“It’s the little details that are vital.
Little things make big things happen.” ~John Wooden
It’s the little details, the little things that can make the biggest impact on your practice growth and the happiness of your team. Best of all, the little things (ideas) that I am sharing today are FREE or very low-cost and most only require seconds of your time.
Here is a list of 30 little things you can do starting today to greatly improve your office and in turn your personal life too!
- Hello, Good Morning! – Make it a point to greet your fellow team members’ every morning. Let people know that you see them and acknowledge them with a hello.
- Smile More – Smiles are contagious. Smile before you pick up the phone, smile to passersby, smile to your teammates, and smile in the mirror. Smiling will boost your mood, put people at ease, and makes you more likable.
- Say My Name – Everyone likes to hear his or her name. Greet your patient’s by name. Use their name during treatment. Thank them by name for coming in or calling.
- Thank you – Express your appreciation. Saying thank you improves your office, your health, and the patient’s experience.
- Choose to be Positive – Your attitude is a choice and that choice is 100% within your control. Avoid spreading negativity by sharing bad patient experiences, personal problems, or problems with other team members. Choose to be happy and positive.
- Be Kind – Be kind to your patients, strangers, sales reps, and callers.
- I’m Sorry – Accept responsibility when you are wrong. Be honest; simply say “I’m sorry I/We messed up”. (Tip: Keep small ($5) gift cards for coffee to give to your patients when you’ve messed up, i.e. running late, lab case mistake, appt. mix up, etc.)
- Friendly Greeting – Warmly greet every person that visits the office. Even if you’re on the phone or taking care of a patient, you can acknowledge the other person with a smile.
- Say Please – Make it a habit to say please every time you ask for something.
- Offer a Proper Handshake- A nice, firm handshake shows confidence and makes a good impression. (Tip: When a new patient comes into the office, come from around the desk and welcome them with a handshake.)
- Check it Twice – Before you send that email, letter, or text, check it for spelling errors.
- Social Media Sites – If your office is using social media sites be sure to like and follow the pages of local businesses within your community. Click the LIKE button or comment on their posts. This is an easy way to build relationships.
- No Cell Phones – Turn down the volume and put your cell phone away while you’re on the clock. Ask your family and friends to call the office line in the event of an emergency. Be fully present during work hours.
- Write it Down- Start and end your day with to-do lists. Write a note or set an electronic reminder to check on that claim, call your patient, check voice mail, etc. Writing things down prevents you from forgetting things that are important. (Tip: Avoid placing sticky notes around your workstation. Clutter is chaos to the patient. Place reminders in a notebook that you frequently refer to or set electronic reminders.)
- Commendation – Commend a fellow team member when you catch them doing something “right”. Commendation boosts morale. (Tip: Commend & reward the behavior and actions that you want to see more of.)
- Business Cards – Carry your business cards with you and use them! Get your team personalized business cards to hand out to patients and people they do business with. (Tip: Use the back of the business card with a call to action invitation.)
- Stay on Time – If you’re often running behind schedule, investigate as to the reason(s) why. If you know the why… change whatever it is causing you to stray from the schedule. Running behind schedule sends a message to your patients and your team that you don’t respect their time. Arriving at the office with plenty of time before the first scheduled patient, expecting your patients to arrive on time, never wait on hygiene exams, calculate the actual amount of time it takes to do procedures, control the schedules, these things will help you stay on time.
- Patient of the Day! – Select a patient from the day’s schedule to be your “patient of the day”. Give them a certificate, a small gift and take their picture to share on your social media sites. This is a fun and inexpensive way to exceed your patients’ expectations. SEE Dental Patient of the Day Ideas
- Post-Op Calls – Doctors and Hygienists, call your patients at the end of the day to see how well they are doing. (Tip: Call all patients that received an extraction, perio treatment, difficult procedure, were fearful or new to the office.)
- Pre-Op Calls – Doctors and Hygienists start building your relationship with a new patient before they step foot in the practice. Call and give a warm welcome, let them know you are looking forward to meeting them at their appointment. It’s unexpected, takes only a few minutes and will really make your new patient feel special.
- Send a Card – In this electronic age, rarely do people get “real” mail. Send hand-written thank you, get well, thinking of you, anniversary, sympathy, and congratulations cards to your patients. They will truly appreciate it! (Tip: Keep a supply of cards on hand in the office.)
- Everybody Clean Up – Pick up the piece of paper from the floor, dust off the plants, keep your workspace and the restroom clean. SEE Clean Your Dental Office
- Replace the roll of Toilet Paper – Even if there are still a few squares left to spare, replace with a fresh roll. While you’re at, go ahead and fold the toilet paper into a pretty fan.
- Huddle Up – The morning meeting is essential for a successful day. If you tried in the past to have a morning huddle and it didn’t work out… try again! However, this time, please follow these tried and true suggestions & tips for morning meeting success.
- Negative Gossip – Refuse to listen to gossip and stop speaking & spreading gossip. Simple. As. That.
- Dress the Part – If you want it to be a great day, start by looking great. Wear clothes that reflect the excellent care you give your patients. This means wearing professional, clean and wrinkle-free clothes. Also, your hair and body should be clean and odor-free. (Yes, I went there.)
- Verbiage Matters – Use these words often: Absolutely, I’ll be happy to, My pleasure, You are very welcome, Certainly, and Right away.
- Acknowledge and Reward Referrals – For every patient you must have a referral source, how else will you be able to track what marketing works and what doesn’t? Especially if you want more referrals from your current patients, then reward the behavior that you want to see more of. Acknowledge and Reward your referrals.
- Answer the office Phone – This one is KEY to your success. All of your marketing efforts lead people to the phone first. Answer the office phone during the times when patients and new patients are most likely to call. This includes lunch hours. SEE How to Effectively Answer The Dental Office Phone
- Memorable Goodbyes – Make a great last impression with a friendly goodbye…be sure to use the patient’s name.
“I try to do the right thing at the right time. They may just be little things, but usually, they make the difference between winning and losing.”
Do the right thing, as a team work together to implement these little things in your office every day. Print this list and review it at your next team meeting. Enjoy practice growth with a happier team and happy patients.
Looking for even more ideas? Check out my articles Ten Ways to Stay in Touch with your Dental Patients and How to Attract and Cultivate Loyal Dental Patients
If you would like help implementing these or other ideas into your practice and daily life, contact me at email@example.com to learn more about my coaching services.
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Yours for Greater Success!