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Episode : #598: What On Earth is an Office Manager Supposed to Do?

Podcast Description

Kiera is spilling secrets on what makes the best of the best office managers. She even reads excerpts from her up-and-coming book. Listen to this episode to hear more about the following:

  • What should Kiera name her book? Suggest ideas and potentially win a $100 Amazon gift card.
  • What should an office manager be doing? Here’s a checklist.
  • Need help training? This is what to execute.

Kiera also shares who the two best office managers she knows are, and how they function.

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0:00:05.7 Kiera Dent: Hey everyone. Welcome to the Dental A Team podcast, I’m your host Kiera Dent and I have 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, filler, 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. 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.


0:00:51.5 KD: Hello, Dental A Team listeners. This is Kiera and you guys, all right, let’s get nitty gritty. Shall we get to the nitty gritty? If you know what movie that is, email me, [email protected]. I didn’t do the best impersonation, I will also tell you that he says things about stretchy pants in it. And my other favorite line of the movie is, “Get that corn outta my face.” If you know what movie I am referring to, email me, [email protected]. That way we can giggle about a really funny movie. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go google it guys. I hated this movie when it first came out and now I laugh so hard. It’s pretty, pretty fun. So today let’s get to the nitty gritty [laughter] of office managers.

0:01:36.8 KD: All right. I actually am writing a book and I need your guys’ help to weigh in on what title you would want to get. Okay, this is about… Well, let’s just see if you can figure it out. It ties into office managers, there’s a… So the one we’re thinking of doing is, Building Your A Team: A dentist’s guide to hiring and training an office manager. Kinda falls flat. Building The A Team: How to train the perfect office manager for your dental office. How To Make A Manager: Hiring and training a dental office manager. I’ve been thinking of, Building Your A Team: A dentist’s guide to… I don’t quite know. Something, I need a word here. An office with a little like asterisk up like you know those little like up arrows, leader manager. So it’s like a dentist guide to creating, finding, training, evolving an office manager but I want the little up arrow of leader. And the reason that I want that, that’s been in my mind. You guys tell me.

0:02:43.0 KD: I need someone, I will literally send you a $100 Amazon gift card if you will name my book for me. Basically what it is, is it’s a dentist and an office manager’s guide but more for the dentist of how to literally hire, train and use an office manager on what they should be doing for you. I go through lots of stories. Guys, I like have literally had a ghost writer do this, it’s a whole shebang. And with that, what we’re trying to do is title it. So like I said, $100 Amazon gift card to the person who can title this. That’s what it’s about, it’s all about what it means to be an office manager.

0:03:14.8 KD: So therefore, if you can name my book, email me, [email protected], you can text me 801-885-5351. I don’t care how many submissions you make, we’re going to close this at the end of October. I lied, end of November, sorry about that. This way ’cause I’ve gotta get this thing to publication guys, so I need your title. So with that said, the reason I wanted to talk about this is because we actually have this book coming out and I wanna know what would make you grab that book, doctors, off the shelf and office managers of what we’re going to do for this book. So like I said, this book is pretty fun. I will just read you guys the first little bit of it. You guys ready? It’s not perfect. It has not been edited yet.

0:04:03.0 KD: So part one, you guys ready? “This is all about office management. Let’s get something straight. Listen, it’s no secret that running a dental practice is hard. I mean, here you are reading the introduction to a book about hiring an office manager and growing your dental business. Kudos to you for actually wanting to learn and implement some tried and true strategies. Another dentist might have taken one look at the title of this book, scoffed and headed back to their teetering on disruption office because they’re too proud to admit that they need help. I want you to understand something, you’re a dentist, a pretty good one I’d wager but you went to dental school, you didn’t go to business school. And you might think, “Well, yeah, I’m a dentist, not a businessman. All I need to know is how to be a good dentist and everything else will take care of itself.” And that’s where you’re dead wrong, being a dentist is only half of the equation.

0:04:45.9 KD: Make no mistake, a dental office is just as much a business as any other, a business that’s harder to run and operate usually. Well, it looks like I could just hire an office manager and they’ll do that side of things for me, right? Nope, it sure would be nice if that were the case. I mean, I’d be out of a job and that would kind of be a brutal, but it’d be a great deal for you. The truth is, most office managers have no idea what they’re doing. Hey, AKA Kiera Dent. Guys, I was this office manager. Even managers that come from other industries, you’ll hear about a former banking manager that was breaking down trying to figure this stuff out later on, have a hard time trying to make a dental office run. On top of being a super hard career, there’s no formal training that an up and coming office manager can go through to prepare them for that role.

0:05:27.9 KD: In fact, there was such a painful absence of any training materials that we at the Dental A Team made it one of our top priorities to provide proper training to new and seasoned office managers. Guys, that’s what we coach on. That’s also our office manager online course. So here’s a situation, you’re a great dentist but you’ve hit the ceiling with your practice. You know that things could run a lot smoother but you either just don’t know how to smooth them out or you just don’t have the capacity. You’re a dentist after all and patient care is always priority number one. Here’s a simple solution to your problem, hire a good office manager. If it were that easy, you could close this page, this book and laugh your way to the bank. But the truth is, the answer is a bomb ready to blow up in your face. It’s like giving a five-year-old hot wheel enthusiast the keys to a Hummer and telling them to drive through a crowded parking lot. There’s going to be some mayhem and there’s gonna be a lot of damage. You need someone on your team that can handle the business side of things, someone you trust completely with the well-being of your business. I know that’s a tall order but you’ll never get your practice where you want it to be by wearing all the hats and trying to do every job in your office, it ain’t gonna happen.

0:06:30.1 KD: So guys, that’s the beginning. There’s more to it. But I wanted you to hear it, one, so you can help me title it, but two, is that not real life? People don’t know. I didn’t freaking know guys. What the heck am I supposed to do? What is an office manager actually supposed to do? So I’m gonna break it down for you guys today in the podcast, just a smidge. Help me write this book, guys. Let me know if you’re excited about this book. I need your feedback, [email protected]. But at the end of the day, what on earth is an office manager supposed to do? Like, what is this? So basically, what an office manager is, is to… I’m gonna read you guys this, this is straight from the book. “A dental practice office manager job description. Purpose: To ensure that all the business aspects of the practice are functioning in an orderly and efficient manner, to manage the team, to enforce office policies, to train new team members regarding office policy and be the role model of the practice. The office manager is to ensure a smooth and efficient patient flow. At all times, the office manager acts and advocates for the practice and the practice owner.

0:07:37.0 KD: Hello, Dental A Team listeners. This is Kiera and you guys, how was your 2022? I want you to look back and tell me, was it the year of years or was it a really hard year? Did you crush it or did it crush you? This is the time guys for end of year… Dental A Team Platinum is welcoming you where we will physically fly to your practice, we will come and we will elevate your dreams and make them into a reality. And guys, space is limited and prices are going up. This is not a sales pitch, this is not something where I’m trying to scare you into it. I’m just facing the reality of, inflation is here, flights are expensive and I want to see as many people as we possibly can and serve as many as we can.

0:08:21.0 KD: So if you wanna be part of our elite group of people, there are limited spaces ’cause our consultants can only see as many. We are taking on 10 new Platinum offices by the end of the year and that’s it, that’s all we have space for. So if you wanna be one of the elite 10, come join us, be a part of our top notch elite doctor community, be a part of our office manager and hygiene and front office communities, get your operations manual done and live the life that you’ve only been dreaming of today. Email me, [email protected] and make 2023 truly a year that’s unforgettable. We are a complete tax write-off and like I said, we are only taking 10 offices, so don’t get left behind, be one of those 10. And I cannot wait to give you the biggest, warmest welcome to completely and utterly changing your life for good. Welcome to the Dental A Team, I can’t wait for you to join us, [email protected]. Cheers to 2023 and making you your best self yet. Then I have the dream office manager, keeps the office running smoothly, follows through with what is promised, look for ways to improve, knows all the systems, sees the big picture and implements where necessary, honest, focused, listen to suggestion, helps the front office, supports all team members and is fair with team members and patients.

0:09:41.3 KD: Your daily tasks include daily production, hitting it every single day, ensure the patient flow is smooth, perform the duties of the Personnel Director, acts as a liaison between the team and the doctor for routine matters, supervises all personnel AKA payroll in and out, clocking out, making sure that we’re not running up the clock, handles team questions, concerns, handles unusual patient problems, makes daily bank deposits AKA watches the billing making sure that we’re depositing those checks, knows all the front office job duties and can function when necessary, has team spirit, morale, runs computer backups, records all verbal financial agreements in the patients’ charts, makes financial arrangements with patients, monitors the productivity of the office, ensures overhead is where it needs to maintain, looks at the P&Ls of the business, ensures that all the policies and procedures are checked. Guys, I can just keep going, all right? Monthly task review, you ready? Review all monthly KPIs, production, collection, collection percentage, AR, procedures on attached insurance, hygiene production, schedule flow and efficiency, new patients, case acceptance, overhead of the practice, reappointment percentages, hygiene production which I said earlier.

0:10:50.0 KD: You can have fluoride production in there, you can have your hygiene hourly, you can have your doctor hourly in there, one-on-one team member check-ins, coordinate vacation schedules, coordinate CE and licensure for all patients, responsible for petty cash, run monthly computer reports, encourage team members to enter referral dates. Not true. Make sure you got your referral reports in there. Refund the patients that are submitted after doctor approval, birthdays and office celebrations are coordinated, office morale activities are in place, ensure all licenses are up-to-date, ensure that payroll is accurate and timely, coordinate and schedules team meetings, all bills are paid. That’s just a quick checklist.

0:11:28.0 KD: I have January, yearly, as needed. We’ve got place ads for hiring, set up preliminary interviews with applicants, schedule interviews for the doctors, onboarding new employees, ensure that all the paperwork is filled out, track new employees’ performances on their 30-60-90, also termination, computer maintenance, upgrade training on the computer and software, incorporating new softwares, new accounts on the computer, create new employer files for insurance on the computer, run credit checks on patients for financial arrangements, batch your credit cards, look for credit card processing, coordinate all office hiring, team trainer and coordinating of all team training. It just keeps going. Don’t worry, I hope you guys are feeling good over there. How are you doing? That was the most intense podcast I think I’ve ever said. I just rattled, guys. Read you a book, read you a story and then told you, Sha Bam, this is what your office manager should be doing. There is a ton and yet that is what a true office manager should, could and can be doing.

0:12:34.7 KD: So where do you even start? One, take a look at that checklist and see what are they not doing and what’s gonna be the thing that if we implement it, would give us the most bang for our buck first? And then we just start checking down the list, perfect. Do they know this? Do they know that? How can I train them on this? That’s it, guys. At the end of the day, everything in the company is the office manager’s responsibility. In my company, everything in the company is Shelbi’s responsibility. Do I oversee? Absolutely yes. However, Shelbi, as the office manager, needs to take ownership of our productivity, of our collections, of hiring, of firing, of team trainings, of coordinating schedules, of making sure that we are profitable, that our AR is not sky high. That is her responsibility, that’s her job, that’s what she does. Plus, you gotta deal with all the drama of people calling out, coming in. But people who are managers freaking get lit up doing this.

0:13:32.4 KD: And if your office manager doesn’t and says, “That’s too hard, there’s no way,” they’re probably not the right person for the job. Because a true manager, that’s why I wanted to be a manager leader, freaking loves to lead. They love to guide your team, they love to grow your practice, they love to help out with those things. That’s what they love to do, that’s what they know they were born to be. I ask the question, could your office manager say, “I am the best office manager there ever was,” and if not, who is it? I mean, guys, I was a pretty dang good one. I wouldn’t say I was the best office manager, that’s for certain.

0:14:09.0 KD: Who would be the best office manager that I’ve ever met? The person who comes to mind is actually an office manager in Nebraska. I’ve coached her. That woman runs around, she’s on the floor, she knows what’s going on with everything, she holds her teams accountable, she runs team trainings, she works out all the time, she loves the practice, she loves to grow team members. That’s who I’m thinking like. If I could think of any office manager that I truly think is the best office manager, that’s the one I would choose. And guys, I know a lot of office managers. The difference that sets her apart is she executes, she hires people, she has… Let’s think… I think they’ve up to four or five dental practices, multiple doctors, so she wears the hat of being in charge of the partnerships, she wears the hat of all the billing. They have the best collections I have ever seen in my life. She runs it really tight. She makes sure that billing… She’s got a billing coordinator that is top notch. She has a clinical coordinator that helps get a lot of projects done. She’s got training amongst all the practices. She is an incredible office manager, and yet she goes home at 5:00. Yes, she works extra hours when need be. That would be one.

0:15:25.8 KD: The other one I would think of is an office manager in New York, and this office manager… So the difference between the two is the one I just listed off, she does it all. She is a runner, she’s a doer. The one I’m gonna list off in New York, she is impressive because she knows how to close cases but she knows how to motivate her team. So she has… I think we’re now up to five or six offices, so multiple offices, and what she does is she actually trains her office managers and they’ve got reporting of all the numbers and she has every single one of her practices sitting at perfect practice profitability, every one of them. And the teams are the ones who are doing it, the teams are the ones driving that.

0:16:11.9 KD: So those would be my top two office managers that I would list off, and the difference is they do it all, guys. They’ve got their numbers, they’ve got their metrics, they’ve got things coordinated, they’ve got teams and the reason they’ve got multiple practices is, is ’cause they freaking know how to delegate, they know how to watch their numbers, they’ve created systems in place and they literally have owned that these practices are their business and their responsibility is to make sure that they’re profitable, that there’s high morale, that there’s not turnover, that they have people staffed, hired, that we’ve got passwords on there, that we’ve got morning huddles, that we’ve got production hitting where we need to, that we’ve got collections of where we are, that our new patient counts are where they need to be. They literally watch every single metric of the practice.

0:16:54.9 KD: So can your office manager state that they’re that person? If not, do they have the like gut-wrenching burning desire to be that office manager? And if so, rock on. You found a great person, all they need is some training. Do I train office managers and does our team train office managers? You better believe it, that’s one of the top things that we do. And we train them how to be really, really, really good office managers that do all of this. You can absolutely train it. But I mean, think about your dental school instructors, if they had never prepped a tooth, it’d be really hard for them to teach you how to do it. I mean, they could go watch YouTube and say like, “All right, you need to drop that box,” but if you’ve never done it, it’s hard to be able to help them.

0:17:39.0 KD: That’s why I think doctors struggle with office managers because you’re like, “I’ve never done this, I’ve never been an office manager, I don’t even know what you should be doing.” That’s where it gets tricky. So bring in somebody, use your resources and train them and give them the help that they need to make your life easy. So that’s what an office manager should do. You guys I rattled off a checklist. So there are a few items in today’s podcast. Number one, I need help naming this book. $100 Amazon gift card going to the winner who names this book, applications closing by the end of November. You can text me, you can email us, [email protected]. Number two, I rattled a freaking huge checklist for you guys of what an office manager should be doing and why the struggle of what an OM should be doing and why it’s there. Doctors, you weren’t trained on this. Guys, I taught at a dental college, I know you weren’t trained on this. You’ve never done it, you’re like, “Shoot, I know how to prep teeth and do a really good job but I don’t know how to run a business.” Neither does your office manager. Guys, I was straight up winging it, no clue what I was doing any day and just hoping to make it. I didn’t even know I was supposed to be responsible for 90 of the things that I just listed off, I was like, “Oh, I had no idea.” So you at least now have an overview of what that office manager should be doing.

0:18:52.0 KD: And then after that, I rattled off if you don’t know how to train or if you aren’t doing those items, here’s how you can execute. And if you need help, call us or email us, [email protected]. Head on over to the website, thedentalateam.com and schedule a call, guys. It literally… Shelbi and I will be there, I will talk to you most of the time unless I’m on the road and we’ll find out what your practice actually needs. You will get Kiera Dent to customize your practice and tell you what you need. Some people, I’m like, “No, you shouldn’t work with us.” I literally had an office and they said, “Kiera, we have this awesome office manager. Do you think we should hire you or them?” And I’m like, “Well, if I was you and you know what you’re doing and you can manage that office manager, I would take them. I wouldn’t hire a consultant, no way,” if my cash flow can afford it. And if my cash flow can’t afford it, you better believe I’m not gonna do that yet. Guys, I would love to hire a CFO. My cash flow can’t support that, so I hire a fractional CFO AKA a consultant, right?

0:19:50.7 KD: So there’s a lot of ways that you can do this and keep your cash flow high and get the resources that you need. No, I will not be your office manager. Yes, have I helped offices fire team members and hire team members? Absolutely. Do I help you write protocols? Do I help your office manager become rocking awesome? Do I help you, the doctor and the office manager, get on the same page with each other? Absolutely. Do I help a lot of doctors transition and let go of control and help that office manager see how to report back so we don’t have the power struggle between the two? Absolutely. Have I mediated between office managers and doctors when they’re not on the same page and they’re just causing chaos in the practice? 1000%, yes. Do I have the uncomfortable conversations? Yes. Do I give the tools and the resources for you to grow? Absolutely. Can you do it on your own? 100%. Is it easier with a buddy? In my opinion, yes. So reach out guys and as always, make your office manager become the next best version. Office managers, listen to this. Are you doing these items? And if not, implement them. Guys, you have one life. Make it amazing. And as always, thanks for listening. I’ll catch you next time on The Dental A Team podcast.


0:21:02.8 KD: And that wraps it up for another episode of The Dental A Team podcast. Thank you so much for listening and we’ll talk to you next time.


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