7.3.15 Issue #695 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Production Down? Here’s Why
By Sally McKenzie, CEO

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You and your team members work hard to make your practice a success. You’re always looking for ways to improve your practice, attract new patients and grow revenues, but lately those efforts seem to be in vain. Your production numbers are down, and it’s not only leading to frustration, it’s killing your bottom line.

Weak production is a problem many dentists face, but there are steps you can take to up your production numbers and create the thriving dental practice you’ve always dreamed of owning. Before you can fix the problem, you need to know what’s causing it. I’ve put together a list of common reasons practice production numbers begin to fall, and what you can do to increase production and bring in more revenue.

You don’t have daily production goals. For your practice to be successful, you need to have a vision and develop daily production goals. Determine how much you need to make to live the lifestyle you want, and set your production goals from there.

You aren’t scheduled to meet production goals. Setting production goals won’t do you much good if your team members don’t know what those goals are. Make sure your Scheduling Coordinator is scheduling you, and all producers, to meet production goals, not just to keep you busy. Once you do, your production numbers will increase as will your bottom line. 

Your case presentations are weak. While you might enjoy giving case presentations, spending 5-10 minutes talking with patients about treatment chairside isn’t the best way to get them to say yes. Instead, consider hiring a Treatment Coordinator who takes the time to go over every aspect of treatment with patients, from how much it will cost to how long it will take to the possible consequences of foregoing treatment. Make sure your Treatment Coordinator takes patients to a quiet, comfortable place to discuss treatment. They’ll be more likely to ask questions and bring up their concerns if they’re comfortable, giving your Treatment Coordinator the chance to educate patients and address any perceived barriers.

You never follow up. Most patients won’t say yes to treatment right away. They’ll want to take time to think about their options, or talk over concerns with their spouse. Before patients leave the practice, your Treatment Coordinator should schedule a time to follow up. If that’s not possible, follow up two days after the initial case presentation, armed with information about the patient and any concerns brought up during the first conversation.

If no one follows up and a patient is on the fence about accepting treatment, chances are that patient won’t call your office to schedule. But if the Treatment Coordinator follows up and reinforces the importance of treatment, once hesitant patients will be much more likely to schedule that first appointment.

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, when they should be contacting them to grow production numbers. Train your Patient Coordinator to track unscheduled treatment, contact patients on the unscheduled treatment report and get those patients scheduled. Your coordinator, armed with a script and winning personality, should reach out to at least five unscheduled patients a day.

Patient retention is down. If you’re losing 50% more patients than you’re bringing in each month, it’s time to figure out why. Is your customer service lacking? Do you not take the time to build a rapport with patients? Do you ignore patient complaints? Make the necessary changes to keep patients loyal to your practice, and production numbers will improve.

Remember, patient retention is vital to your practice’s success, and should be at about 95%. That’s right, 95%. If you’d like to know how your practice is doing at patient retention, click here to take my free assessment.

Patients don’t understand the importance of treatment. Uneducated patients aren’t going to accept treatment. They’ll smile nicely and nod their heads as you tell them your recommendation, with no intention of actually following that recommendation. Educate your patients about their condition and the consequences of not going forward with treatment. Use hand mirrors and intraoral cameras to show them what’s happening in their mouths. Give them brochures and show them videos, then talk about what the educational materials covered. Making this effort will go a long way in getting patients to say yes, and that means they receive the treatment they need while you boost your production numbers.

You pre-appoint. I know most offices still pre-appoint six months out, but it might be time to reconsider that approach. Pre-appointing gives the illusion your schedule is full, which makes it difficult to schedule patients who are ready to start treatment. And if you make patients wait too long, they’ll likely call the practice down the street to see if they can get them in sooner. 

The reality is, many of the patients who schedule six months out will cancel at the last minute, making it difficult for you to meet your daily production goals. Consider developing a new system that leaves room for patients to schedule needed treatment.

There are many factors that lead to falling production, you just need to recognize them so you can get your practice back on track. Once you commit to making the necessary changes, your production numbers will rise and your practice will start to flourish.

Next week, 8 ways to improve production.

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

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