Welcome to the Dentist's Office

Welcome to the Dental Office blog. On this site we will share information on how we conquer the real-world challenges that we each face in our pursuit of running high-quality, successful, profitable and harmonious dental offices.

The Dental Blog invites you to share your knowledge, successes, failures and crazy stories with fellow dental professionals. Sharing our combined knowledge, we can each create our own unique dream practices.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Retention is the key to long term success

Most dental offices are very aware of how many new patients they acquire each month BUT most dental offices do not know how many patients they LOSE each month. When doing consulting for many dental offices I often found that offices with good new patient acquisition numbers often had a NET NEGATIVE patient flow!

Can you imagine paying large number of dollars in marketing to acquire new patients only to be losing patient base size each month? It happens all the time and the offices are blissfully unaware basking in the high number of new patient data – not realizing that they are actually shrinking in size.

The least expensive patient to acquire is the ones you already have. Let me say that another way – the most important part of the growth plan for your practice must be to keep your current patient base satisfied and STAYING with you.

Keeping patients happy is inexpensive and the easiest to accomplish practice growth thing you can do for your office. I know offices that spend over $10,000 a month on new patient marketing and don’t spend $1 or one minute on maintaining their current patients – a bad strategy and bad math.

A focus on current customer satisfaction is the key and most important step in growing and maintaining your practice size. Read other articles on this and other websites about customer satisfaction ideas and start implementing right away.
Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Education Systems

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Would You Choose Your Office For Dental Treatment For Yourself?

One of the hardest and most revealing questions I often pose to owners of dental offices is, “would you choose your office for dental treatment” if you were just a regular person shopping for the best office in town? In other words, “are you the best office” in your area? If you can take the emotions out of the question, the answer to the question is quite revealing about what steps you need to take to improve your office.

When people are looking for a new dental office they want to choose the best possible office for their family’s needs. What constitutes ‘best’ is often subjective. We can look at the quality of the dental work, pricing, office facility, staff quality, friendliness of the office, ability to offer financing, location of the office, hours of operation, services offered…. the list of qualities to measure is quite extensive and subjective.

But ask yourself… how do you measure up to your competition in some of these metrics? Is my staff as welcoming as they could be? Are my hours of availability patient friendly? Does my office look clean, modern and what a patient would expect to see in a quality dental office? Does my staff make navigating insurance and financing easy? Are we offering the most up-to-date treatment care? Be honest in your evaluation!

A while back a friend of mine asked me to honestly evaluate his office. I came in as a pretend patient and went through a cleaning procedure. I took mental notes and wrote a ‘to do’ list for my friend afterwards. The list had a lot of action items… many of these items he agreed with and he fixed immediately. Other items he did not think needed adjustment and he made no changes. He said over the next six months he saw a 50% increase in new patient traffic without any additional marketing. The improvements that he made gave his current patients the confidence they needed to refer their friends to his office.

I suggest, at minimum, you take a personal survey of your practice from soup to nuts. Better yet, I suggest you have a dental friend make a list for you of areas they think you could improve. Then put your ego down, evaluate the suggestions, and make improvements to your office. The benefits will be staggering!
Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Education Systems

Friday, June 20, 2014

Professional does not mean No Personality

I agree that all dental professionals should 'act professionally' but some dentists confuse that with acting in a sterile or cold manner. Our patients are more comfortable in our offices when we act like ourselves and show our personality.

This does not mean you run around acting like you would on a weekend away in Las Vegas but it means you should let your humor and caring nature come alive in your practice. You do not need to act cold and dead panned for your patients to take you seriously as a dental professional.

A survey of patients showed that one of the top reasons patients chose their dentist was their connection to them. They stated that they liked their dentist's personality and that of the staff. The survey also said that the lighter the mood of the office the less phobia patients experienced.

You and your patients will be more happy when you relax, be yourself and let your personality come out in your practice.

Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Education Systems

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

School Fairs and Local Events

I LOVE doing school fairs, city events and participating in all the local happenings in my community. We buy booths, hand out tooth brushes, healthy candy and all kinds of fun things that people actually like. We educate, we participate we are part of our community.

I know a lot of offices that don’t participate in these types of community events because they do not see a direct path to a revenue source. They do not see where the short term ROI on investment is going to come from.

Yes – events cost money. You spend to sponsor the booth, you hand out free items and you might even need to pay your staff for their participation. All this takes time, money and planning. If you are looking for a short term boost in revenue this would not be your promotional vehicle. These community participations are about LONG TERM office building. You are making an investment into the community and building your reputation as a member of the greater community.

My office was always known for doing all the elementary school hygiene instruction courses and giving out goodies – the local principles would know they could count on our office to be a willing participant. We could be counted to participate in every street fair, park event, local race, just about any event that had booths or needed volunteers. We were physically a present member of our community.

Over time, we became known as the ‘dental office’ of our community. People thought of US first because we were a friend to them over the years. So my advice, you can’t participate enough in your community events – do them all. They are fun and over time you will become the dentist of your community – that is amazing long-term ROI.
Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Education Systems

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Integrating New Staff Members Into Established Offices

One of the often overlooked elements of hiring new staff members is integrating them into the social aspects of the dental office. This issue is even more challenging in more established offices where many of the team members have been working together for years.

We are aware of the need to show the new staff member how the office operates and specifically how to successfully fulfil their new duties in the office. Emphasis is placed on the technical aspects of their job and we can quickly bring qualified staff members up to speed – so they can successfully work with patients and contribute to the office’s mission.

While we might think that once a new team member is trained and able to perform their assigned duties in the office well that our job is completed in the integration of the new team member – this would be not be true. We often forget that the dental office is also a cluster of people working in close quarters and that when staff members feel out of the social mix they often are unhappy in their work – and this will eventually show in their work.

It is important that we take active steps to integrate the new staff member in the social flow of the office. I suggest setting up lunches with the new staff member and the existing team members. Let the team get to know the new hire as a person. Also make sure that you speak to the entire team about the importance of making the new hire feel welcome.

While friendships and community usually develop organically between team members, it is important to be aware that this process is occurring as it should. In older offices where staff have been together for sometimes decades, new hires often find it difficult to break into the social flow. In cases of more established offices, go out of your way to make sure to go out of your way to encourage the staff to invite the new hires into their ‘club’.

For an office to truly be healthy, it takes a cohesive and respectful community of professionals working together. Part of this community is that each member feels fully included.
Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Education Systems