How to GROWTH HACK your dental practice. How to guarantee your practice grows in 2014.
How to GROWTH HACK your dental practice. How to guarantee your practice grows in 2014. 1. How to get all the new patients you need 2. How to do more specialty procedures like implants & braces 3. How to gain acceptance of more comprehensive treatment plans 4. How to get more treatment plans fully paid 5. How to produce more dentistry today 6. How to stop losing patients & get them coming back for recare 7. How to get more patient referrals 8. How to manage your costs 9. How to manage & engage your team 10. How to track & measure progress & growth
Growth Hacking? Growth hacking is measurably impacting the power points of your business to boost profits & grow your business fast. It relies on actionable and measurable results.
What are the blocks to practice growth? 1. Lack of enough new patients 2. Lack of enough specialty procedures like implants & braces 3. Not enough acceptance of comprehensive options 4. Not enough saying yes to treatment plans and paying 5. Not enough dentistry produced per day 6. Losing patients - not coming back for recare appointments 7. Not enough patient referrals 8. High costs & overhead 9. Team unclear and unable to cope 10. Unable to keep track of all the things in the clinic - chaos
YOU ARE HERE NOW: CHAOS, FRUSTRATION, RUNNING FAST, OVERWHELM.
The solution is a systematic attack on the 10 impact areas of your practice. By measurably improving your output the compounding effect will create a dramatically more thriving practice.
To grow we must first know what our target is & to close the loop. What is the goal? The goal is for EACH PATIENT to satisfy these 6 dimensions: By ensuring each patient hits these 6 dimensions you can ensure you have a happy and successful practice. The key to growth is to ensure more patients hit these 6 dimensions every single day. That's it.
1. Happy 2. Healthy 3. Paid in Full 4. Completes treatment 5. Attends Recare 6. Refers friends & family
This means you must make them happy with the experience & results of everything they received. This means you must make them healthy, this means whatever treatment they receive must work and last and be comfortable. This means they should know and understand and accept exactly how much they need to pay and have the options to be able to pay in full for treatment they accept. This means they must see, understand and recognise the consequences of no treatment and have a simple option to say yes to & schedule - They must want to complete the treatment that is recommended for them. This means they must understand the value of a healthy mouth and the consequence of not coming and they must feel rewarded & incentivised to come back. They must want to come back for recare & hygiene visits. This means they must feel like they want to recommend their friends and family to come and see you and they must be given the simple tools and the opportunity to do so. As well as receiving unexpected thank you's / recognition that encourages them to refer more. You need to have systems in place which ensure all these items take place every time. Dentistry is complex and without ensuring each and every time there is a system in place things will get missed. The 10 impact areas of your practice that we teach places systems in place to ensure that each and every time the 6 dimensions are reached.
How to get all the new patients you need To get new patients you need 3 things: 1. Traffic (attention) 2. Compelling Offer (create desire) 3. Phone conversion - (convert desire to action) By improving all 3 of these you can get more new patients; Traffic Retail Traffic outdoor Local Traffic outdoor Website - organic search Website - paid search PR & Articles - local media Facebook/Twitter/Youtube - social media Local networking - business cards All of these are channels through which people can hear about you. By having materials in all of these areas every day you have 7 doors that new patients can potentially walk through. The more open doors you have (there are more than these) the more patients you can attract - it is really that simple. Compelling Offer examples Buy this & get this FREE 50% off Unique offering Free Guide to All of these are ways to encourage the person in the traffic channel to want to hear more from you. At the end of the day you have to articulate a compelling benefit for the person who is enquiring to you to make them want to get more from you. They must feel that you can solve their problem better than anyone else can and they must feel you will make their life better. There is seldom a traffic problem, there is mostly offer construction problems and the key to presenting a good offer is to know EXACTLY what they want. E.g if marketing to mums with young children, a babysitter voucher offer or a free daycare pass with treatment purchased could be a compelling benefit for them as the only thing stopping them visiting you could be safe childcare. This is why you need to know who your target customer is. Phone Conversion How many calls Where from Effectiveness in converting to appointments. Each patient could be worth ÂŁ1000 - ÂŁ3000 to you if you factor in referrals and treatment acceptance over time, so every single new person that enquires should be encouraged to become a patient. This means your team need to be trained in how to convert calls into appointments, they need to be supported in this and they need to want to do this. You also need to know this is happening every single time. Without this happening you are wasting all your marketing money. By improving all 3 of these you can significantly boost the number of new patients you have.
How to do more specialty procedures like implants & braces There are 2 sources of patients to do more specialty procedures: i) Your current patients ii) Targeted new patients For someone to purchase your solution they must 1. Recognise they have the problem 2. Be motivated to solve the problem 3. Recognise you are an expert in solving the problem 4. Recognise that you are the best possible solution for their unique problem. 5. Be able to start in an easy way as soon as they are ready. So my question is... a) Do all patients with a missing tooth or crooked teeth understand that there is a potential problem? b) Do they understand the consequences of the problem worsening? c) Do they recognise and understand you are an expert in solving the problem? d) Do they understand the value of the exact solution & package you have for them? e) Do they have the ability to start in a low friction way whenever they want? Step 1 - make sure there is a system in place to implement steps 1-5 Step 2- make sure there is a system in place to implement steps a) - e) Then in addition to this put in place a system for Traffic, Offer & Phone conversion specifically targeted to people seeking solutions regarding missing teeth & crooked teeth. By implementing these 2 combinations of systems you can greatly increase number of specialty procedures you do.
How to gain acceptance of more comprehensive treatment plans If you never present it. You cannot do it. You must also know how to communicate in a non-confrontational manner. The same information holds true here: For someone to purchase your solution they must 1. Recognise they have the problem 2. Be motivated to solve the problem 3. Recognise you are an expert in solving the problem 4. Recognise that you are the best possible solution for their unique problem. 5. Be able to start in an easy way as soon as they are ready. You must have an engaging and visual way to firstly understand what the patient wants, and to be able to understand any problems or symptoms they may have but be unaware of. They must feel understood and not pressured. You must have a nonconfrontational way for assessing them, demonstrating to them what you see, what it means to them and recording this information for future reference. People will do whatever they are ready for and that they see the value in so your job is to systematically communicate the benefits & reality of what they have and to give them an easy option to say yes to whenever they are ready. By tracking and recording the information and by talking with them about their timelines, budgets and priorities people can then be free to accept comprehensive treatment over the timeline that suits them, it could be over a week or it could be over 4 years but if they complete the treatment you keep the revenue as opposed to them going elsewhere. Have a visual explanatory system in place, have a tracker in place and create really compelling patient education materials. Through improving this you can increase the amount of comprehensive dentistry you have accepted.
How to get more treatment plans fully paid To get the treatment plan accepted and fully paid the patient must be clearly aware of the financial options and payment plans open to them. They should have easy ways to fit the treatment cost into their current budget and have a simple way to spread costs if needed. If they also see an incentive to completing the treatment plan then they are more likely to do so. Remember your goal is to get someone that is completing treatment & happy. So use all opportunities to improve the relationship. This is a customer for life, treat them that way. 1. Happy 2. Healthy 3. Paid in Full 4. Completes treatment 5. Attends Recare 6. Refers friends & family By having finance sheets and scripts ready along with examples of payment amounts you can greatly increase the speed of the patients decision making. If they can see how they can do it easily they will go ahead, if they can't then they will be confused and not buy, and they may not even return if it was a confusing and pressured experience. Ensure you have a friendly and simple system for presentation and acceptance.
How to produce more dentistry today Never underestimate the power of now. Now more than ever we are all time poor and busy people like the opportunity to complete treatment fast. If you have painless options and you have an organised room and standardised procedures then you could always offer people the option to do the treatment TODAY. The simple question asked - "Would you like to complete this today?" can yield a multitude of procedures completed, making it more convenient for the patient. Simple small composites can be done rapidly as can impressions for whitening trays, biteguards and other zero time procedures. By increasing the number of zero time procedures completed on the same day or increasing the amount of quadrant dentistry done you can boost your daily production significantly. The key is having a system to present the same day option every time & having the capacity in a spare dental nurse / room to cope with overflow, The increase in daily sales and production will more than pay for the extra dental nurse. The team if incentivised on the amount of daily dentistry performed can be even more motivated.
How to stop losing patients & get them coming back for recare Why does a patient not come back? 1. Bad experience never wants to return. 2. Thinks they can't afford you. 3. Doesn't think they need to come back & doesn't recognise the need for you. 4. Forgets & is never reminded. 5. Too busy to see you, you're not convenient. 6. Scared of coming - they like you but are scared. You need to have systems in place to ensure none of the 6 items above happens and a feedback loop to check on the patient after every appointment that could potentially affect any of the 6 points that could break the customer journey. By ensuring you only see people who are a good fit with what you can deliver & by being clear and transparent about costs / results you can avoid bad experiences. By having monthly payment options & staged treatment plans you can address budget concerns. By ensuring the patient is educated and engaged in their dental health needs and ensuring they can see the benefits of continuing to see you they will come back. By keeping good communication with the patient with your recall systems you can ensure they don't forget. By having convenient hours you can keep your customer loyal, they want to see you help, them fit you in. By ensuring a transparent and friendly customer experience & having painless treatment options they can overcome any fears they have, It really is about having systems that prevent and overcome these blocks and simply ensuring each patient is scheduled for their next appointment every time they finish an appointment with you.
How to get more patient referrals Why does a patient refer one of their friends or family? 1. They had a great experience with you. 2. They recognise their friend / family has a problem that you are great at solving. 3. They have an easy tool / way to introduce their friend/family to you in a non-pushy way. So the first step is to ensure point 1 is always correct. That ties into the points talked about above and then also having a system to keep in touch with patients even after the sale to appreciate them, thank them with personal notes and unexpected gifts. This helps them feel appreciated and makes them more loyal. Then by also educating the patient about the way you can solve problems and by having information that is easily available such as a recorded message or guide or business card it can ensure a simple way to share how you can help their friend / family member. The main aspect to this is to have a communication calendar to keep in touch with your patients with the right information and timely appreciation messages to keep them ready & wanting to recognise and refer whenever the opportunity arises.
How to manage your costs There are 2 types of costs in dentistry - fixed costs & variable costs. The key is to track and monitor your expenditure in each and to ensure you are getting the very best value that you can. A great way to keep on top of these costs is to use a cloud based bookkeeping and categorising software that can automatically track and monitor your expenses as well as provide you with detailed reports. The ideal would be then to produce monthly management accounts to track this. Software such as Xero ensures you can keep in touch with your costs even from your mobile phone. Don't forget to systematically 2 times a year look to renegotiate contracts and expenses to ensure you are getting the very best value possible. All businesses want loyal customers and generally have incentives for them. Remember Profit = Income less expenses so any expenses saved are straight to profit.
How to manage & engage your team Your team is one of the biggest investments you make and you have a service business so it is all about delivering the very best experience to your customers. To grow your practice you need to transform it into a team led practice, this is a practice where team members have clear roles and are tracked on their impact, there are clear systems and protocols so people know what to do and how to do it every time. There also needs to be quality control systems in place to ensure tasks are completed and the team need to feel included and engaged in the business. Financial incentives are part of the solution but are nothing without genuine teamwork, having roles that fit their strengths and having clear progress and impact tracking so people can see and measure their contribution. This is why you need impact systems and key numbers that different positions are measured against such as number of new patients, treatment acceptance and profits. Through your team recognising and understanding the game they can be empowered to unleash their creativity and energy to drive the business forward. Without the team being fully on board it will be impossible to grow your business as they will keep the brakes on and firmly in place. So you need systems in place to track and encourage growth of your team members in powerful ways.
How to track & measure progress & growth So the key to growth is having systems in place. A system is nothing more than an agreed upon way of doing things. This can be recorded in a simple checklist and reinforced through training, better still the environment can be designed so that the task can only be done in the right way. As a business is nothing more than a collection of systems we must have indicators that tell us regularly how well the system is doing. One example could be the marketing system, we should be able to tell how much we are spending and how much we are getting back in sales. This is a way to measure success, as through knowing this we can then invest more in the right marketing and improve it further to get even better results. Another system could be the recall system tracking the number of patients that have bought from us in the last 6 months and the number that have not bought for more than 7 months which could indicate the number of inactive patients we have so that we can then ensure our recall system is working or needs improving as needed. If you can measure it you can manage it and you can ensure all the practice impact systems are moving firmly along towards the goal of growing your practice.
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