11.30.12 Issue #560 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter
 

Gene St. Louis
VP Practice Solutions
McKenzie Management
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Good to Great - Customer Service
By Gene St. Louis

“Good is the enemy of great; Complacency is a key reason that we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives because it is just so easy to settle for a good life! People are NOT your most important asset. The RIGHT people are your most important asset! We expect that good-to-great leaders would begin by setting a new vision and strategy – instead we find that they first got the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats…. And then they figured out how to drive the bus. The old adage ‘People are your most important asset’ turns out to be wrong. The right people are your only asset.” - Jim Collins, author of Good to Great.

How do patients view your customer service? It all comes down to a few areas, i.e. customer service, employee morale and positive vs. negative image. Is attitude a contributing factor in customer service? You bet it is! I believe it is the top in one of four key factors in self-development, and ultimately customer service, that makes one practice good and another great. Dentistry has a lot to offer to someone with the right “will do” attitude vs. a “can do” attitude. I would rather have an employee with the right “will do” attitude then one with “can do” attitude any day. Let me explain.

ATTITUDE is the key factor to the “cycle of self-development.” There are four cycles to self-development:  Attitude, Knowledge, Practice and Skill. Every one of us goes through these cycles of development every time we are introduced to something new. Think of riding a bike, switching to digital radiographs, introducing ortho or implants in our practice, new materials, etc.  

1) ATTITUDE
Need to; Want to; Can do; Will do. Here is an example of each: I may know I need to work on accounts receivable because we have a large amount of money due to the practice, but I just don’t have the time to do it, so I don’t. I may want to work on the accounts receivable because the doctor has been really crabby and slow lately with very little in deposits, but the hygiene department and the fact we had someone out of the office sick caused me to get behind in my daily submittals of insurance claims and confirmations so I prioritized and worked on that instead. I know I can do the accounts receivables but why should I? I am already working past the time of the clinical team. I get in earlier too. Anyway, the other front desk person can do it and should do it. I do everything. I will do the accounts receivable because I am ultimately responsible and it is my job to make sure I balance my workload, I will fit it in a little bit everyday so that by the end of 7-10 days I have completed it.

2) KNOWLEDGE
Understand techniques and processes of the systems or procedures. This is where most training stops! Why? Because most practices train by fire, meaning we find a warm body that may or may not have experience in dental and say “you are hired!” We are not clear with job descriptions or the systems within our practice. We repeat the same thing within the system over and over and expect different results.

3) PRACTICE
Practice with training and coaching, practicing makes it permanent. Meaning when you were in dental school or hygiene school they didn’t let you see patients your first week, month and not until the end of sophomore or beginning of your junior year. You had to practice until you finally felt confident and comfortable with it. An example of this is purchasing new technology. Many times you are not perfect out the gate. You must practice and take more classes, etc. 

4) SKILL
You achieve new levels of performance. Skill is knowledge and practice at its peak. You have mastered it. It is your competitive edge on other dental offices.

Struggling with attitude in your office? Begin with evaluating your office to see why you lack customer service or how to improve your customer service. Several key areas to help your team become more responsible are:

  1. Being a good leader means leading by example
  2. Effective communication is the foundation skill for building effective teams
  3. Encourage, don’t discourage
  4. Establish a culture that recognizes success and avoids blame for failure
  5. Avoid micro-managing
  6. Manage the system and lead the people (staff)
  7. Be available should team members require assistance on a given task
  8. Always recognize effort and reward it

 “You can accomplish anything in life, provided that you do not mind who gets credit.” - Harry S. Truman

You make a difference with patients and we make a difference with YOU. We will help you build enduring greatness through a blend of humility and professionalism in your office. Interested in how? Call 877-777-6151.

Interested in speaking to Gene about your practice concerns? Email gene@mckenziemgmt.com

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