200 Teaching Your Dental Staff How to Get Your Patients to Come Back
Hi, everyone, and welcome to another episode of The delivering while dental podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Anissa Holmes. And today we're talking about teaching your dental team, how to get your patients to come back. Now, this is one of those topics that I absolutely love. Because a lot of times, as many of you guys know, we're focusing so much on what's happening day to day, we're focusing on marketing, and we have a huge back door problem. Patients are not necessarily making their recall visits, they're coming in or setting treatment plans, they're not scheduling. And so this is a topic that's really extremely important for us to consider.
So as we start looking at having our patients coming back, creating a process for that, the one thing that we want to look at is do we have a system to actually track what happens with our patients week to week, how many patients do we have that came in last week, that actually left without an appointment? Now what you're going to want to get to, you're going to want to develop a system, that now your team can actually come to you in a weekly meeting and a weekly meeting. And they will say, Doc, letting you know, last week, we had 10 patients who were unscheduled, and this is why they were unscheduled, this patient went to see the endodontist, this patient didn't have any additional restorative treatment, this patient is going to go ahead and apply for financing. I'm going to follow back up with them next week, Monday, right, you want to get to that place.
So as we start looking at getting patients to come back, the first thing that we actually want to do is see how many patients are actually leaving out of the back door. Right? Really, really important.
So obviously, that's one of those things that we want to look at, as we're looking at building out our systems, we also want to look at as well, what is our AR looking like week to week, right? Is it going up? Is it going down? I actually had a call yesterday with a doctor who was looking at coaching, and she was saying that they had a huge accounts receivable issue. In fact, statements had not been sent out in over a year and she had no clue. And so that's another system, as many as well as many other systems that you're going to want to put in place that you're tracking week to week. But as we're getting back to getting your patients to come back, once you have that system in place to just see where you are, then now you can actually go ahead and create processes to improve. So as we're looking again, as how we're going to train a team, one thing that I hear a lot of and I see it a lot in Facebook groups are people saying let's have a morning huddle and see which patient that comes in that we can ask for a referral.
Okay, now, that's all great and fine, where we're actually having that discussion and asking for referrals. But the first thing that we want to do just to kind of push it back a little bit, is to actually think about why would somebody want to refer? Right? What is our what is our culture and our practice look like? What sort of experiences are we providing for our patients. And one thing that you're going to want to make sure that you put in place is a system, again, a way to be able to make sure that you're giving consistent, great experiences to your patients.
And so definitely those different touch points I've spoken about in the past, having coffee table culture books, where patients are coming in, they see how you're serving the community, they see what you're doing, in terms of taking care of your team doctors, they see that you're doing continuing education they're seeing before and after pictures of the great work that you're doing. Perhaps you're offering complimentary coffee, tea, perhaps you have, you have a toy box where kids actually go to the toy box first, right? That can be an experience for the kids. you're offering a tour.
You've got your core values on the wall, perhaps you're offering a warm peppermint sentence, how at the end, right? What experiences are you having with your patients because at the end of that process, what you can actually do is now when the doctor comes into the room, the doctor can say, how was your experience today? There are so many people that are afraid to go to the dentist that we want to make sure that you have an amazing experience, right? How was that warm peppermint-scented towel?
So you have our dental assistants who have been trained in hand and arm massage. And so they're able to actually offer that service to patients, right? So we can ask, you know, how was that? How was your experience?
Did you enjoy the Did you get a cup of hot chocolate or the freshly brewed Blue Mountain coffee, right? So we can ask those questions. So as we're planting seeds in our patient's heads, reminding them of the great experience, how was the tour right? Then now what we can do is as they're going to the front desk, now we can have that extroverted team member to ask that patient again, how was your experience today, and when that patient says it was great, it was amazing, then now they can say, wonderful, we would love if you'd be willing to share that experience.
There are so many people that are afraid to go to the dentist, it just might change someone's life, that now we're able to get that video testimonial that now we can add to our website, or now we can upload to Google My Business or now we can upload to Facebook. And we can actually create some ads so that now we have not only hundreds but 1000s of people hearing about that patients experience. Okay, so as we start looking at how can we get our patients to come back? Number one, we have to think about what are the experiences that we're actually providing for them.
Okay, the other thing that we want to look at in terms of how we're going to get our patients to come back, is to really think about what's the real issue in terms of why patients are actually not coming back.
And a lot of times, so what it really is, is that we don't yet have the training, we don't yet have the skill set to actually be able to have conversations that will lead our patients to actually go ahead and get started with treatment. And a lot of times, honestly, is that we have this fear of being objection blocked, right? So we have spoken about procedures to a patient and the past. They've said, does my insurance cover it?
And we say, No, insurance doesn't cover this, or it doesn't cover all of it. And so the patient says, Well, let me think about it. And we say, okay, and why do we say okay, because that is the skill set of where we are. So what we want to start focusing on in order to be able to get our patients to come back is investing in training for you and your team. So that now you can be able to have the conversations that when you're presenting a treatment plan, you can say something, for example, here's the thing, insurance is not going to cover all of this. But why are patients choose to do this anyway, is number one, they know that it doesn't take a lot of time, or it's going to save them time, or it's going to save them money or it's not going to cost that much money. And it's going to give you that peace of mind. Right.
So there are some verbal skills, definitely want to look into training. So that now you can get you and your team to the point where now you don't have patients leaving because you have not yet developed the verbal skills for case acceptance. So that's definitely something else that you're going to want to look at as you're looking at creating a process to make sure that you don't have a back door issue. Okay. So again, the three things that you're going to want to look at is, do you know how many patients are leaving out of the back door, the second thing that you're going to want to look at is of all of the patients that are coming in, are you providing a great experience so that they will actually want to come back and not just so that they want to come back so that they will actually tell their friends and their families. And they will actually be able to provide things like video testimonials, that now you can again, utilize in your marketing so that you can attract more amazing patients just like them. T
he third thing 100% you're going to want to focus on verbal skills, and case acceptance that is extremely, extremely powerful. We've actually worked with hundreds and hundreds of practices, helping them to be able to grow to be able to scale to be able to put in systems to be able to fix these backdoor issues. And again, one of the things that we definitely want to look at is are you getting your team trained, right?
And as the doctor you may have an understanding, or you may think you have an understanding, you may say well, yeah, I think case acceptance is pretty good. And then I say okay, well what is your case acceptance percentage rate doctor, so that we can now go ahead and create opportunities to be
able to train and get that hire a lot of times, practice owners just don't know. Right? So we definitely want to start looking at where do we need to focus.
Again, as doctors, we are the C II O's. We are the owners of our businesses. And as we're looking at growing businesses that are healthy businesses that allow us to continue to grow and serve people, we want to make sure that we're focusing on providing those great experiences, focus on training our team and focus on again, creating those experiences that will last and we'll allow our patients to share.
Alright guys, so hopefully, this was super helpful. If you have any questions about growing your practice, about setting up these systems, feel free to reach out to me, DM me on Facebook, go to our website delivering well.com we'd love to be able to help you to be able to grow your practice. But again, thank you so much for listening to another episode of The delivering wall dental podcast. I look forward to seeing you guys in our next episode.