What does your staff do when you’re NOT there? Better yet, what do they do when you ARE there?
My Staff Would NEVER Do That
I’ll never forget this story.
Roughly thirteen years ago, I attended a meeting for periodontists held in New Orleans. Jay Geier of the Scheduling Institute was the keynote speaker. This was back when his ego wasn’t too big to talk in front of only about 40 or so docs. He did do a great job of mesmerizing the audience by taking a phone book (remember what those were?) and randomly calling offices on a speaker phone so the audience could listen in on the call.
It was hilarious but also shocking. Did the dentists that owned these practices actually KNOW how their staff was answering these potential new patient calls? I looked around the room and noticed many in the group whispering to each other, “My staff would never even think about answering the phone like that. If they did, I’d fire them immediately!”
He called about three offices and asked basic questions such as, “Do you take my X insurance?” or “How much do you charge to pull a tooth?” At the time, I had never given much of this any thought as I assumed that anyone that had some type of front office experience could schedule a new patient. You know what happens when you “ASS-U-ME” anything, right?
During a break, a colleague of mine, Dr. Brian Evans, handed me his cell phone and asked if I’d mystery shop his practice. He assured me that his team was “on the ball’ and would never think about behaving like the callers that Jay spoke with.
What proceeded to happen next was shocking to both Dr. Brian and I:
Them: Dental office, this is X, how may I help you?
Me: Hi, I just moved into the area and I wanted to know if you guys do implants?
Them: Yes, both doctors do quite a few each month.
Me: I have X insurance, does it cover the procedure?
Them: It’s possible. What you’ll need to do is call the number on the back of the card and ask them if they cover it, ok?
Me: Ok, is that it?
Them: Yes, call back if you’d like to schedule.
You can imagine the look on my friend’s face after the call was disconnected. I don’t think I had ever seen anyone go from that pale of a shade of white to that bright shade of red in my life. He was livid!
If you don’t think this is happening in your practice, think again.
What Do They Do When You’re Not There?
It’s a near certainty that you’ll make shocking discoveries – if you have someone mystery shop your phones and pay your office a visit too. If you’re like me and occasionally, after hours, search employees’ work areas (desk drawers & internet searches); or if you install video surveillance systems. It is the policing that most practice owners despise and neglect or simply refuse to do.
Can you think of some places where people work where there is no room for and zero tolerance for error? What about a live theater actor? They must know their lines & deliver them perfectly or return to waiting tables or working behind the counter at Starbucks. But practice owners are typically lax about their team knowing their scripts (if there is one) and delivering them perfectly every time. Of course, if the phones aren’t even answered (ie during the office lunch break), the script deviance is a mute point.
Money Down The Drain
Many of the hours during my week (besides treating patients) are spent helping other specialists put money into marketing that pours leads/patients into a mess initially. Recently, I’ve noticed more of these leads are being driven to unanswered phones or by grumpy ill-prepared, disinterested employees that think they know it all because they have been there for 25+ years. But it’s not totally their fault. Many are often “managed” by people not doing any type of managing, training, coaching, motivating, or rewarding at all. These prospective leads are also driven to click on massively dysfunctional websites with no where to capture contact info. I could go on and on.
Google AdWords and FaceBook ads seem to be the dental craze now. Everybody is doing it, but many are doing it wrong. A client that I recently began working with came to me after spending over $8K with a marketing company over a nine week period – resulted in only 3 leads with 1 actually showing up to the practice. Ouch.
Their AdWords marketing “company” made the #1 mistake that I’m seeing from most trying to run these campaigns for us.
Want to know how to avoid this costly mistake plus put together a system to automatically attract patients like clockwork to a tune of over $9K+ a month?
Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a quick 15 min chat to let you in on how to put this into play in your practice before the general dentist down the street beats you to it.