Have you ever walked into a business and felt really unwelcome? A dental office with a negative team culture can make patients feel exactly like that.
Hi, I’m Xaña Winans, owner and CEO of Golden Proportions Marketing, the most experienced dental marketing company in the country. Today I’m going to share 5 simple ways you can improve your office’s culture and provide a better experience for your patients.
Get on the same page
Talk to your team about what they think is important during patient interaction. If their ideas don’t line up with yours – if they don’t want to answer the phone the way you want them to, for example, or don’t meet your expectations as far as quality of care – put your foot down and make your expectations clear. Write them down in an agreement and have your team sign it. Afterwards, have frequent team meetings or 1 on 1 meetings to check in on how these things are going.
Ask for suggestions
Ask your team for their ideas that will create a better patient experience. Have they noticed that patients get chilly during cleanings? Get some cozy blankets. Are they frustrated by the scheduling process? Add online scheduling to your website. Sometimes the team has the best ideas for making patients feel more valued and appreciated. Also, ask your patients how you can improve. After all, it is their opinion that matters most.
Don’t be a Scrooge
Teach your team exactly how you want them to deal with touchy issues like insurance and billing. Are they letting patients know that insurance paperwork can be filed even if you are not in network? Are they acting upset with patients who don’t make payments on time? Standardize the way you deal with questions about payment and dental insurance so you aren’t turning patients away unnecessarily or shaming them into not coming back.
Check to make sure everything your patients hear is pleasant and professional – from the warm voice thanking patients for calling your office, to offering them their choice of music in the treatment room. Most importantly, never let patients hear your team speaking unpleasantly to each other. Ever. Save disagreements for your private team meetings.
Turn those frowns upside down
If the tension is so thick in your office it could be cut with a knife, you can be sure that your patients are picking up on it. Your patients feel tension even when your team is pretending to play nice. If you don’t get rid of the scowls and growls and replace them with laughter and happy agreement, your competition will be more than happy to impress your patients the next time they need a cleaning.
If you think you may need team-building exercises, restructuring, or other help, give us a call. We know several good practice management coaches who can help.
Thanks for watching!