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Adding WOW!

Today let’s make sure your patients know with 100% certainty that they made the right choice to come to your office.

How do we do this? We need to WOW them every single time they come into the office. And we can’t just WOW them once.

 

It has to be five to ten times per visit!

 

What is a WOW? It is simply something that they see or experience that will cause them to say…

 

“Wow, I am in TBDE (the best dental office ever)!!

 

They may not say it out loud. It doesn’t matter; they just need to say it.

 

What’s an example of a WOW? Glad you asked. We’ll give you just one example today. Then we’re going to make you think of at least four more for your office.

 

OK, here we go. A great starting WOW would be to have the most incredible patient rest room in the world! How nice should it be? It should be a cooler looking restroom than most people have in their own homes. And not just a sparkling clean one, we are talking about one with the most beautiful sink, faucet, handles, vanity, napkins, soap, and other amenities. How about this – try continually burning Japanese incense – it’s different, very light, and it gives the bathroom an incredibly nice smell.

 

It’s a fact! Everyone remembers the restroom. We experienced a remarkable one a week ago at a restaurant and it just made the experience that much more unforgettable.

 

There’s your first WOW! Try it and let us know how it works out. But come up with more because one WOW is not enough. We highly recommend between five and ten WOWS every time a patient comes to see you. At that point you will separate your office from all of the others in your area!

Stop Cancellations On The Spot!

 

It’s a constant problem in dental practices – a patient calls at 10:00 AM to cancel their 2:30 PM appointment. What do you do?? Can the appointment be saved?

 

What you DON’T want to do is get into a fight with the patient or start asking them a million questions about why they can’t keep the appointment. They will most likely get defensive and nobody wins.

 

So what do you do? Here is an amazing trick that is simple to do and actually saves around fifty percent of your last minute cancellations!! When the ubiquitous Mrs. Jones calls to cancel, simply say:

 

“Mrs. Jones, please allow me to put you on a brief hold while I retrieve your patient record.”

 

This is pretty much the ONLY time we recommend putting a patient on hold. Keep them there for around two minutes while you look at their record and have a brief conversation with the doctor or hygienist if necessary.

 

They are now listening to your great on-hold message, getting a little squirmy, and feeling kinda guilty. Then come back and say…

 

“Mrs. Jones, thanks for your patience. It looks like we have you scheduled for a thirty minute appointment to do a tooth-colored filling restoration on the lower right. Dr. Sardonicus is CONCERNED that if you don’t get this taken care of as soon as possible, the decay can grow and cause an even bigger problem which will need more extensive treatment. Is there any way possible you can keep this appointment?”

 

Do the same for hygiene, but say something like…

 

“Your hygienist Becky is CONCERNED about the area of inflammation and infection on the upper left.”

 

Amazingly, using this technique saves around fifty percent of those pesky last minute cancellations. That is good for your patient, good for your schedule, and money in the bank!!

Doctor, we are slammed at the front desk!!

A frequently asked question / observation we often get at our seminars:

“You guys are up here stressing customer service, treating every patient like they are the most important person in your practice, never putting anyone on hold, listening patiently, etc…

Unfortunately you have NO IDEA what it is like to be in the front desk hot seat. What are we supposed to do when we have a patient on the phone and the other line keeps ringing? What if there is a patient waiting at the front desk to talk to us? Doesn’t a live person deserve priority? It’s not easy to juggle five things at once you know….”

If your office is frequently in this situation – congratulations! You are busy! People want to come to your practice! Way to go – you must be doing something right!!

But if the front desk is constantly slammed, you are losing new patients left and right. Possibly center too.

Doctor – it may be time to crowbar your wallet open and invite another talented team member in. And the good news is – that team member will pay for themselves many times over!

Think about what a great front desk team member would earn. Then think about what a lost new patient costs your practice. (By some estimates it $10,000+!) This is what’s called a no-brainer!!

Staff up, offer the best customer service possible, and watch your practice grow!!

The Dreaded Question. Here’s Your Answer.

It’s a phrase you should have at the ready – an answer to a frequently asked question that many of us dread –

“What do you do?”

I’m a dental assistant.
I’m a dentist.
I’m a dental hygienist.
I’m a dental practice administrator.

Accurate – yes. Will it turn the asker into a new patient? Not likely.

So let’s do a simple exercise.

What is the name of your practice? (Don’t worry – the questions will get tougher.)

Dr. Leonard Cohen’s office.
Majestic Hills Dentistry.
The Smile Shack.
Drs. Johnston and Simmons.

Now (a little tougher) what is a one or two word phrase that describes your practice? Here are some examples:

High-tech.
Family oriented.
Cosmetically advanced.
Center-city.
Friendly.
Modern.
Large group.

Next come up with a slightly longer phrase that tells the story of your practice philosophy.

Treating patients comfortably is our number one goal.
We believe in high-tech dentistry in a patient-friendly environment.
We make high quality dentistry affordable.

Take a few minutes to come up with one – it’s not easy!

Okay – you’re almost ready. Next time someone asks you “what do you do?” – fill in the blanks like this…

I’m a answer one at answer two. We’re an answer three practice and answer four!

Using some of the above examples, here is how it would sound.

Dreaded question: “What do you do?”

Your amazing response:

“I’m a dental practice administrator at Majestic Hills Dentistry. We are a cosmetically advanced practice and we make high quality dentistry affordable!”

If it fits the situation, add your location as well.

“I’m a dental assistant at Dr. Leonard Cohen’s office in Montreal. We’re a center-city practice and treating patients comfortably is our number one goal!”

So what’s your answer to the dreaded question? Take a few minutes now or at a team meeting and develop a great one. Feel free to send us your response.

We don’t. We can’t. We won’t. Sorry.

We don’t. We can’t. We won’t. Sorry.

Okay – time for another very quick restaurant story. It’s one that can have some serious implications for your practice!

At checkout in a local Baltimore lunch spot:

“Would you like anything to drink?”

“Yes – coffee please.”

“We don’t serve coffee here – but a lot of people ask for that.”

Okay – just for effect let’s repeat that line again.

“We don’t serve coffee here – but a lot of people ask for that.”

If there ever was a “duh” moment – this is it! Buy a commercial coffee maker for a few hundred bucks, or even easier, call a coffee service and tell them to set it up today!!

When our practices were young we both had a “policy” – no cleanings on the first visit. Yes – we knew that clinically that was the best decision. After all, how can you properly appoint a patient with the hygienist without an examination?

But after losing hundreds of new patients due to this policy, we both loosened up a bit and realized the number one customer service lesson in history –

Give the people what they want!

What do you hear yourself saying on a regular basis?

We don’t have Saturday hours.

We don’t take that insurance.

We don’t do cleanings on the first visit.

We don’t have a financial solution for you (so you can’t afford treatment).

We can’t get you in today or tomorrow.

We don’t do even simple orthodontics here.

We don’t do cleanings on the first visit.

We don’t.

We can’t.

We won’t.

Want your practice to grow?

Do. Can. Will.

 

A Quick Little Tip Taken A Step Further!

We all know that we should keep little notes in our patient’s charts about personal items. That way, when they return for a visit we can say stuff like:

 

“So how was your trip to Mexico?” or 

“How is that ballroom dance class working out?” or

 

“So is that no-good son of yours out of jail yet?”

 

This old chestnut has been around forever for good reason – it works!!

 

So let’s take it a step further.

 

We constantly stress how important it is to be known as “THE” dental practice of your community. And part of that is doing all of your business near your practice (banking, dry cleaning, dining, etc..) So when you do this, take the same kind of notes!

 

Example:

 

There is a small Indian take-out place near your office, and a few times a month you find yourself bringing home a delicious order of Bhindi Masala and Tandoori Chicken Tikka. Every time you go for pickup, the same guy (probably the owner) gives you your bag and rings you up.

 

Next time you go, introduce yourself as Dr. Smith or Jenny from Dr. Smith’s office – the dental practice down the street, and ask the guy his name. Store it in your phone in the same place you keep the restaurant’s phone number.

 

Then the next time you call Curry In A Hurry, say:

 

“Hello  – Param? This is Dr. Smith! I’d like to order……”

 

Then when you go for pickup, greet him by name as well. You may even have a note to ask about a recent trip, baby’s birth, or anything else relevant.

 

It’s amazing how few people do this, and how much people appreciate it. It’s a simple human touch that can go very far.

 

How far? You may gain an entire family in your practice just by being super friendly and taking a few extra seconds to show you care. Or at the very least, you may hear the magic words which one of us heard recently:

 

“Dr. Madow – I put some pappadam in with your order – no charge!!”

 

Do it at the cleaners, the bank, the gas station – everywhere you can. And before long this little simple effort will make you “THE” dentist of your community!!