Confirming appointments is one of the most important things that a scheduler does every single day. Confirming, when done the right way, assures the schedule will stay intact.
In this episode Sandy breaks down the mistakes we tend to make when we “think” we have confirmed an appointment but in reality, we have not. A lot of the time we tend to send a text or reminder, but the reality is this is doing nothing most of the time.
Listen in as we discuss the proper systems and protocols to truly confirm an appointment for a better schedule and a productive day.
Sandy was doing a mystery call for a practice and noticed a major issue… the practice didn’t answer her phone call… that’s how this episode came up!
There’s two main things we need to do if we want more new patients in our office.
In this episode Sandy tells us ways we can improve and elevate our phone skills to ensure that these new patients are not only scheduling, but walking through your door and accepting treatment.
You know that one person who's always missing days, calling in, or maybe they save up time off and leave for a long time. Welp, there’s procedures and systems to prevent that and actually improve all of your employees' attendance!
In this episode Sandy gives us 5 major steps that will improve attendance and help motivate employees to not miss a day!
Listen in as we dive deeper into each of these steps and provide a game plan!
Treatment planning starts much earlier than you expect. If you want your treatment acceptance percentage to increase you first have to know what to look for and then implement these specific actions to see results.
Sandy gives us the 10 bulletproof actions steps that will increase your treatment acceptance. One of the first steps is making sure you’re on top of your “Public Relations”. This is something that won’t get you instant results at the beginning but it is something that every practice owner should be thinking about because… your treatment acceptance starts with your reputation!
Listen in to hear the rest of the action steps so that you can increase your treatment acceptance this month!
There's nothing worse than seeing the schedule full the day before, or even the week before, then… once the productive day arrives… the schedule starts falling apart. Why is this happening?! Could it have been prevented?! What is killing this productive day!? A lot of us are unaware of how much productivity is being killed in the practice. Some of us are so used to these killers that we see it as a “norm” when it occurs. Anything that kills your productivity is NOT normal!
In this episode Sandy reveals the 5 most common productivity killers that happen in your practice every week. We discuss them and show you the difference between each one and how some play off of each other if you let it slide or handle it the wrong way. Then Sandy lets us know how we can prevent each of these 5 killers and what systems need to be in place today… to ensure that we are keeping the productivity in our office high.
When you're listening to this episode we want you to think about your accounts receivable balance. We want you to think about how many patients have accepted treatment, have received treatment, maybe only paid a portion of the whole treatment cost or not even a penny... and never came back.
This means the patient has committed premeditated fraud. How did this happen? Why does this continue to happen? How could we prevent this?
Sandy gives us a formula so you can have predictability with each of your patients & a formula on how to ensure your employee who handles your money will be trustworthy.
September has been widely known in dentistry as “Sucktember”. Everything seems to slow down, no shows are high, production is low, and the schedule seems to fall apart insanely fast. In fact, some of you even decide to take September off! DON’T!
In this episode Sandy breaks down the reason why we had a horrible September and how we can prevent “Sucktember '' from happening by doing these 5 steps today! The sooner you do it the better, and not only will this prevent your production from slowing down but it will also provide you with a “Rocktober” (Rocking October).
Key takeaways from this episode:
1. What do patients that "no-show" have in common.
2. Every practice needs an "appointment wrap up" process.
3. What to ask a patient in regards to following up with them.
4. What's the best script for confirmation calls.
5. What to do when presenting treatment plans to ensure a second visit.
We know how convenient it is to have your employee order supplies for you, deal with credit checks, and even order things on Amazon for you and handle any returns… but you need to be more aware of it. Why?
Well, Sandy received a call about a situation the other day. And this isn’t the first instance an office has called her to see how they should handle it. This is common. The Office Manager had been using the practice’s Amazon account to make purchases for her own birthday party, Christmas, etc.
Sandy gives us 3 systems that most employees use to steal or establish fraud and she gives us the systems to prevent this. In our practice and in life, we want certainty, we want predictability, so it’s crucial you know what is going on in your practice and not depend solely on your employees' words.
When it comes down to it, there's basically two reasons why patients don’t pay: the first is dishonest patients, and Sandy gives us a breakdown on how to stop these type of patients to save us any headaches.
The second, and probably most important reason is: patients can get mad or upset with a situation. Your team can make patients mad or the patients can misunderstand and perceive something wrong. Patients who are mad or upset won’t pay. And when you initiate the collection procedure against the angry patient it gets them even more upset! So what can you do? Well, Sandy lets us know that when you deal with people it’s important to have really good people skills. Something we need to keep in mind is to communicate and acknowledge the patient and what they are saying.
Sandy goes much further into detail on how we can handle upset patients who don’t want to pay and she gives us a script on what to say to find a patient's problem that will get them to pay!
Overall, when it comes to excelling at customer service, we need to build more and better relationships with our patients. Remember that our patients have a choice, they can either choose to continue to come to you, or move on at any moment. They can get their teeth cleaned and get turned off so fast or be highly impressed to the point they want to bring everyone they know to you. That’s the difference between average and exceptional customer service.
In this episode Sandy tells us 10 strategies we need to be thinking about weekly, if not daily, to make sure we are providing exceptional customer service. There's 1.6 million people changing dentists…every month! Make sure you are one of the dentists that patients love and feel acknowledged and valued at. That is something you will notice fast about the first two strategies, how acknowledging your patient is crucial.
Listen to this episode and make sure you write down the 10 strategies somewhere visible, where your team can see it so they can use it as a checklist or reminder to apply these strategies daily.
If you’ve followed a recipe before, then you’ve followed a system. In this episode Sandy gives you the recipes to make sure you have a successful practice BEFORE you open your doors to the public. There are about 42 systems every single practice needs to have in place and Sandy discusses and dives deeper into each of them.
Now just having these systems is not enough, Sandy discusses how being consistent with them is crucial for success. Consistent action gives you predictability. These are the systems that her 2 million dollar solo practice’s implement and practice consistently. She discusses the systems we tend to leave out and the systems we make major mistakes on as well.
When does a day need to be saved?
When you’re not meeting your daily goals (which you should set daily goals). You can determine if you’re reaching your goal or not by mid-day. If you notice around the middle of the day, that you are behind or REAL far behind with your daily goals, then this episode will help you to apply strategies to reach those goals!
Sandy lets us know how there are so many missed opportunities because we are not looking or listening. Therefore she gives us 5 specific opportunities we need to look for (which you WILL find during the day) that will push you and your team through the finish line! From this point on, there shouldn’t be a reason for your team to not reach their daily goals.
In this episode we take on questions that you (our listeners) have for us!
We answer these specific questions:
"I have a couple questions about 'The 4 Departments Every Front Office Needs.' When you say 1-18 people one person can run the front and then 19 you would have 2 people and then 32 you would have 3, does this include the office manager or would that be in addition to the OM? We have 4 days a week with 1 doctor and 2 full time hygienists and we have 1 day with 2 doctors and 2 full time hygienists. I have another question. I know you talk about checklists to hold people accountable. Do you recommend every person on the team have their own checklist?"
"What is the best way to prevent hygiene no shows?"
Is your A/R out of order?! Have you ever overcharged a patient for treatment, perhaps their insurance company covered for more than what was initially stated, so now your patient has credit? What do you do with that credit? Some practices let that credit accumulate. Some may even feel like they can keep it. You can’t and Sandy let’s us know why.
This is a hidden topic that not many practice owners talk about, but exists and can really set you back if you are not careful. Therefore it must be addressed! This is especially helpful if you are looking to buy or acquire a practice. Make sure you check the A/R reports and see if there are any patient credits.
In this episode Sandy gives us a system on how to minimize patient refunds. She also lets us know how to slowly start chipping away at it (if we have accumulated a large sum of patient credit). We discuss the script you must tell the patient, how to handle these situations, and who to let know in the practice and who should NOT be aware in your team.
Confirming patients for their appointment is one of the most important things your front office can do. It’s not an afterthought and it’s definitely not something you just call and wing. You need a recipe for this. Systems are a recipe.
When it comes to patient confirmations, it’s all about having good control.You need to decide how protocols should be approached and then analyze and see that your protocol/ system is producing the best results. So this leads to the ultimate question: is your confirmation process producing the best results?
In this episode Sandy breaks down this process and creates a system for us that has 7 main points, so this is going to be an episode where you really want to take notes! She also lets us know some bonus points and verbage we need to have when writing confirmations, texting confirmations, and calling for confirmations.
The hardest part of practice ownership is the relationships, the people in our practice. In this episode Sandy helps us to understand and know how we can master these relationships.
There’s a few basic steps that most practice owners and people in general tend to overlook. One of the first steps is to hire the right people, acknowledge our employees when they do something good, recognize when things are not going well, and then learn to quickly handle the situation by confronting the person. This is just part of one step!
This means that systems and protocols must be in place, in order to handle and create better relationships with people in your practice. We dive into more of this in this episode and reveal more steps with detail and instructions on how to implement them.
Sometimes new practice owners want to outsource insurance verification, billing, phones, and more… but is it really necessary?
In this episode Sandy Pardue lets us know the exact math and patients you must have in order to officially outsource or become more efficient in your practice. First, every single practice owner needs to know their overhead and understand that your “team” overhead is your largest percentage. Most practices get in trouble when they overpay their people/ team. This could happen due to outsourcing inappropriately.
We discuss the only absolute times you MUST outsource, what would be ridiculous to outsource, and what needs to always stay in-house and how to make it all happen.
What if you are extremely fed up with an employee and you’re thinking “that’s it! I’m going to fire this person”. How should you do it? When is the best time and day to do this? Who should be there? What should you say?
In this episode Sandy breaks down the important steps you need to take before, during, and after firing an individual in your team who just isn’t performing the way you need them to. Something you MUST understand is that the individual you are intending to fire should NEVER be shocked or surprised that they are being let go. Sandy dives deeper on this and explains how “write-ups” prime you to fire someone which becomes easier to do in the long run.
We discuss specific examples and talk about tools you can utilize to help you with all of this.
If you’re not feeling the effects of inflation now, you will be in a couple of months! Save this episode because it will teach you how to “inflation proof” your practice!
Sandy Pardue lets us know about 10 specific steps we need to take in order to get lean and mean and control our practice through anything. The first step is: KNOW WHERE YOU ARE. You need to be hungry for your overhead percentage numbers at the beginning of the month, don’t just leave them to your accountant/ bookkeeper. Knowing your numbers are statistics in your practice, and statistics are meant for you to know where to make adjustments.
Listen in to hear the next steps and how to immediately implement them into your practice.
The reason most treatment plans fail is because we ignore objections
In this episode Sandy breaks down for us the 7 most common objections patients will give you and your team for not accepting treatment or going with treatment right away.
We figure out the psychology and thinking behind these objections and she lets us know the proper steps to take and what to say to overcome every single one of these objections.
If you have had bad experiences with bonuses, that's probably because you or whoever implemented it, has put in the wrong type of bonuses for your team.
In this episode Sandy lets us know the best kind of bonus you can implement for your team and your hygienist. She breaks down where you are going to find the money for appropriate bonuses, the percentages, the one to implement first, how to divide it amongst your team, and to keep your team motivated.
We also discuss what you can do to "penalize" that one team member who probably would abuse a team bonus.
Does this sound familiar:
“We’ve had a lot of cancellations and I don’t want to pay my hygienist during down time”
Some of you may lean towards doing this. In fact, the hygienist may HATE this so your hygienist has to look or act busy so you won't deduct their pay.
Do NOT do this anymore! Your hygienist AND you (the practice owner) deserve a full schedule always.
In this episode Sandy Pardue tells us exactly how to do this. Remember, hygienists want to see patients and they want a full schedule! It’s the practice that doesn’t put enough pressure, enough urgency, on the front office to fill that schedule.
Are you wasting your marketing dollars? Let’s face it, you are if you are either missing phone calls or letting new patient opportunities go through the phone.
In this episode Sandy lets you know exactly what barriers are coming up when it comes to answering the phone when a new patient calls and how we can break these barriers. She gives us 6 steps on how every single phone call should go. We also discuss what to say if someone asks “do you take my insurance” and what we should NOT be saying.
Sandy also gives us a bonus step towards the end!
Cross training can be beneficial… but only for a short, and we mean a very short period of time. There are about 6 major cons that cross training will produce in your practice. However, if you MUST cross train an employee than there are about 4 pros to cross training.
Sandy breaks down each individual pros and cons and the consequences that this can lead up to. We also clarify how some of this information HIGHLY depends on the stage of your practice (are you JUST starting out, open for many years, etc).
We also discuss what to do if an employee is sick and someone needs to fill in for her position but just for a couple of days.