By Roger P. Levin, DDS
Practice management isn’t about doing one or two things right. It’s about implementing a multitude of high-performance systems and strategies that generate the positive results you want — higher production, lower stress, and a better quality of life.
We have entered a new era of dentistry. Those doctors who realize times have changed and make the necessary improvements will be production leaders in the coming years. Doctors who continue to manage their practices like they have always done will be the ones left behind.
Blaze a new path of high achievement and breakthrough success! Implement these five tips and reap the rewards of a highly productive practice:
1. Improve your case presentation skills. The quickest way to increase production is through Greenlight Case Presentation™. How would you rate yourself as a case presenter? Do you emphasize patient benefits or technical details? Are you enthusiastic? Do you present ideal treatment or focus mainly on the immediate issue? How is your body language (posture, eye contact, tone, etc.)? Do you use scripting, or do you try to “wing it”? Identify what you do well and then target other areas for improvement. Even a small increase in the percentage of patients accepting treatment can lead to a much bigger increase in practice production.
2. Update your Web site. What was acceptable in 1998 or 2004 looks dated and old in 2010. You want patients and prospective patients to perceive your practice as a vibrant, caring, and modern practice. The Internet is the new Main Street. If your Web site looks like it was designed using a cut-rate template, you’re not going to inspire many people that you have a leading-edge practice with advanced technology. You want a professionally designed Web site with easy-to-access information that truly reflects your treatment philosophy and the kind of care patients will receive at your office.
3. Always follow up. Any patient who has been presented treatment and does not schedule an appointment should receive a follow-up phone call from the front desk staff the next morning. Many patients are extremely interested in having treatment and just need a slight additional prompt to schedule. By having a front desk staff member call the next morning, you have a much greater opportunity of patients accepting treatment.
4. Exceed patient expectations. Excellent customer service may be the best form of practice marketing. Patients love to be seen promptly, have their questions answered enthusiastically, and be treated like VIPs. These are all tenets of Levin Group’s Stage III Customer Service™. Get in the habit of using the patient’s name during conversations, learn at least one personal fact about each patient and make follow-up calls to patients after treatment. Surpassing your patients’ expectations can be difficult, but achieving the “WOW” factor leaves an impression long after the patient has left your office.
5. Fine-tune the referral process. Whether referring patients or receiving referrals, you need to be on the same page as your referring partners. Effective collaboration requires excellent communication. One miscue from either party can lead to a patient turning down recommended treatment. Work together with referring partners to implement a standardized process for handling mutual patients. It could be the most important thing you do this year.
Reprinted with permission from Levin Group.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, is chairman and CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental management consulting firm that is dedicated to improving the lives of dentists through a diverse portfolio of lifetime services and solutions. Levin Group may be reached at (888) 973-0000, or www.levingroupgp.com.
By Roger P. Levin, DDS