Today, veteran dental management consultant Mayer Levitt of Jodena Consulting shares insight on increasing profitability in the dental practice. Subscribe to the Jodena Consulting blog by clicking this link.
My most recent blog post listed four ways to increase revenue in a dental practice. In retrospect, I would like to add a fifth. It is an important strategy that relates specifically to the topic of efficiency in the doctor’s appointment schedule for a busy dental practice.
The most important management system in a dental practice is scheduling, because the only thing we have to sell is our time. Yet over the years, I have observed that many practices are terribly inefficient in the way the doctor is scheduled to deliver treatment, wasting upwards of two hours every day. I didn’t say they weren’t busy–I said they weren’t efficient. There is a huge difference between being busy and being profitable.
I believe that when an effective scheduling system is introduced into a practice:
- the stress level of every one can be significantly reduced.
- the appointment backlog can be cut in half.
- the need for an associate is often eliminated.
- production is increased dramatically without raising fees or altering the mix of the practice.
- every hour in the practice becomes a productive hour no matter what procedures are being performed. Read More
No Time to Say Hello, Goodbye, I’m Late, I’m Late, I’m Late!!!
Do you ever feel like the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland?
We all have busy schedules, and sometimes we wake up early, go to bed late, and fill every free minute with work. It’s all part of investing yourself in your business. Today, communication is “easier” than ever; we have smart phones with email and texting; we have instant messenger; and we have social networking. While these tools make communicating more convenient, they can be a mixed blessing. If it’s easy for your patients, colleagues, contractors, employees, family, and friends to get in touch with you, you’re going to have a lot of people expecting your response.
When it comes to customer service, empathy for the client or patient is imperative. While your time is invaluable to you, theirs is also to them. Here are a few tips to help you stay on top of communication and keep everyone feeling special, without sacrificing all of your precious time:
On your website, don’t include your personal phone number or email address. Funnel calls through your office line. Hire an after-hours service so that a human handles calls when you are not in the office, or you can invest in an office cell phone and pay employees an on-call wage for answering calls after hours. If a caller has an emergency, the person answering the phone can use their best judgement for offering your cell phone number. As for emails, funnel them through a main office account. I recommend you set up a Google email account for the office, since Google never fails. Domain-based email can be a real headache. Read More
In our society today, we often hear the words “customer service” used to signify that an organization’s primary focus is on its customers. We also have heard another term used, “customer no service.” This term was derived to designate those organizations where customer satisfaction is not the primary focal point. Unfortunately, success either never comes, or is very fleeting for those who find themselves in the latter group.
Why is this? The answer is quite simple. Without customers, no business can survive, let alone prosper. Dentistry is no different! Patients have many choices for dental care today. In most metropolitan areas in the U.S., there is a dental office on every corner, so competition is fierce, and patient retention is more challenging than ever before.
So, what can we do in our practice to insure we not only attract new patients, but hang on to the ones we have? You guessed it! Excellent customer service! What exactly does this mean, you might ask? It means putting the needs of the customer (patient) first. When that patient calls on the phone, or walks through the door of our office, they have to feel that they are number one! No matter what else might be going on around us, our number one responsibility, regardless of what our role in the office, is to make each and every patient feel important, listened to, cared for, and appreciated.
It is not okay to get this right some of the time. We have to get it right 100% of the time. This starts from the way we answer our phone, and carries all the way through our clinical care and the way we handle our patients’ financial concerns. Every patient is an individual, with unique circumstances and needs. It is absolutely critical that we recognize this and behave accordingly at all times. Read More
This blog was provided by Warschaw Learning Institute and written by Elaine Dickson. Let me know what you think!
Dr. Bill Sasser, a periodontist in Charleston, South Carolina puts it very simply. “I don’t base my employee’s salary on the position, but on the person. A good employee is worth everything, and a bad one is worth nothing.” In dentistry as in many other businesses, all employees are not “created equal”. Just because someone has more “experience” does not necessarily make them a better candidate than another person who has not worked in the field.
Limiting your hiring process by recruiting only those who have worked in dentistry can be very hazardous to practice growth, because you may not get what you are paying for. Just because someone interviews well and has worked in a position for awhile, does not always mean they have been successful. This depends on the person, and it’s the right combination of attitude, character traits, experience and personality that makes a truly valuable employee. Experience is only one piece of the puzzle, and the question you must ask yourself is “what type of experience?” Sometimes experience translates into bad habits that can encumber your progress and actually cause your practice to digress.
People make all the difference. What good does it do to spend thousands of dollars on continuing education and implement practice management systems designed to insure effectiveness, when you do not have the right people to carry these systems out? As a dentist/practice owner it is not humanly possible for you to perform chairside and oversee all of the administrative or even clinical systems of your practice at the same time. Read More