Find Your X-Factor in the New Year
Approaching burnout? Frustrated over not accomplishing what you wanted and now the year is drawing to a close? Maybe it's time to think about breathing new energy into your practice. Doing the same and hoping for a different outcome is like hitting yourself with a hammer and expecting it not to hurt the second time.
Stepping outside yourself and looking at your practice through fresh eyes doesn’t work unless you have the help of people that can give you a fresh perspective. Friends and relatives will tell you what you want to hear or will deflect you with “the economy is still recovering.” Reinventing yourself can sound scary. It is a mistake to reinvent because business is down or you have not experienced growth this year. Reinvention is about continuing to develop your expertise and letting your demographic know about it. It is a proactive approach versus a reactive approach to dental care. The market has changed, the technology has changed, and society as we knew it has changed - so it is time to meet those changes with fresh ideas.
When was the last time you looked at your website? Does it reflect how you have grown as a dental provider - have you learned new skills that can be proposed to your patients? Do you read the website reviews posted by your patients, and have you used these reviews as calls to action to improve services to your patients? Have you asked your patients what they want and then given it to them?
When was the last time you updated the marketing in your practice - is it working for you? Consulting a marketing expert for insight on how you might niche your practice to be known uniquely in the community can give you and your team a sense of purpose and excitement. Reinvention is not just about you, it is also about the patient. Loyalty and compliance need to be recognized as the true gifts they are to the practice. What can you do to give your patients the “wow” factor in your practice?
Call it the “X Factor” - because it is that special something that sets us apart from all others. Listen to what the market - your patients - say, and be able to deliver the real value.
Consider how you deliver treatment presentations. Does your patient get to hold and visually experience a real crown? Did you do a set of diagnostic casts to demonstrate visually how their mouth can be improved? Are you educating with video clips? If you are still doing the “ho hum” of telling patients what they need by viewing the x-rays and intra-oral cameral shots, you are underestimating the value of touching and visualizing.
Have you learned how to derail those questions about insurance during a treatment presentation and get the patient to focus on their health? Does your business staff know how to present the long-term value of dental care along with codes and fees?
Consider how your phone is answered and how patients are greeted at the desk. First impressions are still as important as ever in the process of choosing a service provider. Telephone Skill Training is a modest investment when you consider the benefits of having a professionally trained phone team. Everyone can pick up the phone and say “hello” but not everyone can motivate a patient to make an appointment.
Reinventing is not about throwing out the old and starting over - it is about building on the past, knowing what works and what doesn't work, and enhancing your prospective. Together, you and your staff take the time to go over every system in the practice that affects patient care. What can you improve upon? Make a plan to improve and make someone accountable for making it happen on a timely basis. Update your marketing to communicate your improvements to your patients and people searching for a new and better dental experience.
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