6 Reasons Production Was Down In 2016
As 2016 comes to an end, you can’t help but be a little disappointed. You had big plans for this year back in January, but slow production kept you from meeting many of your goals, which is both frustrating and costly.
This is a problem many dentists face. Despite their best efforts, they struggle with production numbers and have no idea why. That’s where I come in. I can tell you exactly why production is down in your practice and offer tips designed to help you meet your goals in 2017.
Ready to raise practice production and profits in the New Year? Here are six reasons production fell short in 2016 and how you can turn it around for a more successful 2017.
1. You never set daily production goals. If you want to own a successful practice, you need to have a vision and develop daily production goals to support that vision. Think about what type of lifestyle you want and how much you’re willing to work to get there. Determine what you need to make to achieve this goal and set your production goals from there.
2. You’re not scheduled to meet production goals. Setting daily production goals is a great first step, but those goals won’t do you much good if you’re not scheduled to meet them. Train your Scheduling Coordinator to schedule you, and all producers for that matter, to meet daily production goals. All too often coordinators schedule you to stay busy, but unfortunately busy doesn’t mean productive. Once you make this small change, you’ll see a significant increase in practice production and your bottom line.
3. You’re not retaining patients. To have solid production numbers you need loyal patients who are happy to accept the treatment you recommend. That isn’t happening if you’re losing 50% more patients than you’re bringing in each month, which sadly is the case at many of the practices I visit. If you lost a lot of patients in 2016, now is the time to figure out why. Maybe patients aren’t coming back because your customer service is lacking or because they simply don’t feel connected to your practice. Whatever the problem, determine what it is and make changes to correct it in the New Year.
Believe it or not, patient retention should be at about 95%. Is your practice anywhere close to that benchmark? If you’d like to know how your practice is doing at patient retention, click here to take my free assessment.
4. Case presentations aren’t as effective as they should be. As much as you might enjoy it, you usually don’t have a lot of time to present treatment to patients, so you end up spending 5-10 minutes talking with them chairside before you have to move on. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough time for patients to ask the many questions they have, so even though they might tell you they’re ready to schedule, they leave the practice without making an appointment.
Instead of rushing through case presentations, I suggest you consider a Treatment Coordinator to present treatment for every producer. This team member should take patients to a quiet, private area and spend as much time as necessary going over the various details of treatment and answering questions. Patients will leave the presentation feeling much more comfortable and informed, and that means they’ll be more likely to accept treatment.
5. There’s no follow-up. As nice as it would be, most patients don’t say yes to treatment right away. They want to think about their options and talk everything over with their spouse. That’s understandable, but chances are once they get home they’ll convince themselves they don’t really need treatment or they’ll simply forget about the conversation once they get back into their daily routine. That’s why it’s so important to follow up. Before the patient leaves, the Treatment Coordinator should schedule a time for that follow-up phone call. If that’s not possible, follow-up two days after the initial presentation.
The Treatment Coordinator should look at this phone call as another opportunity to educate and address any lingering concerns. The goal is to get these patients on the schedule before hanging up, which of course will increase your production numbers and your bottom line.
6. You have a lot of unscheduled treatment. Most practices only contact patients on the unscheduled treatment report if there’s a hole in the schedule, but that really isn’t enough. To help grow practice production, train your Patient Coordinator to track unscheduled treatment and contact patients on the unscheduled treatment report. Your coordinator should reach out to at least five unscheduled patients a day.
If your production rates were sluggish in 2016, now is the time to make some changes to achieve success in the New Year. Feel free to contact me if you need more guidance. I’d love to help you grow your production and revenues in 2017.
Next week: How to grow production in the New Year.
For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side
Interested in speaking to me about your practice concerns? Email email@example.com
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