Every dentist that contacts me basically says the same statement in one form or another, “I want to know how to grow my practice.” Often, the previous advice they’ve gotten revolves around taking more continuing education courses, getting more certifications, or spending more time at the office. At Dynamic Dental Communications, I’ve helped dentists and specialists increase their profits and their fulfillment without telling them to simply “work harder.” Sound too good to be true? In essence, the secret is effective communication, which is largely lacking in many offices without the doctor or staff even realizing it! Here are just a few ways great communication is essential for growing a dental practice.
HELP THE STAFF FEEL VALUED (AND STICK AROUND)
Many dentists run their office like a ship, and they are the captain. They tell everyone from the front desk to the assistants and hygienists in the back exactly what to do, and as long as everyone stays in line, things work well. The only problem is that this approach is exhausting for the doctor and annoying for the staff. These are highly educated professionals who want to help people…they don’t need minute to minute instructions!
One form of effective communication between a doctor and staff is for the doctor to let their staff know what they need, and then let the staff figure out how to meet that need. This saves the doctor from feeling like they have to think of everything, and often, the staff will come up with more efficient solutions on their own, saving everyone time and frustration. A happier staff means more retention, better service for patients, and less time spent hiring, all of which help the bottom line tremendously.
GIVE PATIENTS EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT
Being able to successfully communicate with patients is the foundation of every thriving dental practice. It’s more important than certifications, experience, and whatever alphabet soup comes after a doctor’s name!
Many dentists just ask for a patient’s chief complaint and then immediately perform an exam and recommend treatment. Part of patient communication should involve giving the patient time and space to express everything they need. Other than their tooth hurting, is there anything else they are concerned about? Are they anxious about treatment? Do they have other issues with their oral health? When your patients are able to fully express everything they need, you’ll be able to provide it for them, which will make them more than happy to return and tell friends and family about the fantastic dentist they just visited.
As dentists and caregivers, we’re trained to always think about other people, but taking a little time to communicate with yourself can be invaluable. Some self-reflection might reveal that you don’t like providing a particular service, even though it might be really profitable. Shifting focus to other services you’re actually enthusiastic about will make you more eager to return to work the next day. Do you find yourself getting stressed or tired consistently? What is causing this? By getting to the root of the issue, you can address it, leading to a better experience for yourself, your patients, and your team. When you like and believe in what you do, so will your staff, and your patients will enjoy a more positive and satisfying experience overall, which will inevitably lead to more word-of-mouth recommendations.
HOW TO BRING GREAT COMMUNICATION TO YOUR OFFICE
With my Economics of Great Communication course, I show doctors and their teams how to communicate more effectively amongst each other and withtheir patients, enabling everyone to help themselves, help those around them, and help the practice thrive. You’ll learn the best ways to get your thoughts across to each unique person, how to hear what someone is really saying behind the words they are using, and how to put this type of communication into action that will improve both your personal enjoyment and profits.