Use Relationships to Keep Your Practice Growing
Dr. Beverly Lane – Case Study #322
More inquiries are coming into McKenzie Management regarding the loss of existing patients, fewer new patients, and the significant increase in cancelled and broken appointments. What to do?
Dr. Lane was a client of McKenzie Management three years ago. During her relationship with us, she learned a very valuable tool: dentistry is about relationships, and is not about carving the most beautiful restoration or fabricating the perfect porcelain crown.
Practice production and collections has also continued to increase by over 25% each year. This year she has elected not to increase her fees. Her appointment acceptance is over 80% (not including hygiene appointments).
The Hygiene Department continues to grow. The patient retention is 92% and additional days of hygiene have been added consistently over the past three years as the indicators warrant.
Why Is She Successful?
I have written many articles about the necessity of systems, so this article will not address this. Creating and sustaining relationships is equally as important in a dental practice. One requires the other.
How Did She Create Relationships?
This is what Dr. Lane did:
The list goes on. What I hope you see is that Dr. Lane actually likes her patients and she has team members that understand what customer service is all about.
How Is She Maintaining These Relationships?
Currently, she is providing her hygiene exams free of charge to her patients. Do you think that this sales tool helps the Hygiene Coordinator to encourage a past due hygiene patient to come in? She has also offered complimentary radiographs in order to provide a complete diagnosis for a patient without insurance that indicated that she couldn’t afford them.
In order to maintain her daily production goal, the Schedule Coordinator has implemented an “On Call Program” for patients that are geographically close to the office. These patients are called on short notice and if they are able to come in, they are given a 10% adjustment to their fee.
Dr. Lane has also been known to play “Let’s Make a Deal” with her patients. For example, Mrs. Jones needs two crowns in the same quadrant. The investment was not manageable by the patient at full fee for two crowns. Dr. Lane offered the second crown for half the fee as a courtesy to the patient.
Outside Relationships that Benefit Her Practice
The Hygiene Coordinator needed a creative way to thank patients that referred new patients. She contacted several of the local restaurants and invited them to offer buy one get one free coupons that she could give to their patients. It is a “win-win-win” situation for all parties involved.
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