Tips to Improve Your Team and Grow Your Bottom Line
Building a successful dental practice goes way beyond just perfecting your clinical skills. It’s also about relationships, whether those relationships are with your patients or your team members. Unfortunately, if your team is struggling, those important relationships are likely strained – keeping everyone from meeting his/her full potential.
Practices who have weak teams also deal with significant practice inefficiencies, mismanagement, endless frustrations and low team morale. And of course, all these problems eat into your productivity and bottom line.
Taking steps to make your team stronger can help turn this around. Motivated team members will be happy to come to work each day, doing their part to move the practice forward. Revenues will begin to rise and patients will start to notice the difference, making them more likely to stay loyal to your practice and even to refer.
So what can you do to strengthen your team? I’ve put together a few tips to help get you started.
Give Them a Reason to Excel
Instead of giving out raises just because, I suggest you base bumps in pay on performance measurements. Make it clear under what circumstances raises will be given and what each team member needs to do to earn them. Sit down with employees to talk about practice goals and individual goals, and provide regular feedback so they know how they’re doing. Trust me, your team members will be much more driven to improve performance, and they’ll probably even find their jobs more rewarding.
Build a Team of CEOs
- What would you do if you were me?
Take their answers seriously and show that you value their opinion. This will go a long way in boosting confidence, while also giving you valuable insight that can be used to make practice improvements.
Provide Proper Training
And don’t forget to provide training when you incorporate new technology into your practice. Team members will be more confident in their roles and more productive, boosting your bottom line.
Create Detailed Job Descriptions
Keep Team Members Happy
This type of communication will help prevent conflict, but keep in mind it can’t be avoided completely. When it does happen, work with the employees involved to come up with a solution as soon as possible. As much as you might want to, never ignore conflict. If you do, tensions will build, lowering productivity and likely costing you patients.
Know When It Isn’t Right
A strong team will lead to a profitable practice. Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to developing a solid team that will help you grow your practice.
For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side
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The Importance of Patient Relationships
Dentist Case Study #188
The doctor’s concerns: When the dentist from this case study came to us, she was struggling with patient retention. She was also seeing fewer new patients each month and regularly dealing with last-minute cancellations and no-shows. As you can imagine, she was frustrated and ready to make the necessary changes to create a loyal patient base and ultimately grow her practice.
• The number of new patients has increased by 20% a year, with about 80% of those new patients coming from referrals. The others typically make an appointment because they’ve seen the ad she started placing in the local newspaper or because she accepts their insurance.
You’re probably wondering how this doctor, who was once struggling, has achieved so much success. Yes, she spent some time working on her systems, but she also started focusing more on building patient relationships. She now understands dentistry isn’t just about creating beautiful restorations. It’s also about the people.
Without patients, you don’t have a reason to come to work each day. But, patients have a lot of options these days, so if they don’t feel a connection to your practice, there’s a good chance they’ll seek that connection elsewhere. The doctor in this example took the necessary steps to build these relationships and grow her practice – and you can too.
Focus on Customer Service
Here’s how this doctor improved customer service in her practice:
• Made sure fees weren’t the highest in town.
This doctor truly goes out of her way to make sure patients have an exceptional experience – and as you can see from the practice numbers, it’s really paid off. Implementing even a few of these ideas into your office will go a long way in enhancing customer service, building patient relationships and growing your practice.
Maintain Patient Relationships
To get more patients on the hygiene schedule, she offers exams and radiographs for free. This gets patients without insurance in the chair so she can educate them about the importance of oral health, as well as diagnose any problems that need treatment. During case presentations, her Treatment Coordinator continues the education and also talks with patients about financing options such as CareCredit.
She also has found a way to ease the pain and frustration that comes with broken appointments. The Scheduling Coordinator recently implemented an “On Call Program” for patients who live nearby. If they can come in on short notice, they receive a 10% adjustment to their fee. This helps alleviate the chaos last minute-cancellations bring, while also helping ensure the practice meets daily production goals. And of course, patients feel good about getting a financial incentive.
Make Patients a Priority in Your Practice
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