Have You Been Secret Shopped?

We were in a meeting last week, and one of our team members was telling us about a call she had just received.

Caller: “I’m very frustrated. I’m a big Madow fan and doing many of the marketing things you are suggesting. But I’m not getting as many new patients as I had hoped.”

Us: “Let’s see how we can help you. Are you tracking every single new patient?”

Caller: “Oh – of course we are!”

Us: “And how is your front desk team? Do they know how to convert a caller with a question into an actual patient?”

Caller: “Oh – of course they do! They are all very experienced and do a fantastic job!”

The conversation continued as they brainstormed more ways to get things up to speed in the practice. But then in the team meeting we started discussing the call and decided to hit them with a little “secret shopping.”

Here is how the call went:

Practice: “Thank you for calling Dr. ******** and Dr. *******’s office. This is ******** speaking. I can help you!” (So far so good!)

Us: “How much do you charge for a cleaning?”

Practice: “A cleaning is ninety dollars.”

Us: “Okay – thank you.”


Wow! She was extremely pleasant. The question was answered correctly. But is this patient ever coming in? NO WAY JOSE!!!!

This potential new patient has totally disappeared. No appointment was even attempted. No contact information was obtained. No call log was filled out.

The caller quite possibly responded to some marketing, saw the office sign, was referred by a friend, etc.. But it is now like they never even existed.

Of course you can write them off as a “shopper.” But the fact is, any properly trained team member would have had them right in the appointment book where they belong!!

Think it’s not happening in your practice? That’s what our caller thought too! Nobody thinks this is happening in their practice. But then again, 90% of the population thinks they are above average drivers!

There is no question that most practices could significantly improve the amount of new patients they are getting just by tightening up some things at the front desk. There’s a lot to it, but here are two suggestions that are guaranteed to work immediately.

1) Make sure that your phone is answered 100% of the time during normal business hours. That means during lunch and every day of the week, whether or not the office is “open.” It is not permitted to have a recording that says “We are out to lunch” or “If you have reached this recording during normal business hours, we are currently busy treating other patients.” (There are SO many things wrong with that last one that we need to leave it for another day!)

2) Keep a manual log book of EVERY SINGLE CALL that comes into the office. This means shoppers, wrong numbers, complainers, and people trying to sell you multi-level hand lotion. EVERY SINGLE CALL!!!

The log has the time of the call, reason for the call, patient’s name and contact information, and outcome of the call. Each team member needs to know that there are no stupid questions and no such thing as a “shopper.” Anyone who takes the time to call your practice must have some desire to come in or they never would have called! It’s our job to get them in!!

Of course there is much more to this, but those two simple things, if executed properly, WILL increase your new patient numbers. It’s not, as they say, rocket science.

Simple Yet Profound Advice

Here’s a simple tip for you today. It may seem obvious, yet if you really live by it, it can change your practice and your life.

“There are only two things you can do when you walk into your practice every day – you can make it better or you can make it worse.”

If this simple phrase guides every thing you do – every little decision, every nuance of how you deal with your patients and co-workers, everything you say, etc… it’s guaranteed that your practice will grow and you will grow with it.

Use it in your personal life too. When you come home from work and enter your house, the same rule applies – you can make it better or you can make it worse. Same when you enter any gathering of people, event, school, party, or most importantly, when you enter someone else’s life. The choice is yours – make it better or worse.

The paraphrased quote comes from Lee Cockerell, former Executive Vice President of Operations at Walt Disney World Resort.

Mr. Cockerell headed up a team of 40,000 “cast members” and was responsible for the world’s most popular theme parks, 20 resort hotels, two water parks, shopping and dining destinations, and more. His leadership was the reason that the Disney vacation experience was consistently excellent in all aspects. And he summed it up with that simple phrase.

Ever notice how incredibly clean the Disney parks are? It’s not that no one litters or misses the trash cans. It’s because the “cast members” know that if they walk past a piece of trash, it’s their opportunity to throw it away and make the experience better. And that’s a tiny example of what happens every second at Disney.

So how about you? When you enter your practice today – (and team members, it’s your practice too!!) will you make it better or worse?

TBSE 2012 – Here’s What Happened!

What an incredible two days! For those of you that were at TBSE… thanks so much for the energy! There is no doubt that this one will go down as the best TBSE in history. For those of you that didn’t get to attend for one reason or another… we hope to see you next year!

There is so much to talk about! You… the attendees. You are the greatest! The speakers… you are the best on the planet!  Our team is second to none! The exhibitors. Our partners. To every single one of our friends, and to everyone and anyone who helped make TBSE 2012 the best yet! We love you!

We all got back late last evening and are now trying to get back to our normal routines. We are tired, a bit road weary, but still pumped up! We will share MUCH more about TBSE 2012 over the next few weeks. But for now, we hope you can enjoy just a few of the MANY pics we took there. Thanks so much to all of you that “Showed US Your TBSE!”

Again, thanks to everyone! It was incredible. And for those of you that asked about next year, please mark down November 8-9, 2013 for…

TBSE 2013 – The Hats of Dentistry!

“The Hats of Dentistry” is a concept so powerful, you will NOT want to miss it. We will tell you more real soon but suffice it to say, this will be the most POWERFUL and FUN two day dental event to ever take place on planet earth. GUARANTEED!  YOU MUST attend and make sure you bring your entire team!!!

We Fired Her!

We fired her! Well, at least it felt like we fired her. We ran Sandy out of town and she won’t be back!

Yeah, this week has been a tough one for many of us here on the east coast. Hurricane Sandy delivered some really powerful punches to tens of millions of people all up and down the eastern portion of the US. This was perhaps the strongest storm many of us have ever seen in our lives. While our team at The Madow Brothers offices were very fortunate to escape any serious problems, many were not so fortunate. Our thoughts and prayers go out to any of you that were affected by the storm. We need to all take a step back sometimes just to put everything in perspective and to realize how powerful mother nature is. As some good friends of ours say…

“never turn your back on mother earth!”