It’s Gettin’ Tougher Out There!

As of August 24th, the ADA reported that right about half – 49% of practices are reporting LOWER volumes than usual. That is alarming for practice owners and corporate dentistry as consumer spending is up – in fact as of July consumer spending was HIGHER than pre-pandemic levels!

But….don’t just “let it be” that way!

There’s an old story of a hardhat worker, just going through the motions, day in and day out at his construction job. One day, as he’s opening up his lunchbox, he grunts “cheese sandwiches again! All I ever get is cheese sandwiches!“

Then, his coworker sitting next to him asks “why don’t you ask your wife to make you something different?“

Dreadfully he answers: “I pack my own lunch.“

Here’s an example that you can implement today!

The average practice owner suffers with a chronic, knee-jerk reaction to problems in the office. It’s called penalizing everyone for one thing that one trouble patient did one time. Like the “all payments are due at time of service” sign that many offices put at the front desk. Could anything be more “off putting” and sound more untrusting to your great patients?

Ask yourself, is this your office too? If so, here’s a quick tip you can implement this week to reward your best patients and discourage the problems from returning.

Design systems that reward your best patients and penalize your worst patients – not the other way around. As I’ve said before, there is no such thing as bad patients, just bad practices and bad practice systems. People will only do what you set as the standard and train them to do within the walls of your business.

For example, in my office we do not charge patients for a reevaluation of a tooth within 20 days of treatment or 20 days of the original diagnosis. Your best patients will generally accept treatment quickly and get it done right away. So patients who cannot keep their appointments beat you up on price, or put you off for delay their preventative or regular visits should be charged this additional fee for a re-evaluation for two reasons:

  1. Because you and your team invest a lot of time to reschedule them and last minute cancelled or missed appointments cannot be filled very often. This offsets SOME of the cost of missed appointments and let’s them know you take pride in your office.
  2. To weed them out. People who are chronic difficulties to deal with like this are not patients you want to keep around because it detracts and distracts you from focusing on your “A List” patients who are the most appreciative, and always stay and refer new patients and their families to you.

Have a fantastic week, and if you need help implementing this tip, simply reach out to my office for a free, 20-minute initial Discovery Call.

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