The year 2020 is not only a new year but a new decade. Here are three ways to increase profitability in your dental practice.
- Commit to larger cases. Demographic trends portend more older patients with increasing dental needs. There is also a growing market for orthodontics—for both children and adults. A restorative dentist told me recently that he has shifted his focus to larger cases. Although he has always had a commitment to comprehensive treatment planning, he is now explaining the benefits of treatment in more detail to patients. By changing the mix of services in his practice, he is now increasing revenue by spending more time on larger cases, which are inherently more profitable and more cost effective in term of hourly production.
- Train the Team. Practice often underestimate the synergistic effect of good team training. When team members are not sure how to proceed or what to say to patients in certain situations, patients may take the off ramp and park their decision-making process. Effective team training is focused and involves sufficient repetition and practice to make the new behaviors standard operating procedure.
- Follow Up. There are many patients who are not ready to commit to treatment on the spot. They need to be followed up in a low-key but methodical manner. Two ways to ensure proper follow up are to a) ask for permission, and b) establish a texting relationship with the patient. You ask for permission by using a script: “Would it be o.k. if we followed up with you?” Most patients grant this permission. When a team member calls, the script to use is as follows: “I am calling like we promised.” The call is not an intrusion, but the fulfillment of good customer service. Another way to reach out is with a text message: “It was great to see you. What questions do you have?” If you can establish a texting relationship with the patient, you break down barriers. The patient knows that if they have a question, all they have to do is send a text, and someone will respond.
There are so many patients who need your services. Make a commitment in 2020 to serve those patients and at the same time increase practice profitability.