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324: Is Your Practice Patient-Worthy?

It’s time to take a good look at your practice in the mirror: Are you assuming too much of your patients? Kiera shares an example of this at a Macy’s in Arizona where she was shipped from department to department without any helping hand. Don’t be like this Macy’s!

Stop assuming your patients know what a crown is, or a root canal, or insurance verification. Stop sending your patients around in circles because you’re not on the same page as your fellow team members! This episode will encourage you to focus in on perfecting the patient experience in your practice. The good news, 95% of the changes you can make are free!

By ensuring your patients are taken care of from start to finish, you’re showing the love and care they want to feel.

But wait! There’s more! Are you looking for other ways to make your patients feel like VIPs? Visit www.TheDentalATeam.com to discover the path to perfection.

Podcast Transcript:

Kiera Dent:

Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Dental A Team Podcast. I'm your host, Kiera Dent, and I had this crazy idea that maybe I could combine a doctor and a team member's perspective, because let's face it, dentistry can be a challenging profession with those two perspectives. I've been a dental assistant, treatment coordinator, scheduler, pillar, office manager, regional manager, practice owner, and I have a team of traveling consultants where we have traveled to over 165 different offices, coaching teams.

Kiera Dent:

Yep, we don't just understand you. We are you. Our mission is to positively impact the world of dental, and I believe that this podcast is the greatest way I can help elevate teams, grow VIP experiences, reduce stress, and create A teams. Welcome to the Dental A Team podcast.

Kiera Dent:

Hello, Dental A Team listeners. This is Kiera, you guys. It's kind of fun to go back out into the world and be a human again. Anybody with me? Anybody else out there? Great. I'm glad you are too. It was fun because today's podcast is going to come from one of my shopping encounters I just recently had. I went out to Arizona to be with Tiffany, and we went to an office and it was awesome, you guys. This is an office we've been working with for about a year and a half now. At first, we were just doing quarterly team trainings with them, and now we're running traction.

Kiera Dent:

We've gotten a leadership team in place and it was awesome to see that through COVID, with this leadership team in place, the practices grew when most of the practices around them were declining. You guys, what we do, I love to share these success stories with you, because this is one story out of 50, 60, 80 offices, hundreds of offices that are seeing success just like that. That can be you too. You guys, email us, [email protected] It was really awesome to see this office just ... It was like, you know when you're waiting in spring, you plant the bulbs and you know they're going to blossom and bloom, you just don't know when? That was this office.

Kiera Dent:

They bloomed and it was so bright and so vibrant. Gosh, this last meeting was epic. Tiff could tell you. I'm so excited and proud of them for what they've done. We just meet with them quarterly and they have done insane things as an office, and they've got three locations. When we started, they only had two, so great things have been happening. Tiffany was really awesome and she got me some slippers for Christmas because Jason told me I had too many shoes and Tiffany overheard that. Of course, as a good friend, she bought me slippers, and I'm so excited. I love them so much.

Kiera Dent:

I got them and they were a little bit too small, and Tiffany is luckily one of my friends that I can be completely honest with, and I said, Tiff, I'll be honest, I'm probably not going to wear these. They're a little too small. She's like, "No problem. Let's actually just go exchange them, that way you have some that you really like." Tiff was on a coaching call. She dropped me off at Macy's, the department store, that's where she had gotten them. I went in to go find a different size for these slippers. Granted we're in Arizona, I live in Reno, never been to this Macy's before.

Kiera Dent:

I walk into the store, the front lady, I have this box of slippers, and I'm like, "Hey, where are your slippers at? I need to look for a different size?" She's like, "They're up there." I was like, "Okay, where's up there?" She's like, "They're up by the shoes." Okay, Macy's is a huge department so, you guys, I have no idea where the heck these shoes are. She's like, "It's up by the other door." I was like, "I don't know where the other door is." She's like, "It's just up there. Sorry, I can't help you."

Kiera Dent:

I literally had a moment thinking like, what is your job here? I get that you're folding clothes, but truthfully, what is your job? Just a question. Just asking. I'm not the most important person in the world. I'm just asking a question. I walk up assuming the doors up this way, because she said it's by the other door. I have no clue. I've never been in the store before. She says, "Sorry, that's not my job." Okay, great. Get to the shoe department. Shoe department says, "Oh no, we don't have those here. They're in the pajama department."

Kiera Dent:

I was like, "Well, where's the pajama department?" And they said, "Oh, it's back there." What the heck guys? She's like, "You go down the sidewalk or down this path and you should see it."

Kiera Dent:

Hello, Dental A Team. I hope you are as excited as I am, because guess what? May 14th and 15th, this year we are running Dental A Teams full team summit for the first time ever. It's May 14th and 15th, a Friday, Saturday, and a CE training for you and your whole team in your practice. In the past, you've had to fly your whole team to get full team CE, and instead, we're bringing the CE to you. You guys, I've attended so many virtual events, and I cannot wait because this is going to be epic of all epics.

Kiera Dent:

We're going to teach you guys, with your whole team working together, how to build your dream practice, how to have accountable teams and run effective meetings. We're going to have breakout sessions with each department specifically, so billing, OM, TCs, schedulers, hygienists, assistants and doctors, and we're going to roundtable style learning from the best. We're going to have lessons on leadership. We're having guest speakers come in. You guys, it is going to be epic and I want all of you there. Head on over to our website, thedentalteam.com/events and snag your ticket for you and your team to attend Dental A Teams full team summit this year.

Kiera Dent:

My thought is, guys, I have no clue where the heck I'm supposed to go. You're not busy. Nobody's really in your store. Some lady's folding clothes, and the other lady wants to just go talk to somebody else. I was like, okay, fantastic. I start walking down, I'm looking for pajamas now. It's not in shoes. I don't trust anybody because they're all giving me different things. I have no idea what's going on. I end up going up this escalator. It's not up there. I'm literally doing laps. I'm back in the shoe department. Find the door that the other lady was talking about. End up in the pajamas right next to the first lady that told me to go up to shoes.

Kiera Dent:

Interesting. Okay, fantastic. I decided I'm going to podcast about Macy's because I thought about, how does this relate to a dental practice and what are we doing? First of all, they had assumptions, so assuming that I knew where the other door was. How often in a practice are we assuming that they know what a crown is, or we're assuming that they know what a root canal is, or we're assuming that they know what insurance is, or we're assuming that they know how long one of those would take? Because that's just normal for us.

Kiera Dent:

This lady assumed that I was from Arizona, that I've been in the mall before and I knew where this other door was. How often in our practice are we assuming? And then how often are we thinking that's not my job to explain it to them? I hope none of you, or that's not my job to take them back to the back. That's the assistant's job. Guess what guys? In my opinion, every person in the practice, it's our job to help that patient have the best experience, and we do whatever it takes. Obviously we have roles and responsibilities so we're not like a bowl of spaghetti where everyone's on top of each other doing the same jobs, but making sure that we own it.

Kiera Dent:

We own that patient experience, that we show them that we help them, that we help them have the best experience possible. Then I thought about, how often are we sending our patients around in circles? Because we're not on the exact same page? This lady, okay, so fun fact, the slippers where I was supposed to go was literally five feet away from the first lady who told me it was not her job, five feet. Yet she sent me up to shoes, then she sent me around in a circle. Then I went upstairs, then I went downstairs, then I finally ended up right back where I started.

Kiera Dent:

I thought about how often do we do that to our patients. How often? Because we don't role play with each other and we say the same thing that our doctor said, so our hygienists, our doctors, our assistants, and our front office. How often are we not communicating the same thing and maybe sending our patient around in circles? Because they don't know where they're going, they don't know what they need, so we're not closing cases and we're not helping our patients get the best care. Do you, in your practice, have your team role-play mimic and mirror verbatim what doctor says, what hygiene says, what dental assistants say? Are you doing that? Because if not, you might be sending your patients around and around in circles and not even realize that you're doing that.

Kiera Dent:

Are you checking in with them? Are you helping them? That's a great thing to ask yourself of, are we doing this or are we not doing this? Look to see, how are you sending your patients around and around in circles? It could very well be the doctor comes in and says this, then we don't have a perfect off to the front office, then the front office has to check the chart note, chart note doesn't say what it is, so then we're like, hang on, what did doctor asks you to do? Great. We're just like Macy's, and we just said, hey, that's not my job. No, it should be a perfect handoff.

Kiera Dent:

We should not have to ask the patient what they're here for. That should already come to us so that way we're well-oiled machine. I think about Disneyland. You guys know I really liked. They don't tell you where to go. They don't point you where to go. They walk with you where to go. Think of how much difference of an experience you have at Disneyland versus Macy's departments, where I was literally like ... I almost got so frustrated and left. I don't want to go back. I don't want to shop there. I didn't have a great experience. I'm like, that was way too hard. I'm just going to order on Amazon, because that was too hard.

Kiera Dent:

Stores are going out of businesses. Companies are going out of business. I just thought, what about that little VIP patient care? Are we all on the same page? Do we practice those handoffs? Are we saying the same thing doctor says? Does front office know what doctor says in exams? So, that way they can use the same verbiage, so that way the patient doesn't feel like they're going around in circles. If doctor says a crown is like a helmet, does the front office use similar verbiage so the patient knows a crown is like a helmet on the tooth to protect the tooth? Are we saying things like, there's a crack, where somebody's saying there's a fracture. Little things like that can feel like a patient's going around in circles.

Kiera Dent:

Of course, if a patient needs clarity, we can change it up, but saying the same verbiage first is going to help out because then you guys are on the same page and it doesn't feel like it's a scrambled mess. Also, making sure our exams are the same. Does doctor have similar exams from patient, to patient, to patient? Do our hygienists tee up treatment the same way? Are we spending the time to educate our patients? And are we making sure that they're clear so it's easy for them to say yes to treatment?

Kiera Dent:

Do we make their experience awesome? I'm not saying you have to spend a lot of money. Is it clean? Is your practice patient worthy? Are we spending time, or a doctor is so busy because we're not scheduling appropriately, that things are just a hot mess and doctor can't give the patient care that they deserve? That doesn't mean you have to have a slow schedule. That means you can have a very busy schedule that is run very effectively because we schedule smart. We're working together as a team. It's a well-oiled machine. Patients feel like they were heard, that they want to leave us five stars, versus just feeling like they're aimlessly wandering like, oh, that was fine.

Kiera Dent:

Or are we dazzling them? Do we offer them a bottle of water? Little simple things that don't cost you a lot of money that just make it a great experience. I decided to share with you guys that experience of Macy's to look to see, how is our practice? Maybe have a secret shopper come to your practice, maybe for a minute, docs or office managers, go out and just listen to how are we talking to our patients on the phone? Are we following protocol? How's our insurance. Are we clear on that so our patients, when they come in feel like they're getting the same story from us as they are from everyone else in the practice?

Kiera Dent:

Do you explain insurance benefits the same? Do we have that information clear, or is it just fuzzy and messy to where our patients feel like they're going around and around in circles? These are all the questions that make VIP patient care, and the cool thing is 95% of these don't cost any money. They just require your time to practice, to role-play, and tighten up to make sure we're always doing the best thing and VIP patient care for our patients. That's it. It's actually a really easy fix, guys.

Kiera Dent:

Just think, think of how much different my experience would have been had this lady walked, it was probably 25, maybe 30 feet down to the shoe department. Guys, there was nobody in the clothing department, not one soul. She just didn't want to do it. She didn't. She just told me to go down there. Then what if the shoe person would've walked me down to pajamas showed me where they were? Just think of how much time would that have taken from them and what a different experience. I wouldn't have been podcasting about them probably.

Kiera Dent:

I should podcast about really awesome companies and said I'll just tell you guys. Because I think about you guys, I think about practices. I wonder, how often are we just saying like, "Oh yeah, you need a crown?" Assuming that they know what the heck a crown even is, assuming that they know what a root canal is. You guys, really ramp up, talk to your patients, explain to your patient, share with your patients, practice in your team. Make sure that we're not just letting our patients aimlessly go. Walk through, do a blind walk-through, follow a patient from start to finish of their appointment and see what their experience is like. How is it like to schedule?

Kiera Dent:

Is it the same for scheduling with each of the schedulers, or does each of them do it a little bit differently? What about our TCs? Do they follow the same verbiage as our doctors? Are they following up with patients the same way? Or are they getting a different experience every single time? Those are questions for you guys to ask your team. Those are questions for you to role-play through. Those are questions to ensure that your practice is a five-star worthy practice. This is a way that you're able to become an even better five-star practice.

Kiera Dent:

These are ways for your patients to feel loved, to feel cared about, to just feel like it was a different experience than they're used to. These are the things that sets you apart. These are the things that make you that top notch practice. These are the things of how you get raving fans that just love you and they don't know why they love you, but they do. It's a small intricate details that make a world of difference. So, go find those details, implement them in your practice. Let me know what you guys implement. Email us [email protected], and as always, please like us, subscribe us, share this podcast, leave us a review. I'd love to hear from you, guys.

Kiera Dent:

Share this podcast, subscribe. Anything you guys can do. We appreciate it. This is how the podcast grows. You guys are growing it. I am so impressed, you guys. We broke our goals. More people are listening. More people are downloading. This is how we dominate by impacting the world. The goal of this podcast is to grow teams to their highest level. So, you guys, help us on that journey. Please share this today with one person, or go leave us a review. Either one will help. I would love both, but hey, we'll take one, and I just appreciate you guys so much.

Kiera Dent:

Find those details, set your practice up to that top notch, and I cannot wait to talk to you guys next time, and as always, thanks so much for listening, and I'll catch you next time on the Dental A Team Podcast.

Kiera Dent:

All right, Dental A Team listeners, that's a wrap. Thank you so much for listening, and if you loved today's podcast, go leave us a review. It takes you five seconds, and your review helps more offices, more practices, more team members just like you find out about the Dental A Team. Thank you guys so much for being part of my Dental A Team family.

 

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