The dental industry can be extremely complicated to understand and it is quite normal for dentists to get lost along the way. It is not enough for you to just be a good dentist. You also need to have sound business and management skills if you want to maximize your practice’s potential. Some dentists may have their own theories for establishing a successful practice, but a long-time practitioner attributes his success to one crucial aspect in running a practice – scheduling.
Keep income steady
The “production roller coaster” is one of the things which bring upon dentists tons of stress. This is because things are far from predictable in the world of dentistry. You may earn as much as $3,500 for one day and just a meager $900 the next day. And it is very much possible that the $900 day may have brought in more patients than your $3,500 day. In order for you to prevent this kind of stress from occurring and increase your productivity, it’s always good for you to create variety by scheduling both patients who require not-so-expensive treatments along with those who are opting for high-end procedures.
Keeping your schedule full
First thing is first, you should always keep your schedule filled. This is something which practices always seem to have a problem with, but the key to keeping your schedule filled is to have a patient activation system. This will require you to make use of effective verbal skills when enticing patients who haven’t scheduled an appointment in a couple of months to book one. You can ask your scheduling coordinator to give these patients a call, see how they are doing based on the information you have gathered from their previous check-up and then lead them to scheduling an appointment with you.
The reason for why some practices fail at activating dormant accounts has to do with their approach. Some dentists have a very “old car salesman” approach and patients, instead of being motivated to book an appointment, will only perceive the call as a “sales talk”. People are naturally wary of sales pitches. So, to keep yourself from repelling would-be patients, go for a more subtle and caring approach.
A good script will be something like, “Hello Paul. This is Mary calling from Dr. Wilson’s office, your dentist. Dr. Wilson noticed that it has been a year since we’ve seen you, and while looking through your chart he noticed a tooth on the lower left side which needs attention. He then asked me to call and see how you are doing.”
Therefore, by interacting with your existing patients through phone calls, kind reminders, patient surveys and email promotions, the thought of scheduling a dental appointment will seem like less of a daunting task for them and before you know it, your schedule will be filled to the fullest everyday.
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