Top 4 practice mistakes you can’t afford to make

January 31, 2013

These blunders may cost you more than you know.

These blunders may cost you more than you know.

1. Selling to your patients, instead of building a relationship.

Always remember: Serve don’t Sell. In doing so, you’re likely to see your practice’s success rates increase. Here’s the thing, time and time again, it’s been shown that building friendships and being welcoming with current and prospective patients will reap dental practice benefits.

You don’t want to spend the entire conversation either selling or letting prospective patients know “how much better” you are than the current dentist they are seeing. It simply doesn’t work, and can give a bad first impression. Building friendships and community relationships can help bring in more patients because they feel that they trust you; they know you. Then, the chances are higher that they will come to you when they need their next appointment or treatment.

2. Having the wrong people in the wrong places.

A Gallup poll found that 67 percent of employees are not engaged in the work they do at the office. Even scarier: Almost 31 percent were actively sabotaging the companies they worked for. So, do you have the right employees at your office? Do they have passion? Do they have the skills needed to propel your practice forward?

You need a team to propel to success, not just a group of people who happen to work together. Is it time to adjust the roles of your employees?

3. Providing a poor patient experience.

This is the bottom line: Make your patients comfortable and happy, all while having faith in your abilities. Always remember this key mantra: The patient defines quality in dentistry, not the doctor or the staff.

But how do you know what your patient experience is like? Two simple ways: Ask every new patient how they heard of you and keep track of these answers. You’ll see how many are referrals from other happy patients. Or, you can go the survey route and actually ask patients via an online or mail questionnaire. Some of the answers may be things you’ve never considered before, or even thought were an issue.

4. Not taking the time to learn.

Sometimes we get so stuck in what we’re used to or what we’ve always known that we forget the industry and its technology is always in a state of flux. If you drag your feet on learning anything new, it’s at the risk of reputation and lost patients. Always strive to be an industry-sponge, taking in all the new technologies, data, products and findings.