12.20.13 Issue #615 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Resolve Those Production Challenges
By Sally McKenzie, CEO

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Well, here we are. It’s that time again. Dust off the resolutions and the promises to yourself and others. We will soon stand at the threshold of a whole new year. And this will be the one in which you not only resolve to do this and stop doing that, but you actually fulfill your commitment - or so you hope. If you are among those who take part in this annual ritual, you are in good company. In fact, nearly half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Clearly, many of us have a sincere desire to change or improve something in our lives.

While wanting to change is the easy part, actually doing so is no small challenge. And if you’re resolving to change not only yourself but also your practice, you have a whole host of challenging variables, obstacles, personalities, and agendas to overcome. Leading change in any business can be an undertaking of seemingly Herculean proportions. We see it every day in dental practices across the country - we work with doctors and teams that are on the threshold of change. They struggle. They stumble. But they know they have to make a change because the stress, the frustration, and the financial and professional losses are or soon will be so great that not taking action is no longer an option.

Not unlike the patient who knows he needs to make lifestyle changes to improve his health, often it’s not until we face a serious emergency situation that we become truly ready to listen, learn, and take necessary action. Similarly, practice owners will put off making real and necessary change until they face a crisis. They wish the problems would resolve themselves. They sincerely want staff to step up to the plate and work together. They hope patients will finally appreciate the care they receive. But wishing, wanting, and hoping will not create necessary change.

We have long been schooled in the fact that change is never easy or comfortable, but as successful practitioners know full well, it is not only necessary - it’s unavoidable. The key is managing it to the full benefit of your practice and your team. Focus on one area at a time, and break the process down into manageable steps.

Let’s say you resolve to increase production in your practice - a critical area for every office. Start with the obvious. Are you talking to patients about the new services that are available to them? If not, now’s the time to start. Create a FAQ (frequently asked questions) sheet about the procedure(s). Post information on your website as well as links to credible sites that give additional details. Make sure your entire staff is well-educated on the service and prepared to answer patient questions.
Take a look at patient follow-up. When patients cancel appointments and say they will call back to reschedule, give them a reasonable amount of time to do so; however, if they do not reschedule within a few days, they should be contacted. Your concern is the patient’s welfare. It is in their best interest to receive treatment. 

Remember that in the dental practice, marketing is patient education; it’s not high pressure sales. It’s your responsibility to educate patients on the necessity and value of dental care. If the team isn’t sure how to educate patients effectively, train them. Conduct mini-clinics during staff meetings to share key benefits of new/existing treatments the practice offers. Draft question/answer sheets on the most common questions patients ask about specific procedures so everyone is prepared to answer the fundamental inquiries.

In addition to improving treatment education and follow-up, take three more steps to increase production in the New Year:
1. Establish daily production goals and schedule to meet those goals.
2. Implement an interceptive periodontal therapy program.
3. Provide superior customer service that will encourage patients to refer friends and family.

Finally, don’t stop here. Dream big. You can turn each of your practice wishes and desires into reality with the right direction and the right plan. Let McKenzie Management help you get there. Give me a call at 877-777-6151 and we’ll make sure 2014 is your best year yet. 

Next week, leave this behind in 2014.

For more information on this topic, visit my blog: The Lighter Side

Interested in speaking to me about your practice concerns? Email sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com
Interested in having Sally McKenzie Seminars speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.
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