I’d like to conclude my discussion and in-depth training on Patient Retention this month (though you should never conclude yours because it’s never over; you can’t afford to take your eye off the ball), with four more important principles to embrace as part of the culture and philosophy of your practice.
If you want to have more profit, make more from your existing patients.
If you want to get more referrals, get more from your existing patients.
If you want to accelerate your growth, cultivate more treatment faster from your existing patients.
It all boils down to these four principles of success and if you studied my powerful Practice Gold Mine Training all about this then you have already begun to see the importance of this much differently. Using my structure can systemize, yet keep personal, your patient flow and outcomes so you are controlling the backend of your practice and building wealth for the future like we talked about last week.
Let’s dive in.
The first pillar is creating individualized experiences. This was covered in great detail in my webcast training. The core concept is not every patient should or needs to go through the same type of experience.
You want the phone process to organize properly the patients experience so that you can match it to what they need and what is going to be the most personalized experience for them.
To know how you are doing currently, just do three things…
One: check your case acceptance on your new patient experience.
Two: check your average number of hygiene visits per new patient in the subsequent years.
Three: ask them.
The second pillar is all about customized treatment planning. On the surface this sounds silly because of course you customize your treatment plans. You don’t shuffle them up and let the patient pick one and just go with it. Every patient has a treatment plan unique to them.
Here’s the point though… Is it complete? Is it comprehensive? Do they know it’s unique to them? Has it been made personalized, individualized? Is it obvious that is it customized from start to finish?
The best and easiest way to do this is to be certain you are representing the photographs and/or included them with the treatment summary and presentation by the patient concierge or treatment coordinator.
It doesn’t matter what you are doing, it matters what the perception is to the patient.
The other part to this is the ultimate secret to getting patient commitment to finish their pathway to health or treatment plan at some point (even if not all at once).
There is a very special and powerful way to do this and I suppose I should show and tell you some day. If you really want to know how to get every case accepted in totality even with a patient who doesn’t want to pay the whole investment… then ask for it.
The bottom line is this is the reason why relationship is so important because you will never get ‘this’ commitment I’m talking about without it.
The next pillar is a triad of tracking, following-up and following-through.
This is the one that every practice does half-way or just doesn’t do at all. There are three things here and you can’t do just one of them.
Track what you want to know… every statistic is not as relevant or important as the next. You want future focused values and numbers that give you true effectiveness of yourself, your team and your systems.
Follow-up… on everything, every patient, every dollar, period.
Follow-through… on what you promise, what you say, what you do – this is big.
It could be referred out treatment that you need to know what happened with the patient (and I teach a collaboration with my specialists and their general dentists to make this so seamless it’s magic).
But, that’s just one example. There are so many other follow-through places that people drop the ball. Treatment plan follow-through. Phone call follow-through. Clinical question follow-through. Even specific procedures that a patient is interested in moving forward with but not enough time was taken to discuss in the heat of the moment in the midst of the day. Follow-through on these.
I’d bet every day there are 5-10 balls dropped by doctors and teams that would have resulted in patients saying yes but they just weren’t followed through with.
The final pillar is so important and that’s to always remember to set up an actual system and expectation that the experience is never over when the patient leaves.
Now is when you get to really wow them. What happens post-visit, post-check, post-treatment, post-referral, post-everything is really the difference between the good and the great practices.
These are the ones that get the big cases coming back and that have consistent referral streams coming for their practice.
Those four pillars ought to give you some serious aspects of your practice and your team to assess. Constructively look at each one so you can make improvements in what really matters.
So many doctors waste time on things that really don’t matter or will get at very best have a meaningless impact. I always loved when Zig Ziglar said “let’s keep the main thing the main thing so we can always accomplish the main objective.” There is so much distraction taking you away from the actions, decisions, strategies and work that will give you leverage, growth, profit and satisfaction.
These four are exactly that. The main things. And they should be yours.