Nothing I’m going to say here you don’t know: if someone makes an enquiry to your dental practice you obviously want to follow up on it quickly. Hot leads convert, cold leads divert. And in the Covid era getting to them hot is harder than ever because of Covid protocols. Perhaps your receptionist has to answer the phone to incoming patients, ask them to wait in their car, then phone them back to tell them when they can enter. That takes up time, so there’s less time for dealing with inbound calls. Some calls will be missed and some web enquirers won’t get a call back for two days or more.
Loads of practices are falling down on this bread and butter stuff, which is a crime because demand is very healthy for private dentistry. We are seeing dental teams with their basics in order doing very well. They are growing their revenues beyond pre-Covid levels because they can respond quickly to enquiries, usually because they have at least one dedicated treatment coordinator. The other thing they are good at is basic performance reporting, which always follows on from engagement in the process of reporting (not so popular in dentistry).
A team that isn’t engaged in performance reporting, by which I mean tracking response rates, missed call rates, conversions, cost per lead and other metrics concerning the patient journey, will always do a bad job because there is no atmosphere of positivity. Marketing isn’t rocket science, it’s straightforward, and actually it’s thrilling when it works because you see the closest thing on Earth to a money printing machine. It’s exciting for team members to be part of the magic, and they enjoy being accountable and receiving recognition for raising the business up a gear, and maybe getting a raise themselves. Who wouldn’t? But to have any hope of doing all of this they have to feel engaged, and that’s your responsibility as their boss. There are no bad teams, just bad leaders.
Some practice owners have told me they convert 90% of the people they see to treatment, but this is not hard data. They don’t know — they can’t know – how many enquiries their team is dropping. But if their team was engaged in reporting, everyone would feel accountable. There would be a desire to improve the business at every level, which is a positive experience for team members as they take extreme ownership and you get to unleash the power of decentralised command. This is a different species of business culture that will pay for your retirement..
The alternative is something we’ve all seen and probably been part of at least once in our working lives: a team that’s not engaged, and which spirals quickly into negative criticism, so that the vision from the top never works. The chink here is often in team performance, and usually it’s compounded because they’re stretched, which will invariably be their excuse for poor outcomes, but that is a symptom and not a cause. The cause is they haven’t got a clear definition of priorities or a sense of investment in the project. They don’t care. That’s not their problem, it’s yours.
There’s so much low hanging fruit out there. So get your sales processes in shape and the next time your brand is in the right place at the right time (more on this next time) you will do very well. Give us a call if you need support on upgrading your performance reporting and staff engagement or to request a marketing audit.