Dental Consultant & Speaker

Dental Consultant | The Costs of a Toxic Employee

Hiring is time-consuming, stressful, and sometimes costly. In some cases, this causes business owners to avoid firing an employee long after it has become clear that the person is damaging the overall work environment. Finding the right person for your office can be challenging. However, continuing to retain a toxic employee can be far more costly for you and your business.

What is a “toxic employee?”

A toxic employee is easily recognized for exhibiting several, if not all, of the following behaviors:

  • Bad attitude: This includes eye-rolling, muttering, snide comments, complaints, confrontational tone, and passive-aggressive speech or actions.
  • Lack of engagement: This can include work-avoidance, lack of enthusiasm, unwillingness to accept responsibilities, and being inattentive in meetings and huddles.
  • Dishonesty: Whether this involves refusal to accept accountability, blaming others for mistakes, or outright lies and thefts, dishonesty is harmful to your business and your team.
  • Poor work performance: While a new team member may experience a learning curve at first, the toxic employee never rises above the bare minimum of what has been explicitly listed as expected. In many cases, they may not even be fully or properly completing work. They are uninterested in feedback or training and unwilling to work to improve.

Do you recognize anyone in your office from these descriptions? If so, it’s time to pull the plug.

When you continue to keep a toxic employee on your staff, you may avoid the headaches of the hiring process in the short term. However, you are creating a host of other problems for yourself that will cost you a great deal more time, money, and energy to solve in the long term.

One toxic employee in your office can cause:

  • Loss of new customers: If a toxic employee is interacting with potential customers, they are creating a negative image of your business, which can lose hundreds or thousands of dollars in revenue.
  • Loss of existing customers: If your clients are treated poorly even once, they may choose to take their business elsewhere – and they may tell others.
  • Loss of your best team members: Your best people want to work in a positive environment where they feel supported and appreciated. By tolerating the complaints or shoddy work of one toxic person, you risk losing team players to a company that maintains a better atmosphere.

Don’t compromise your business or your best team members by refusing to fire toxic employees. For more strategies to improve your business, contact our office.

Dental Consultant & Speaker

Dental Consultant | 3 Ways to Buy Time: Boost Your Practice’s Productivity with Time-Saving Measures

Time is your most precious resource. On certain days, managing your time is not just difficult, it is downright impossible. Ask yourself about the strategies you are currently using to organize your day. What other tools could you be leveraging to save your practice’s most precious commodity? Here are 3 methods you can implement to maximize your time.

  1. Re-evaluate Your Management Tactics

You can buy time without spending a dime. Employ a new way of keeping track of practice productivity. You can have your team record their tasks for the day in a quick email. Each staff member can quantitatively list their duties, allowing for simple reference later. This cuts down on micromanaging your staff by way of asking, “What did you do today?” Managerial work is difficult to implement after a full day of back-to-back appointments.

You can cut back on daily meetings because you will have a clear picture of what each team member is contributing. Having a list of completed tasks at the end of the day allows for everyone at your practice to be keenly aware of who is to be held accountable for each task.

  1. Utilize Apps to Maximize Efficiency

“Lost time is never found again.” Ben Franklin knew this more than 200 years ago, so how can you apply this knowledge to running your practice? There are numerous tools available for your phone that can be a valuable resource for keeping track of your practice. You can benefit from the use of efficiency apps. In today’s world, there is no need to manage all aspects of your business manually.

Take advantage of scheduling apps and software. You can schedule emails to remind patients to book their next visit to your office without having to send it in real time. This can be an indispensable tool for patient retention, by keeping you in consistent contact with your patients. Apps such as these will help you save time, and keep track of your practice’s performance.

  1. Consider Express Check-In

It is not always your team that is responsible for lost time slipping through your fingers. One late patient can set the whole day off-schedule. Make it easy for your patients to register. Provide compliant forms online for patients to fill out before coming into the office. Saving time at the front desk will help your entire practice run on schedule. Never allow for your practice to earn a reputation of running behind schedule, instead work with your patients to create a smoother, faster registration. Your patients will not want to fill out redundant forms. Rework any documents or forms where possible to prevent your patients from filling out information such as their name and address multiple times.

Successful business leaders are experts at time management. Put methods in place that allow for concrete, quantitative results to measure productivity. Utilize technology to make your life easier and allow your patients to work with you to save time. Don’t get caught watching the sand fall through the timer, take action and rethink your time management strategies.

Dental Consultant & Speaker

Dental Consultant | Build Your Team to Succeed

Your team is vital to the success of your practice. Working in a positive atmosphere is sure to keep a team motivated for long-term prosperity. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. If you have noticed a slip in your team’s efforts, it may be stemming from a lack of understanding. Here are proven ways to boost your team’s morale and work ethic.

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Know how you work
To lead a successful team, you must be aware of how you work as a leader. Understanding your leadership techniques and styles will help you tailor your techniques to your team’s needs. Don’t be afraid to be critical of yourself and continue to look for new ways to improve.

Know how they work
Get to know your team members on a personal level. Learn their strengths and weaknesses and what they expect out of you as a leader. This will make them feel heard and know they have your support.

Define roles and responsibilities
When you learn about who your team members are as individuals, you will be able to know what they excel at. This gives you the opportunity to clearly define each member’s roles and responsibilities around the office. Giving a clear vision to each member will allow them to make strides in their respective areas.

Give feedback
Employees like to know how they are doing on the job. Remember to give them plenty of feedback on what they excel at and what they can improve on. Tailor your feedback to how they best receive it and always be conscious to celebrate their success.

Leaders can only be as successful as their teams. Appreciate who they are as individuals and you will appreciate what they do as employees. If you are looking for more team building techniques, or you need help improving your dental practice, contact us today to speak with one of our trained professionals.

Dental Consultant & Speaker

Dental Consultant | The Impact of Ignoring Negative Reviews

Finding a bad review of your business can feel like your world is turned upside down. Some business owners may choose the approach of dismissing the negative feedback and blaming the customer or client. When ignored, negative reviews can have a detrimental impact on your business. Here’s how:

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You Will Lose Clients

Customers and clients will not want to be treated disrespectfully. They want their voices heard and to be valued as an individual. If you ignore negative reviews, you are essentially telling both the reviewer and prospective leads that you don’t care about what they have to say. The clients that do complain are ones that feel passionately enough about your business to voice their concerns. If you don’t validate those concerns, expect them to take their business elsewhere.

Missing a Chance to Learn

Mistakes present an opportunity for business leaders to learn. It’s even better when a client presents those mistakes clearly. This will allow you to learn why the mistake happened and how to fix it so it doesn’t happen in the future. If you ignore the feedback from the client, you will not know what the mistake was and it may happen again. Negative reviews offer a chance to learn and grow your business, if you ignore them you miss that opportunity.

No Response Speaks Volumes

Potential clients that are looking at your online profile will see that a bad review is being ignored. If that were to happen, you could lose out on their business and any referrals they might make in the future because they don’t think you care about your clients. This applies to current clients that keep track of your businesses reviews.

Running Out of Excuses

Due to the nature of reviews being public, once a client writes one, everyone can see it. This creates a lasting list of negative occurrences for your business that can be referenced by others. Address poor reviews when possible. Show the client or customer that you care about their thoughts. While it may not win them back, it may be the perfect set up to capture future loyal clients who see your thoughtful and personal response.

Great reviews are not the only ones that can help improve your business. Bad reviews present an opportunity to learn from them and grow your business. If you choose to ignore poor reviews, the consequences could be disastrous. Not only could you lose current clients, but negative reviews could impact the decisions of future clients looking at your business. When you see a negative review, take a step back and see what you can learn from the experience. Address their concerns, and make an effort to change your business to create positive experiences in the future.
Contact our team for a consultation today.

Dental Consultant & Speaker

Dental Consultant | Beyond Marketing: Turning Interest into Appointments

Marketing plays a vital role in attracting new business. Cleverly designed mailers and strong online SEO strategies can put your practice name in front of hundreds of potential patients. Glowing reviews and testimonials tell website visitors that you provide quality care and have a friendly team. However, when it comes to driving new business, marketing – even great marketing – is only part of the story. No matter how effective your campaign, one of the biggest factors in gaining new patients is scheduling.

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Many dentists find it difficult to think about their practice as a business. It is likely that you chose dentistry due to a passion for service and healing, not bookkeeping or sales. Yet nearly any successful retailer will say that the only way to gain business is to give customers what they want, when they want it.

What do your prospective patients want? Convenience, first and foremost.

Consider this: patients have lives of their own. Many work outside the home, many have children. Most working people have limited time off, and may have to schedule their time carefully to leave room for the chance of illness or emergency. Many jobs dole out time off slowly over the course of weeks. Others restrict employees from missing any work at all during certain times of year.

Does your office offer any same-day scheduling? Do you have next-day scheduling? Shift workers may not know what hours and days they will be working more than a few days in advance. In addition, patients who are experiencing pain are unlikely to wait longer than 24-48 hours for an appointment before trying somewhere else.

Do you have office hours covering mornings, evenings, and Saturdays? Patients do not always have the luxury of choosing their shifts or days off. Parents may be reluctant to have their child miss school for an appointment. If you do not have openings during the times that are needed, potential patients will find an office with more flexible hours.

No matter how impressive your practice appears, patients will look elsewhere for an appointment if you are unable to work with their scheduling needs.

Making the changes to provide better scheduling flexibility will take time and may require an investment in your practice. You may want to consider adding an associate or hygienist to help cover additional time. Talk to our dental CPA about what options will best suit your practice needs, as well as the needs of your community.

Dental Consultant & Speaker

Dental Consultant | Promoting Change

Why do we resist change?

Change is scary. Change forces us out of our comfort zones and into the unknown, often into situations outside our control. We are afraid of change because we are afraid that this new challenge might make us look foolish, feel less capable, or even fail.

Dallas TX Dental Consultant | Promoting Change

Change is also necessary. It is impossible to grow your practice, increase your service offerings, or stay competitive without change. Dentistry is a dynamic field, with new technologies and creative techniques being explored continuously. It is critical to be open to exploring these changes and to implementing the ones that will best improve your practice.

Unfortunately, one of the realities you may face is that your most loyal and long-term team members may be the ones who are most resistant to accepting these changes in your practice.

Over time, people tend to develop routines to perform their tasks. On one hand, this can be beneficial, as it can ensure consistency in job performance and can simplify the training of new employees. Often, these team members take pride in mastering the routine of their position and equate this with mastery of their role in the practice.

On the other hand, routines can lead to complacency, which can be devastating for your practice. Complacency can cause team members to “go through the motions,” putting less thought and effort into their routine, and may make their work become sloppy over time. A complacent employee is unwilling to change their routine to embrace the new ideas, methods, or technologies that you need to better serve your patients and grow your business. A complacent employee can even harm team morale and slow the adoption of the changes you seek to implement.

How do you protect your office from complacency and promote change as a part of your practice?

First, create an atmosphere of change. Start small, but design a series of changes to be implemented over the next few weeks or months in your practice. Make the idea of change something that is a normal and accepted part of your routine. This will make bigger changes easier to implement when the time comes.

Second, talk to your team. Make sure every team member understands the changes you want to implement, your reasons for making the changes, and your expectations of their compliance. Be open to answering questions, but do not allow “that’s not how we’ve always done things” to be a reason to slow or avoid changes.

Finally, make your team and yourself accountable for the changes. Track that your changes are in place and that every team member is on board. Meet with your team and discuss the outcomes of the change and how everyone feels about the change. Celebrate victories and strategy improvements. When your team is able to own the change and its outcome, it will be easier to implement the next and to suggest new ideas for future change. Contact our dental consultant today.

Dental Consultant & Speaker

Dental Consultant | Why Your Practice Needs Effective Team Meetings

Regular effective team meetings can play a crucial role in the health of your dental practice. That one simple-sounding factor can impact every aspect of your business. Your people, your patients, and your practice all benefit from regular effective team meetings.

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Your people need team meetings. The core of your practice is your vision, your goals, and your strategy for achieving your goals. Each member of your team needs to understand all of these things and, just as importantly, needs to understand their part in your plan. Without that understanding, your team is working blindly and is unable to actively contribute toward reaching your goals for your business.

A team meeting is an ideal format for open discussion about your vision, goals, and strategy. Not only can you use this discussion to ensure every member is clear on your expectations, but you may find that their unique perspective creates an exchange of ideas on more effective ways to reach your goals and how each person can best contribute.

While not every team meeting needs to include high-level discussion of vision, goals, and strategy, it is a good idea to include this at least once or twice a year and when bringing a new employee into the team. Additionally, many successful dentists find that it is highly useful to touch on how the strategies are being implemented and to discuss any measurable progress toward goals on at least a monthly basis. This helps to keep your team engaged and motivated toward achievement.

Your patients need team meetings. One of the most common components of an effective team meeting is education. Your team needs to know what the policies are, what is on the agenda for the day, if there are any specials being offered, if anyone is sick or on vacation. Any new ideas, training, or techniques that can be shared should be. Your patients need to know they will be given correct and consistent information from any member of your team. Make sure everyone is on the same page.

Your practice needs team meetings. Teach your team how to ask patients for referrals. Word of mouth can have a huge impact on your new customer base. Even happy, satisfied patients rarely refer anyone unless asked to do so, according to a recent study. Your team members should be engaging your patients in every interaction to ensure a positive experience and should be able to ask for referrals when patients are pleased.

Only you can review your practice, your time, and your schedules to determine when and how frequently you should hold team meetings. Whether you meet daily, weekly, or on some other timeline, make your meetings regular and effective. You will see benefits to your team, your patient experience, and your practice.

Dental Consultant & Speaker

Dental Consultant | Why You Need to Market Your Dental Practice

By the end of 2015, a reported 73% of Americans were using the internet on a daily basis. This level of digital interaction has changed the business landscape that we face today. Of all internet users, more than 70% use online searches to find information about health. This includes finding and selecting a doctor or dentist. Your online presence, or lack thereof, can have a profound impact on the success and growth of your practice. Consider how these three aspects of online marketing are currently working for – or against – your practice.

First, 21st century business success requires the use of 21st century tools. Your practice needs to have a modern website, with accurate information and a responsive, mobile-friendly design. To today’s consumer, your website is a reflection of your business. Potential patients have a wealth of options to consider, especially in competitive markets. If your website is slow to load, looks outdated, or is not mobile-friendly, most visitors will move on to another practice with greater online appeal.

Second, you should have an active presence with social sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others. Social media has replaced simple word of mouth for how people share information. By maintaining one or more active social media pages, you engage your community by sharing photos, videos, special offers, personal stories, community events, and more. You may even get patients and staff to share your posts, leading to greater visibility and interest.

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of online reviews. According to a recent survey, 92% of people read online reviews. 80% believe that the reviews they read are as accurate as personal recommendations. If you are not monitoring your online reviews, you are allowing others to control your online reputation. Reviews can also lead to valuable constructive criticism that can help you improve your business and your team.

Ask your patients to post reviews on sites like Yelp and Google. Unless asked, many people will only consider posting when they are unhappy with the service they received. However, patients who are pleased with your practice are usually happy to share their feelings when asked. Consider using some of the more glowing testimonials on your website.

The work involved in successful online marketing can be daunting. However, the cost of hiring a professional online marketing consultant can be more than offset by growth in new patients and case acceptance.

For more ideas to help your practice grow, contact our office.

Dental Consultant & Speaker

Dental Speaker | Follow the Trends! – Grow your Practice with These Smart Tips

Dental SpeakerWith technology and economic changes overhauling much of the dental industry, practices are requiring more innovation to stay ahead of the curve. Below are some trends to explore that can help you reach the top of the chart and stay there.

Onsite Amenities
Dental practices often run the mistake of being too clinical or severe in their appearance. Make your patients comfortable with modern, innovative amenities. Heated or massage chairs in examination rooms can calm anxious patients, while TVs installed on the ceilings (complimentary earphones optional) can offer a safe distraction while your team works.

Dental Insurance Coverage
Many patients are turned away at the thought of visiting a dentist who is out-of-network. Whether you decide to be in-network with more plans or use targeted marketing showing how affordable you are for out-of-network plans, you can open the door for many potential patients that otherwise may have gone elsewhere.

Payment Plans
Many potential patients do not have the option of a work-based dental benefits plan. Consider offering monthly payment plans, in-house financing, or working with a third-party to provide affordable options in these cases. When given the opportunity to have care within their budget, patients who lack insurance will have more ability to accept treatment.

New Technology
Upgraded equipment and modern technology can be a game-changer for many patients. Whether offering a quicker, more comfortable experience or ensuring a safe and effective treatment, using advanced technology on the market can help your dental practice target patients interested in quality.

Bolstered Online Presence
The internet has limitless potential to reach prospective patients in your area. Allow patients to learn more about you and your office, schedule a visit, and ask questions through your website, social media, and other online resources. In the modern economy, internet marketing is a must.

Don’t let your practice fall into the past – keep your practice relevant by following the trends that will keep you thriving. For more dental professional guidance, contact our dental consulting office for a consultation.

 

PPO Dental Consulting
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
(817) 456-0012
https://ppodentalconsulting.com/

Dental Consultant & Speaker

Dental Consultant | Mitigating Missed Calls

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One of the primary concerns of any dental practice is attracting new patients. An effective marketing campaign can help drive traffic to your website and get your phones ringing. However, what happens when the phone rings can have an even greater impact on the success of your business.

Even the best-trained team may miss an incoming call. Unfortunately, many people do not leave messages when they reach an answering machine or voicemail. If you don’t have a plan in place to track and return missed calls, you could be losing thousands in lost revenue every year. Here are 3 easily implemented steps to help you be certain you are making the most of every call.

Step 1: Track Your Calls

When calls are missed, it is important to be aware it is happening. Whether you use the caller ID or a dedicated call-tracking service, your team should be checking for and returning missed calls at least daily. If you close the office for lunch or only have the capacity to answer one call at a time, it is better to check for missed calls multiple times each day.

Step 2: Return Missed Calls

For best results, have your team return missed calls as promptly as possible. Train them to handle these conversations with confidence and compassion. Whether the missed call is from a current patient or a prospective one, a quick response and a caring tone can make the difference between an appointment with you and a decision to look elsewhere.

Step 3: Check for Patterns

Tracking and returning missed calls are an effective way to prevent lost revenue. However, no matter how skilled your team is in handling these return calls, some potential patients may have already scheduled elsewhere before their call was retuned. By reviewing for patterns in when calls are missed, you may find that making minor changes, such as staggering lunch breaks, could help prevent missing future calls in at least some cases.

Missed calls can affect revenue and growth potential for growth, especially if your practice doesn’t have a system in place for tracking and returning them. Be proactive. Review your current plan, check for patterns, and ensure your team is fully trained to handle return calls.

For more ways to keep your practice on the path to success, contact our office.

(817) 456-0012
dana@ppodentalconsulting.com