Why Should I Train My Team on a Regular Basis?
Written By: Tracy Civick
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Over the past few years, many Practice Managers have asked the question, “Why should I train my team regularly?” They proceed to inform me that the team is already trained and has mastered their jobs. I always offer to spend a few hours at the practice to observe the interaction between the team and the patients.
I always spend time with the front desk team and ask them, “Why do New Patients choose your practice?”. Many teams confidently brag on the practice… extended hours, amazing google reviews, state of the art technology, perfect location, and some say because they are a benefit preferred provider with specific carriers. Those are all great reasons! And then it happens… I ask them how many new patients are retained each year. I then get a deer in the headlights look and no answer. A successful practice tracks patient retention.
There is a difference between “why” a patient chooses your office to schedule a new patient appointment and “why” that new patient decides to become a life-long patient that stays, pays, and refers. If we don’t focus on the “why” that makes patients stay, the practice suffers. Marketing dollars are a very expensive revolving door, hygiene re-care is never fulfilled, and there is a lot of time spent on paperwork, notes, verifications, and the list goes on.
Why does a patient choose a particular office to schedule a new patient appointment with over another? It depends on the demographic of the area. Several factors include: location, referrals, in-network or out-of-network, community event marketing, online reviews, or maybe they drive by while taking their kids to school.
Why does a patient choose to stay, pay, and refer? This is because you have offered such an amazing patient experience that they want to tell the world about it. How do you create this experience? By building relationships resulting in trust between the team and their patients. Choosing a dental home is based on emotions more than logic. Like how a patient feels at your office or if they trust the team to take care of their oral health needs. If they are not comfortable with either, they will stop coming all together or only come for re-care appointments and never accept treatment.
I train teams to develop a trust with each other as well as the patients. How can a team member create trust with a patient if they aren’t trained regularly to ensure they trust themselves to do their job properly?
How many times have you had a conversation with someone that tried to convince you of something but you had a strange feeling that they weren’t quite sure of what they were saying? Immediately you begin to pull away and become cautious of what they are telling you.
How do you feel when someone doesn’t make eye-contact? Unimportant.
How do you feel when someone answers your question before you finish asking it? It comes off a bit rude and robotic.
Once these things happen, you’ve lost trust with the patient and retention just flew out the window. Yikes! The acquisition cost of a new patient is way too high to let something like “communication” ruin it. Unfortunately, this is the reality in private practice these days.
During the patient experience, there are multiple opportunities to establish trust. Some of these include: the initial phone call, the check in process, the medical history, the patient hand-off, treatment presentation, chair side conversations, check out, collecting out-of-pocket fees, and scheduling.
Wow! Lots of opportunity to develop trust but do your team members capitalize on these opportunities? If not, you are missing out on maximizing the average patient value in your practice. How do you fix this? Regular team training.
Your team needs to feel confident in how they interact with patients and other team members in an effort to establish trust and a healthy rapport. Have regular training meetings to discuss things such as: eye contact, listening, making notes of the patient’s needs, engaging in conversation, proper hand-offs, how to answer the question, “Do I really need a crown or is the doctor just being aggressive?” and so much more….
Regular team training will ensure that all team members are on the same page and the patient experience is seamless. This will increase your patient retention rate as well as your case acceptance percentage.
To learn more about how to build your perfect team or would like additional hiring tools, contact us today at FrontOfficeCoach@gmail.com or 214-755-0955. For more information about our custom training solutions, visit www.FrontOfficeCoach.com.
About the Author…
Tracy Civick is a nationally recognized speaker, coach, and author who focuses on motivating dental front office teams to grow practice revenue and get a better handle on the daily dental practice front office tasks. Her memberships include The Academy of Dental Management Consultants and AADOM, Academy of Dental Office Managers.