Success for Your Dental Office: How to Take Control

I travel around the country and talk to a ton of dentists and dental teams.

I hear so much about how things are so hard, why things are not going right.

Too much competition.
My staff can’t sell.
Patients don’t have money.
Everyone is insurance-driven.
The economy stinks.

I am not denying that some of these things are real and true, but what can you do about that? Can you fix the economy? Can you move to where there is not as much competition? Can you help your patients make more money?

Of course, the answer is no, or at least not easily. So if you put your focus on that, you will just have to wait it out until those things change. That definitely makes for a feeling of being out of control. But it also has a reassuring effect.

Many times, when we rely on these reasons, we feel like we can say, it isn’t anything I have done or my staff has done. Things are just hard out there.

My suggestion to you is, stop focusing on what you can’t do much about, and start thinking about choosing a new focus.

Why do I say that? If you are looking to improve something and your attention is on these external factors that you can’t fix, then you don’t take time to find areas that you actually can improve.

What you can control is what is going on within your four walls. You might argue that any internal changes you make won’t have a huge impact. However, if you make enough incremental changes within your four walls, eventually they do start to make a cumulative impact.

3 changes in your office that will make a difference:

Implementing great customer service training with your staff to help your patients see a value in spending money in your office.

Think about the last time you visited a store to buy something you wanted, and the staff was so rude you almost did not want to purchase the product. Reverse engineer this process for your dental office.

They don’t want to spend time and money in a dental office. That’s the truth. But, If you can offer staff that engage with your patients on a personal level and make them feel welcome, they will enjoy their visit to the office and see more value in it.

Writing and implementing policies and procedures in your office that will help increase productivity in your daily activities.

Again, reverse engineer your goals. You want X amount of revenue a year, break this down into monthly goals, then again into daily goals. How many patients do you need to see a day to hit this goal.

If you’re struggling to figure out how to build an effective schedule we recommend you watch our video on time blocking your schedule.

From this point, it is up to the Dentist and Office Manager to create procedures that explain the step by step process to get patients in the door and how each appointment will flow, or you can use some of the pre-built policies Front Office Rocks has created for you.

Getting your staff training to help them become better at what they do on a daily basis.

You’re treating patients and focusing on dental health, but you need your staff to bring those patients in and make sure all aspects of their visit are pleasant, so the patient comes back.

Ask a friend to come into your office and experience your service first hand and give you honest feedback. Was your receptionist knowledgeable? Did they and listen to your patient’s concerns? Was the patient greeted right away?

You can have rock star dentists, but if patients are not impressed with great customer service from your front office staff, left to wait unattended, leave before they understand the treatment plan, or don’t understand their financial obligations, your office needs help.

This is what Front Office Rocks specializes in.

If you are always looking externally to explain why your office is not doing so well, or why you’re not growing, then you will always be limited by those external factors that are out of your control.

By looking within the four walls of your dental office, you begin to take responsibility for your own success, and that is the first step in the right direction.

Laura Nelson

Laura Nelson, BS, MS, FAADOM is the founder and driving force behind Front Office Rocks, and the leading provider of on-demand virtual training and resources for dental practices.