numbers with team members? If so, which team members? All team members? Just your office manager or team leader?

What about your numbers? Do you share all of them? Just high-level profit/loss numbers plus key performance indicators?

If you want help growing into your practice, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a practice.

Where to Find Rock Star Team Members for Your Dental Practice

Building a WOW practice takes a lot of work. And if you try to do all the work yourself, you’ll never be able to do it all. Even worse, you’ll spend your days stressed and frustrated. Eventually, you’ll burn out, never reaching your full potential as a dentist or practice owner.

The only way to build a WOW practice that delivers amazing patient experiences while maximizing practice growth is to have rock star team members supporting you. You can provide top-quality clinical care, deliver spalike patient experiences, and have systems and processes to run an efficient practice. But if you don’t have team members you can trust, you will never reach your full potential.

But finding the best team members is something many practices struggle with. In the Delivering WOW Dental Hangout Facebook group, dozens of practice owners and I talked about how we find amazing team members to support us. If you’re struggling to find the best talent to grow your team, here are some of the places fellow practice owners and I have used to find top talent.

Online Job Search Sites

 

Where to Find Rock Star Team Members for Your Dental Practice

 

Many practices search for applicants on online job search sites, posting detailed ads on sites like Indeed.com, Dentalpost.net, and DentalJobs247.com

The benefit of using sites that like is they are dedicated to matching job seekers with new jobs. But if you only post on online job search sites, you might be limiting the quantity and quality of applicants. Many times, the best team members are valued by their current employers. Thus, they might not be looking at job ads online and online job search sites should only be used as one part of a thorough search.

Social Media

One of the best things social media has done is allow people to connect with others all over the world. And with Dental Facebook groups like the Delivering WOW Dental Hangout Facebook group, you could connect with thousands of dental professionals working hard to support each other. If the group allows, create a post letting people know about your opening. And if you’re not sure, just message the group admin and ask. Even if nobody in the group is a good fit, someone in their extended network might be.

Dental Events and Association Meetings

 

Where to Find Rock Star Team Members for Your Dental Practice

 

Conferences, trade shows, and association meetings can be great places to meet team members. Many people who attend events and meetings are there because they want to advance themselves in the dental industry. That’s a good sign that they are growth-minded and eager to learn and advance. 

Referrals from Dental Sales Reps

Dental sales reps interact with dozens of dental practices. They see the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you have an immediate need, let them know you’re looking for a rock star. Describe the ideal candidate. And ask them to gauge the interest of anyone they think would be a good fit, even if they are unsure whether the person is actively looking for a new opportunity.

Dental Networking, Group Coaching, and Mastermind Groups

 

Where to Find Rock Star Team Members for Your Dental Practice

 

Dental networking and mastermind groups, like the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program, attract dental professionals who are serious about growth and career advancement. 

By actively participating in those types of groups, you’ll get to meet and build relationships with a lot of practice owners and potential rock stars at once. And the next time you have a position to fill, ask your fellow members for referrals.

Everywhere

The reality is, rock star team members are all around us. And because we don’t always know when we’ll have a position to fill, it’s best practice to always be looking for top quality people.

As some members discussed, sometimes we need to think outside of the “dental box.” We can train people by teaching dental terminology and our systems and processes. But we can’t train people to have good personalities, be outgoing and friendly, or have a strong work ethic.

So, look everywhere and never stop looking. You may find your next rockstar waiting tables at your favorite lunch spot. Give her your card and just get to know her. And the next time you have a position to fill, reach out. 

Are you ready to find and develop rock star team members?

Rock star team members are everywhere but they’re not always looking for jobs. That’s why it’s best to not wait until you have a position to fill to start looking. It’s much better to start building relationships with people you can reach out to when a need arises.

Also, no matter where you find your next team member, it’s critical that you continue to train and develop them. That’s the only way they’ll reach their full potential. 

If you want help finding and training your team members, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a practice.

How to Set Up Dental Assistants for Success

Dental assistants are some of the most important people in your dental practice. Often the face of the practice, they are often the first people patients meet when they sit in your chair. They are by your patients’ sides throughout their time in your practice.

Because of the influence they have on the patient experience, developing top-performing dental assistants must be a high priority of dental practices. And for dental assistants who want to advance in their careers, consistent improvement in key areas can make you indispensable to your practice.

Here are six important functions top-performing dental assistants execute well.

Get to know each patient by name and face.

 

How to Set Up Dental Assistants for Success

 

The best dental assistants know patients before they come into the office. Perhaps the practice can put a system in place to take pictures of each new patient for their chart. That way, the dental assistant can check the patient’s chart and greet patients by sight. This will make sure each patient knows they are not just a number. The practice cares about them enough learn their name and face.

If you don’t have patient pictures in their charts, the dental assistant should ask the receptionist which person in the waiting room is the next one. You don’t want your dental assistant to walk into the waiting room and call out the patient’s name. That is very impersonal. They should know who the patient is so that they can walk directly up to them and meet, greet, and then seat them by name.

Review medical history and patient forms before each appointment.

Before the patient comes in, the best dental assistants review their medical history and patient forms. Are there any medical conditions that require pre-med? Is there anything that needs updating? Taking just a few minutes to review medical history and patient forms makes the patient experience more efficient, customized, and welcoming.

Explain procedures and ensure informed consent is obtained.

 

How to Set Up Dental Assistants for Success

 

Patients feel much more comfortable when they understand procedures in plain terms. This is where dental assistants can really stand out. Top-performing dental assistants know enough about procedures to explain them and answer questions. Once informed consent is obtained, dental assistants will also make sure it has been properly documented.

Help patients during procedures.

Throughout procedures, most dental assistants read the doctor’s needs to ensure she or he has everything required to perform the procedure. The best dental assistants anticipate these needs, ensuring the doctor has everything needed in real-time. This makes procedures smoother and quicker.

The best dental assistants do not only read the doctor’s needs, though; they also read the patients’ needs. They’ll notice if they’re tightening their grip or if they feel uncomfortable and either get your attention or adjust what they are doing to ensure the patient is comfortable.

Deliver post-procedure instructions.

 

How to Set Up Dental Assistants for Success

 

Once the procedure is done, the best dental assistants reorient the patient and ensure they are ready to return to their daily life. If the patient is elderly or on nitrogen, they’ll make sure to sit them up slowly in order to avoid dizziness. They’ll give the patient time to get comfortable and ready to go. Once the patient is reoriented, dental assistants should give post-operative instructions in plain language. Then, they should invite the patient to call or return to the office with any questions.

Dismiss and hand off patients.

After post-procedure instructions are given, the best dental assistants ensure each patient is cleaned off then escort them to the front desk. Once there, they will update the front-desk staff with specific instructions about next steps needed for the patient. This reduces the chance of mistakes in billing or scheduling, two big patient frustrations.

Are your dental assistants top performers?

 

How to Set Up Dental Assistants for Success

 

Dental assistants are with patients throughout their experience with your practice. They can make a big difference in patient experience, practice efficiency, and productivity.

If your dental assistants are not performing at the highest level, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a practice.

How to Improve Team Member Engagement at Your Dental Practice

Data tells us that between 66% and 87% of workers are disengaged. Even at modest salaries, disengagement is costly. Disengaged employees are more absent than engaged employees and significantly less productive and profitable. Eventually, disengaged team members leave, adding additional costs to hire, onboard, and train new team members.

One way to help improve engagement is to ensure each team member feels appreciated for the work they perform. When they do, they are much more likely to work hard and feel a part of a team. If not, they often do just enough to keep from losing their jobs.

You might appreciate your team members to the moon and back, but if they don’t feel appreciated, it might not do much good. In many dental practices, there is a disconnect between how leaders present appreciation versus how team members feel appreciated. To get the best out of your team, we must be sure to show appreciation in the way they feel it. That requires us to express appreciation on an individual basis, too, because people feel appreciation differently.

Here are the four ways team members might feel appreciation. If you have been expressing appreciation in one of more of these without results, a simple switch might be all you need.

Express praise using words of affirmation.

 

How to Improve Team Member Engagement at Your Dental Practice

 

Words of affirmation are praise expressed in words or in writing. If somebody does something well, praise them. And be specific. Don’t just say, “Hey, you did a good job.” Instead, add some specifics, such as, “Great job setting up that marketing campaign. You really knocked it out of the park with that audience targeting!”

The specificity helps in many ways. First, it lets people know you are sincere. You’re not just saying “good job” as a matter of habit. You were paying attention. Second, it lets team members know what behavior to continue doing. In this example, it’s paying attention to audience targeting when setting up dental marketing campaigns.

Giving words of affirmation is the simplest and lowest-cost way to express appreciation to team members. And many team members will feel appreciated when they know your praise is sincere. This is especially true when your words of affirmation are paired with other ways to strengthen your dental practice culture.

Spend quality time with team members.

 

How to Improve Team Member Engagement at Your Dental Practice

 

One of the best ways to improve practice culture is to spend quality time with team members. To some team members, a few minutes of quality time is appreciated more than even monetary rewards. Like most ways to express appreciation, it doesn’t have to be a lot of time. An out-of-office lunch works. Even taking a few minutes to go for a walk around the parking lot to burn some calories and learn about each other personally can help. Many team members appreciate even a few minutes of your undivided attention and quality conversation.

Perform acts of service for team members.

 

How to Improve Team Member Engagement at Your Dental Practice

 

Acts of service is an often misunderstood way to express appreciation, with some people believing it requires performing chores or doing someone else’s job. That’s not true. But the reality is, with some team members, actions speak louder than words.

To those employees, words of affirmation or quality time have only a short-term effect, or none at all. But they will remember the time they were stressed by something at home and you offered to help them with their work so they could get home early.

Give team members small, tangible gifts.

Giving someone a tangible gift is another effective way to express appreciation. Again, this doesn’t need to be anything big. But the more thoughtful you can make the gift, the better. A tangible gift is personal and thoughtful. It could be a ticket to a local sporting event, concert, or play; a gift card to their favorite store, or even a little bit of extra time off after a particularly busy period.

If giving gifts isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Note that only 6% of people report that tangible gifts are their favorite way to be appreciated, and 68% of people reported that they appreciate tangible gifts the least out of these four ways.

Are you appreciating team members the way they feel it?

Don’t let your appreciation land flat. No matter how sincere it is, you might not be presenting your appreciation in a way that resonates with your team members. Find out how your team members like to be appreciated, and appreciate them in that way.

If you want help improving team member engagement at your practice, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program today! There, you and your team can access the best resources and coaches in the dental industry.

5 Elements of a Healthy Dental Team

A healthy team is a productive, high-functioning group. It leads to more growth for your practice, more profits made by your practice, and more lives being changed by your practice. In other words, a healthy team is what makes a practice successful. So, what makes a team healthy?

Josey Sewell, the Team Health, Culture, and Leadership coach for our Dental Platinum Coaching Program, loves to use the Lencioni Team Health Pyramid to describe what makes a team healthy in five simple elements.

Vulnerability-Based Trust

 

5 Elements of a Healthy Dental Team

 

Trusting in your team and trusting that they have the ability to take care of the practice without you feeling like you need to be there to manage everything is important. But that’s not what vulnerability-based trust means. When we can count on someone to get something done, that’s not trust. That’s predictability.

Vulnerability-based trust means not showing your team your highlight reel but instead showing them the behind-the-scenes operations. It means you take off any mask you’ve put on and just be yourself. You admit when you fail, you ask for help, and you take ownership when you make mistakes. If your team member has an idea that’s better than yours, having vulnerability-based trust means you recognize that and praise them. Your team has to get past the whole “doctor persona” and really understand you as a person. Be open, honest, and—this can’t be stressed enough—vulnerable. In other words, be transparent. This can be emotional transparency or even financial transparency.

Vulnerability-based trust provides the foundation of the entire pyramid. Without it, you can’t achieve the other elements of the pyramid.

Constructive Conflict

A lot of practice leaders shrink away from conflict because it means confrontation and can destroy relationships within a team. Constructive conflict, however, is conflict around ideas rather than confrontation. Conflict around ideas makes ideas better as they are tweaked according to everyone’s opinions.

If you present an idea to your team during your morning huddle, but nobody participates and tries to make the idea better, the idea will never reach its full potential. If people weigh in and try to improve the idea, then the idea will only get better. A healthy team works together. One person doesn’t come up with all the ideas, expecting the team to just go with it with veiled discussions and guarded comments. If the team is healthy, members will all work on an idea together, regardless of who proposed it. They’ll be willing to debate the idea and even disagree with it if they want to.

Commitment

 

5 Elements of a Healthy Dental Team

 

Once an idea has been agreed upon after some constructive conflict, your team needs to take action and be committed to making the idea productive.

After an open debate of ideas, your team will be more willing to commit to an idea. If you don’t have that constructive conflict, however, and the idea was yours and yours alone, your team won’t feel thrilled about committing to your idea because they had no say in it.

Accountability

The doctors can be held accountable by the team too. Accountability isn’t strictly from the top down. Everyone has to be accountable to each other, regardless of their position in the hierarchy, if you want your team to be healthy.

Results

 

5 Elements of a Healthy Dental Team

 

“Results” doesn’t necessarily mean profitability, productivity, or collections. One of the best results you can get is having a team that gets up in the morning excited to work with you. When your team members are happy to come to work, they’ll treat your patients with enthusiasm, and they’ll be happy to help you grow your practice.

Does Your Team Have all Five Elements of a Healthy Team?

All of these elements work in harmony with one another to create a healthy team, and a healthy team means a successful practice. How many of these do you have with your team?

If you need help building these five elements into your team, sign up for our Dental Platinum Coaching Program. In there, you’ll have access to leading experts on all parts of running a practice!

How to Get Your Team to Buy into Your Practice Goals

You’re a dentist. You’re a visionary. You have goals you want for your practice and you have a vision for what you want your practice to look like. While you might have a million ideas running through your head, you can’t expect your team to read your mind. And you can’t expect your team to have the same goals as you have. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a team that passionately buys into your practice goals. Your team members can share your practice vision—and they can buy into helping you achieve them. To do so you will need to get them to buy into the possibility that your practice goals will help them achieve other goals that matter to them. By doing so, your practice goals will become personal to them and they will be motivated to help you achieve them. 

Here are three things you need to do to get your team to buy in and help you to achieve your practice goals. 

Share Your “Why” With Your Team Members

 

How to Get Your Team to Buy into Your Practice Goals

 

Instead of only talking about what you want to accomplish, talk about why practice goals are important. Even before introducing practice goals, talk with your team about your vision beyond achieving the goals.

Do you want to build a practice that gives back to the community? Do you want to build a practice where all team members can achieve personal goals and spend quality time with their family? Talk with them about why you want to achieve the goal. Only after they understand and agree that your goal is for noble reasons should you explain what your goal is and how you and your team will achieve it.

This is true for big and small goals. For big goals, you might say, “I have something exciting to share with you. It’s a vision for our practice, to make sure we all get home on time, get to take stress-free vacations, and give back to the community by supporting important causes and providing free dental care to people in need.” Your team will be much more interested in that than, “I have a plan to triple profits.”

For smaller goals, such as wanting to go paperless, you might introduce it by saying, “I have an idea to help make all our lives easier and eliminate a lot of busy work in the office so we can all focus on the parts of the practice we love most.” 

Starting that way and elaborating with all the benefits to them will help you communicate to your team why going paperless will help everyone. They’ll be more motivated to learn the software they need to learn to make the change for your practice to become paperless. More likely than not, they’ll be excited to go paperless because it will make everything so much easier.

Make Sure Your Team Knows How to Achieve the Goal

How to Get Your Team to Buy into Your Practice Goals

 

Getting your team members to understand the “why” is important. But if you stop there, the excitement and motivation won’t last long. Make sure you also work with your team members to find the simplest, most efficient, and best way to achieve your goal.

Take time to map out a suggested plan so you come to the discussion with an idea. Then, ask for their input so they can feel like a part of the process. You don’t have to accept all of their suggestions but listen to them—especially about things they do more frequently than you.

If your goal requires you to get 100 new patients within the next month, the “why” might be because you need the practice to make more revenue to support labor and overhead costs. But how do you do that? You could do it any number of ways. Marketing is an obvious first choice, but just saying “marketing” doesn’t tell anyone how to get 100 new patients. You need to ask “how” again. How will you market? Facebook ads would be a great start. We regularly attract dozens of new patients on a very small budget using Facebook. Keep asking “how” until you know exactly what each team member needs to do to help you achieve your goal. 

Let Your Team Know What Success Looks Like

 

 

How will your team members know when they have succeeded? For example, a goal of 100 new patients in a month might sound clear. But what if your Facebook campaign attracts 200 leads, 100 appointments, but only 50 patients who show up? That’s certainly progress but it did not help you achieve your goal. And it didn’t help you earn the revenue you needed.

Thus, once you get your team to understand why and how you will achieve your goal, reiterate what success looks like. In this case, success would look like having 100 patients show up for appointments. Being clear about that helps you and your team can know whether you are on track. If you’re two weeks in and you have 60 appointments but only 20 patients show up, you might be on track for 120 appointments but you’re only on track for 40 patients who show up. That gives you time to adjust your plan. Maybe you need to change your Facebook ad targeting. Maybe you need to add other marketing strategies. Or, maybe you need to adjust your ad copy or split test multiple ads to find better-performing ones.

You can’t get to where you want to go and know when you might need to adjust without knowing what success looks like. 

Get Your Team on the Same Page!

Once your team understands these three things, they’ll be ready to get on board with your practice goals and work hard to help you achieve them.

If you want help setting practice goals and getting your team on board with helping you achieve them, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where the best experts in the industry will work with you and your team to help improve every aspect of your practice.

2 Reasons to Get Comfortable Delegating More

As dentists, we need to lead our practices well. We need to demonstrate good leadership skills to help our practice grow and get the best out of each team member. 

But sometimes, dentists have a hard time letting go of tasks they have no business doing themselves. It’s a natural tendency. If we do things ourselves, we know they will be done the way we want them. But if we want to grow our practice, we need to create systems and processes to ensure other people can do tasks as well as we can. This is especially true with tasks that can be done by a team member at a much lower cost than if the dentist had to take time away from patients to do them herself. But letting go is a problem for a lot of dentists.

If you struggle to let go, you are missing out on many benefits. No practice can succeed over the long term if the dentist bears the brunt of the workload. And if it does survive, the doctor will likely burn out fast. If that doesn’t sound fun, it’s because it’s not. The long-term impact of not delegating is burnout. But the short-term impact of not delegating isn’t good either. Here are two reasons to delegate more.

You Can Focus on the Things Only You Can Do

 

2 Reasons to Get Comfortable Delegating More

 

Only you can perform certain procedures but anyone can file paperwork. That might be an extreme example but we often hold onto tasks anyone else in the office could do with proper training and direction. Why spend doctor time filing paperwork, checking voicemail, or doing other tasks anyone can do at a much lower cost?

By managing your team members well and delegating tasks anyone can perform to them, you will be able to focus on the high-impact items only you can do. You can also free up time to get out of the office, be with your family, or take that much-needed vacation. Sometimes you’ll get busy and need to roll up your sleeves to help out but, for the most part, dentists can make their greatest impact on the practice by focusing on doing the things only they can do.

And practice leaders need to focus on strategy, growth, leading team leaders and other team members, and performing other high-level planning. Your time is valuable. You went to school to learn how to specialize in dentistry. You might love to do the marketing, scheduling, and so on, but you didn’t go to school for that—and you can get someone to do those things at a much lower cost than what your time is worth. 

Getting People out of Their Comfort Zone Is Where Growth Happens

 

2 Reasons to Get Comfortable Delegating More

 

When we delegate a task to someone, we’re enabling our practice to grow. We’re ensuring we’ve got a capable team that is able to handle any project that is thrown our way. We can trust them to get things done.

Many times dentists don’t delegate because they know how to do the task and their team members don’t. This is especially true with tasks involving specialized software or spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. But we can train our team members to do what we need them to do—and we can even outsource that training to an expert.

By doing so, both you and your team member might step out of your comfort zones. Training or outsourcing the training might be a reach for you. And learning a new piece of software might be a stretch for your team members. 

But, in the end, both you and your team members will grow. And delegating things you don’t need to do allows you to spend more of your time treating patients and earning revenue. You grow. Your team grows. And your practice grows, all because you stepped out of your comfort zone to delegate. 

Are You Delegating Enough to Your Team?

 

2 Reasons to Get Comfortable Delegating More

 

You can’t—and shouldn’t—do everything in your practice. Your practice will make less money. You will work too many hours. Your team members won’t grow as much as they can. And you’ll eventually burn out. If you’re not delegating enough to your team, start today. 

If you need help identifying what to delegate and then doing so effectively, sign up for the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching program today! In WOW Platinum Coaching, you and your team will be trained by leading experts in every aspect of running and growing a dental practice!

3 Things Your Front Office Can Do to Help You Grow Your Practice

Your front office team members are the first people patients interact with, on the phone or when they come to your office. If patients love them, you’ll make a great first impression and be well on your way to building loyalty with your patients. That’s because patients don’t judge your practice based on how you perform dentistry. They expect you to be good with teeth. Patients judge your practice based on their experience coming in.

Patient experience has everything to do with the customer service your front office team members provides. This is not only important for loyalty, either. Customer service could even help you raise your rates or break free from PPOs. In fact, 7 in 10 Americans said they were willing to spend more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service while 78% of consumers have bailed on a sales transaction because they received poor customer service.

That’s why many online practice reviews have nothing to do with dentistry. They are usually about how patients were greeted and treated, how practices handled their appointments when they called last minute, or other “experience” issues that made them feel important or unimportant. These things all begin with your front office team members. Here are three things your front office team members can do to WOW every patient who calls or comes in.

Follow Basic Customer Service Rules

 

3 Things Your Front Office Can Do to Help You Grow Your Practice

 

When a patient first arrives, a front office team member should stand up and greet the patient. They need to welcome them to (or back to) the office and make them feel welcome with a smile and a personal introduction.

While they are waiting in the lobby, your front office team members should offer them refreshments like coffee, tea, or water, show or remind them where the restroom is if they need it, and make sure they don’t wait an excessive amount of time. If things are running behind schedule call them before they arrive so they can leave their house or work later or reschedule. If things run behind while they are in the office, let them know as soon as possible.

When patients are on the phone or in your office, your front office team members must make serving them their priority. Don’t make other office work the priority. If they have to make a call to an insurance company, that can wait a few minutes until the patient is taken care of. It’s more important that they connect with your patients and make them feel welcome and important.

Use the Right Words When Discussing Treatment

 

3 Things Your Front Office Can Do to Help You Grow Your Practice

 

Confidence and delivery when talking with patients can go a long way to make patients feel good about being your patient. Front office team members should avoid saying “maybe” or “um” when a patient is asking them whether or not they need treatment. They need to sound confident.

Also, make sure front office team members don’t talk about services or service alternatives being “cheap” or “cheaper.” A better word to use is “affordable.” That helps avoid the perception of being the cheapest alternative.

In a similar sense, if a procedure is expensive, ensure that your front office team members aren’t talking about its “cost” when a patient asks about the price.

It’s much better if they talk about the “value” that the patient will get from the procedure. With high-cost procedures, they can focus on monthly payment ranges than total cost, too. So, first focus conversations on outcomes patients will get from procedures first so the patient has more context for what they will receive. With dental implants, for example, you can talk about smiling confidently again, being able to chew again, or avoiding their teeth becoming crowded. When talking about price, it’s much better to talk about the price being as low as $99 a month instead of $2,500, for example.

Avoid Using Scripts

 

3 Things Your Front Office Can Do to Help You Grow Your Practice

 

While bullet points or lists of answers to frequently asked questions are certainly helpful for maintaining consistency in answers, scripting full conversations can make patients feel unimportant.

People know when your front office team member is using a script. If a patient asks a question that makes things go off-script, you run the risk of having your front office team member stuttering because they don’t know what to say or trying to lead a conversation back to a script.

This can be incredibly frustrating for patients. If they believe your front office team members are either reading scripts or not listening to their specific issue, they are highly unlikely to stay with your practice.

Do your front office team members help grow your practice?

There’s no denying that customer service makes a difference when building relationships with patients. These three strategies can help make an immediate positive impact on the direction of your practice. How do your front office team members contribute to your practice growth?

For more strategies about building a WOW front office team, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program today where you and your team can get coaching from leading experts on all aspects of growing a WOW dental practice.

You can also join thousands of other dentists helping each other in my free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook Group!