Bill Blatchford, DDS
Your technical excellence is not easily perceived by your community and guests. In this competitive world for the discretionary dollar, we must take every opportunity to clearly demonstrate our excellence ... and be proud of it!
By creating value for excellence, you will gather a greater mix of patients, not just emergencies. You will be able to diagnose and have accepted a different mix of treatment. By being known as "excellent," dentistry becomes more interesting and exciting as well as more profitable. You can discuss choices with patients, not just needed crisis care. Take the opportunity to reinvent yourself as a dentist who strives for excellence.
Creating value for excellence is like layering. You and your staff create a plan for excellence. This plan can have many layers, and we will focus on the important ones.
1) Time is a factor of excellence. Respect patients' time and they will respect your valuable time. If a patient is 20 minutes late for a one-hour appointment, will you complete all the expected treatment and make the next patient late? Compliment your patients who are on time.
2)Your beautifully framed pictures of smiles demonstrate excellence. Allow guests to dream of beautiful smiles with pictures representing all ages, gender, and ethnicity.
3)Phone responses create excellence through building trust. Every contact with patients counts. Your warmth, positive attitude, and listening skills make a difference. Avoid comments like, "When was the last time you saw a dentist?" or "You'll need a complete exam first before we do anything." Be an accommodating person, bringing patients in the door, rather than creating barriers and making it difficult for them to come in.
4)Updated décor and a fetish for cleanliness is noticed. Your office must be bright, newly painted and scrubbed, tatter-free, and current.
5)Your belief in excellence is shown by the standard of care in your own mouth. If you want your patients to aspire to excellence, you must walk your talk. Are you a spokesperson for today's excellence?
6)Demonstrate caring more for your guest than yourself. What differentiates you from other health- care providers? Being a step ahead in service will bring you notice for excellence. Be a partner with your patients. Bring them into your dental family by asking questions and listening. Congratulate them on their choices in dentistry. Forming deeper relationships with patients furthers trust in you.
7)Spread the word about excellence in your community. Have you met every businessperson with-in a mile of your office? Do they know you and what you stand for? Have you ever prepared a talk for groups in your town? This could be about preventive care from infancy to adults or dreaming about beautiful smiles. Set yourself apart from others.
8)Your attire, both in and out of the office, can denote excellence. Males, wear a fresh shirt and tie, white dental blazer, pressed pants and polished shoes. Facial hair should be eliminated or clipped short. Hair is clean and cut. Glasses are current and clean. For female dentists, a long white coat over business clothes shows excellence. Hair is short or pulled back, shoes polished, minimal jewelry should be worn. Everyone should wear a name tag. Staff dress also is critical for excellence. The business staff should wear business clothes, not casual clothes. Treatment staff should wear washable scrubs or lab coats. Shoes should be polished, jewelry should be minimal, and hair should be pulled back or short.
9)Create a credibility wall of your nicely framed diplomas, certificates of attendance, and pictures of you and your dental mentors. Display these where patients can view them.
10)Offer a quality bag to hold the dental products you give as part of patient visits. This bag should be imprinted with your name.
To change the mix of treatment being offered, you need to attract people who want to go beyond the emergency care level. Offices that display a layering of excellence will attract patients who want choices. Demonstrate many layers of excellence and patients will notice a clean, updated office staffed by professionals. You will set yourself apart from others by creating a practice culture of excellence.
Dr. Bill Blatchford's Custom Coaching Program is now available anytime, anywhere. Utilizing 18 years of practice-management experience with more than 1,100 offices, Dr. Blatchford's custom program involves minimal travel and maximum personal time with the coach, interaction with other doctors, and tons of support. Leadership, systems, case-presentation skills, communication, and profitability are emphasized. He can be reached at (800) 578-9155 or visit his Web site at www.blatchford.com.