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Did You Know!!
- 97% of consumers use online media to research products and services in their local area
- According to Google 90% of searchers won’t look past page one of the results page
- 86% of U.S. households now use the Internet as an information source when shopping locally
- 85% of local searchers will follow up with a phone call or visit to the listing that stands out best
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Guest Post By Jayne Bandy, Dental Phone Excellence
Some of my clients have chosen to use a Call Tracker company to measure their call results. It is such a great way to measure and track calls coming into the practice and see how the calls are handled by the team.
When I look at the results of call tracking I see a real pattern with the number of unanswered calls coming into the office.
Do you know the number of calls that go unanswered in your Dental Office?
Are the calls going to a message bank before your office is open, during the lunch break, and after hours?
32% of all calls that go to an answering message or are placed on hold, hang up and don’t call back!
You need to know this number. This is the number of people that you have lost to your business.
Today’s patients are busy, busy, busy.
Like us, they are often at work and the only chance they get to call you to make an appointment is before you are open, at lunch time (their lunch time) and after they finish work, when you are closed.
Not many Dental Offices have a plan of action for these calls.
“Is your Dental Practice where you want it to be?”
If so, apply for your Free Strategy Session right now and discover the three most critical and costly mistakes your team are making that keep you in a state of permanent frustration…
I believe an answering message is not enough.
What is needed is a real person answering the calls.
Many Dental Offices have a recorded message that gives the caller a message to call back during office hours. This means a lost new patient to the practice and even a lost existing patient most of the time.
Have a good think about how you can solve this big problem in your business.
No one wants to be losing patients this way.
There is always the option of an after-hours answering service or maybe extra work for your more zealous and motivated staff members?
Look for a way and you will be so surprised by the increase in your patient numbers.
Being able to get through to a business before or after their office hours is such a point of difference and so worth it.
The reason I know is because we did this in our business and it resulted in an amazing result for such a small effort.
So the first step is to find out if this is a problem for you. Using a Call Tracker will give you the answer straight away.
The next step is to now take action and make some changes so that you have real people answering the calls before and after your office hours.
Keep in mind that every missed call is a missed opportunity of a new patient and you have thrown away the money you spent on the marketing so this caller could find you in the first place.
Now that is Dental pain!
Dental Phone Excellence is a simple to implement complete Phone Answering system developed by Jayne Bandy that helped her to build an extraordinary dental practice in the heart of working class western Sydney.
Grab her Free Report titled “How I Quickly And Easily Went From 35% To 77% New Patient Telephone Conversions…. And Doubled The Size Of My Dental Practice Along The Way” by clicking here now.
As a Customer we all want it.
And as a customer we hate it when we don’t receive it.
We don’t like to feel that we are being taken for granted.
We hate it when the person serving us is distracted, or inattentive, or simply just doesn’t care.
How are your team members at your dental office?
Are your employees simply going through the motions?
A patient walks in to your office…does your receptionist greet that patient as if they’ve been looking forward to their visit all day?
Or do they glance up, over their counter and their monitor, and say:
“Won’t be too long. Just take a seat.”
When your patient gets brought to the front following treatment are they engaged in a genuine caring transfer conversation or are they simply “attending” this process as a bystander as the dental assistant or hygienist robotically lists the procedures that *she* [the patient] had, not even mentioning the patient by name?
When it’s time for your patient to be brought down to the treatment room, are they greeted personably and warmly by your hygienist or team member or are they simply *called* and told to “follow me….”?
Customers don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care, but if your team members are simply going through the motions then your customers will feel disconnection from your business with a big fat capital “D”.
Mary Kaye Ash said everyone’s walking around out there with a whopping big invisible sign hanging from their neck which reads:
“MAKE ME FEEL IMPORTANT”
Whenever we act in a distracted manner that is less than courteous to our valued customers we certainly are sending them a message that we don’t value their business or want their business or want to *KEEP* their business.
And you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be another business just like yours simply waiting to extend the hand of courtesy to those customers of yours who you have been taking for granted….
And why would they want to stay with you?
When they can easily find a dentist charging less than you that’s going to treat them just as rudely for less out of pockets?
“Sick and tired of dealing with patients who love your work but don’t want to pay what you deserve for it?”
If so, apply for your Free Practice-Building Strategy Session right now and discover the 3 most critical and costly mistakes dentists are making that keep them in a state of permanent frustration
I recently flew from Sydney to the USA and back with a carrier other than Qantas, my regular carrier.
And on one flight I experienced, for want of a better word, a flight attendant who was simply just going through the motions.
Now I’m not sure if this poor old chap had had a bad night’s sleep before coming to work.
But he sure as eggs had very little attention to detail when it came to looking after the PAYING passenger in seat 8A.
Now I know my concerns are purely “First World Problems” but this old guy dropped the ball on not one but four occasions during a flight that involved ninety percent sleep time.
So much so that I really could not recommend flying the friendly skies across the Pacific.
Similarly too, it’s a big thumbs down to the arrogant Delta representative at Newark who spent an eternity looking at a monitor before attending to me and then asking me if I was “Priority or First” when all I needed was for Delta to acknowledge my flight reallocation from United and simply print my replacement tickets.
I know my travel issue that day was not the fault of Delta. But what an opportunity there was for this employee to make a difference…
And he blew it….
“Welcome to Delta. We’re so glad we’ve been able to help you with your travels today Dr Moffet. We know you’ll enjoy the Delta experience and we hope to see you again soon….”
were words that never ever passed the lips of this pompous little man, who viewed me as an inconvenience rather than a customer “gifted” to him by United.
What a goose!!
What is it with some people?
Don’t they realize that without customers, there is no business?
And if there is no business, there are no jobs?
The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that Dr. David Moffet developed that allowed him to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, download his free special report.
The Ultimate Patient Experience (UPE)
This blog post was written by Dr. David Moffet who is the creator of The Ultimate Patient Experience. The Ultimate Patient Experience, or UPE, is a simple set of very specific, “common sense” patient service steps being used by dentists all over the world, to create unique experiences for their patients. These experiences dramatically enhance patient visit values and repeat visits. The UPE is Moffet’s “Secret Weapon” that allowed him personally bill $1,826,445 in services in 2011, his last year of full-time work, working only 4 days a week, for 37½ weeks (while was vacationing all over the world the other 15 weeks!) Moffet has refined and perfected this system over the last 17 years, to the point where it’s as reliable as a Swiss watch — no matter where you’re located or what kind of practice you are running.
Every dentist hopes that the each year is better than the next, but unfortunately that is not how it usually goes. You set lofty goals, but have no real idea what your current numbers are, so hitting those goals is a moving, invisible target. Remember, you can’t manage what you don’t track and 99% of dentists are not tracking their numbers accurately. This blog post will help FINALLY clear the air.
If you want to get a clear idea of how well your practice is doing, here are seven key factors you should be tracking. This will not only help you see how you are doing, it will help you identify the best opportunities to make big leaps in profit.
#1: Number of new patients each month
The first thing you need to measure is the number of new patients you are bringing in every month. This is crucial because you always need to be feeding the funnel with new patients. Your patient base is one of your most valuable assets and the key to your success is a steady flow of patients coming in your door then staying and building a relationship with your practice.
One of the major benefits of bringing in new patents is that you’ll find the people who are newer to your patient base are going to be more responsive to your offers. If someone has been with your practice for ten years and you’ve never sent them a patient newsletter or asked for a referral – even though they’ve been a good patient who comes in every six months – they’re not likely to respond to your new offers.
On the other hand, someone who joined your practice more recently – after you started sending out newsletters – has always been asked for referrals and is more likely to respond.
So, the new blood in your practice is very, very important. While it’s important to put a lot of effort into marketing to existing patients, you need to keep getting new blood into your practice.
The first key to measure is how many new patients are you are bringing in a month and what’s your goal?
#2: Cost of acquiring a new patient
The second thing you need to know is what it costs you to acquire that new patient. This is also called cost of acquisition. Acquiring a client/patient is usually viewed as an expense but you need to shift your thinking to start seeing that new patient as an asset to you.
A lot of people look for the cheapest way to acquire new patients. But this is not the best place to be cheap. The way you dominate a market is to be able to spend more than your competition on acquiring patients. It might cost $50 or $150 to acquire a new patient. But if that patient is worth $500.00 in the first six months or $1,500 in the first year, what is that person worth to you?
If you count how many referrals they send to you and how much they spend with you on their own or their family’s dental care, they could easily be worth between $3,000 and $5,500 in a three to five year period.
Sometimes the value is higher and other times lower. But where else in the world can you spend $50 to $150 on acquiring an asset that can bring you back $500 to $1,500 in less than a year?
That’s a 7 to 10 times return on investment within a 12 month period. You can’t get that anywhere else. So, when you’re in the growth mode, you should be investing as much as you can in growing your existing practice. Once you know the cost of acquisition, you understand how much money you’ll need to get to your new patient goal.
Then, as we’ll cover in a moment, when you start bumping up the referrals, the cost of acquisition gets cut in half. To start measuring your cost of acquisition, simply total your marketing expenses over the last month or three months. Then just divide that figure by the number of new patients.
So, if you brought in 50 new patients and spent $1,000, that’s 1,000 divided by 50 or just $20 per new patient. If that’s your cost of acquisition, you can be a lot more aggressive on a referral rewards program or sending out offers to your existing patient base. You could be a lot more aggressive with some other strategies. $20 per new patient is low, and I would suggest you’re either not marketing aggressively enough or you’ve got a great referral program going on.
As well as looking at the average cost of acquiring a patient, you should look at cost of acquisition by source. You need to know if it costs more via direct mail or the internet so you want to know the cost for each method.
#3: Referral Ratio
Many doctors say they’re getting a lot of referrals but often they don’t know exactly how many or they’ll say they’re getting about 10 a month, for example. Now, 10 a month might sound great to some and it might not be great to others so you need to figure it out from your own perspective.
If you’ve got 1,000 active patients and you’re getting 5 referrals a month, you’re looking at 60 referrals a year from an active patient base of 1,000.
That’s a 6% referral ratio. That’s not very good but can easily be improved. For example, here are some quick ideas that you can apply right away for improving the referral ratio.
- Have a ‘Care to Share’ program in your office.
- Send out a patient newsletter monthly.
- Hold at least one patient appreciation event a year.
So, start by measuring your referral ratio. If you’re at 6% now, set a goal with the team to get to 15% or 20%. You’ll notice that new patient flow and cost of acquisition get affected positively by what we do with the referral ratio.
#4: Conversion Ratio
Your conversion ratio is the proportion of the patients who come in that accept treatment. If it’s 50%, for example, that suggests your new patient experience is not working properly.
Your system should identify the problem for the patient, agitate the problem and then your team should adequately educate the patient so that you just wrap up the presentation and see how the patient wants to proceed. If case presentation is done properly, 80 to 90% of patients should be accepting some kind of treatment.
When you present cases using the terms ‘mandatory’, ‘elective’ and ‘cosmetic’, patients can start moving forward without needing to have the whole $5,000 case up front.
#5: Sale-to-cash Cycle
The next key factor you need to track is your “sale to cash cycle.” When you are doing a lot of marketing, you can be hitting your acquisition goals but the problem is that your overall cost of acquisition is going way up. Even if it’s only $50 to acquire a patient, if you double the amount of new patients, you could be spending an extra $6,000 a month acquiring new patients.
So clearly you need to know your referral ratio and your conversion ratio. But you also need to know your sale to cash cycle. This is the amount of time it takes between that person coming in as a new patient and you having positive cash flow in the bank.
If you’re spending $12,000 in marketing and its taking 60 days to get that money in your bank account, you go negative $12,000. If you do that two months in a row, you are negative $24,000. Then, what happens if it’s a 90 day cycle? What if it’s one of those cycles where you have a really bad conversion ratio and low case acceptance?
You’re left hoping that in six months you’re going to have enough money in the bank. So you need to look at how much money you are putting in the bank after six months with every new patient who walks through your door.
For example, in July of every year, pull up all the clients you received in January. Have someone open up every person’s file and find out how much treatment was planned and how much cash was actually paid. Then just create it as an Excel sheet with name, cash and treatment plan. You can do the same in January for new patients from the previous July.
This tells you how much money is actually in the bank account based on what was planned. Many business owners inflate these numbers unless they are actually holding themselves accountable.
#6: Percentage of Patients Keeping Six-Month Appointment
Another important metric is the number of patients keeping their six month (or 12 month) appointment. This is important as it will show you the reality of how patients are responding to you. It’s about accountability. It measures how well you’re doing at the front desk and how you’re doing at getting patients back in.
#7: Daily Production
Last but not least, you should be tracking how much each area of your practice is producing per month and per day. You SHOULD do this for hygiene. This can be a great leverage point for your practice. If this is working well, it opens up a lot of opportunities. You should also be tracking how much you are producing per hour and how much each doctor & associate in your practice is producing per hour. It’s really important for you to understand what your own time’s worth. And when you know what your hygienists and associates are producing, you can look at what you need to do to bump their numbers up.
So, that gives you the seven key metrics you should be tracking in 2016. The key to all these metrics is that just making 5% or 10% improvements in a few of them leads to monumental overall growth in your practice. By knowing exactly what to measure and how to improve the results, you could make sure this is your best year yet.
If you’d like to learn more about how to attract more high qualified patients WITH MONEY…click here for a proven practice specific game-plan => http://localsearchfordentists.com/game-plan
Have Fun & Do Something Great!
CEO Local Search For Dentists™ , 3 TIME Inc. 500 Approved Company
CEO New Patients For Life ™
#1 Best Selling Author