When asked to describe the ideal dental auxiliary, we all think about their ability to perform the duties they were hired to do. We also remind ourselves of the importance of their professional appearance, their team attitude, and their passion for being an outstanding caregiver to the patients they serve.
What stands out most in my mind besides the above-mentioned attributes, is the staff members’ ability to communicate in an energetic manner. Dentist employers can’t put a dollar value on outstanding communication skills.
With the first greeting on the telephone, patients and potential patients can tell whether the scheduling coordinator is happy, tired, bored, or enthused about the practice in which she works. Callers can detect the energy level of those within the entire practice.
On a scale of 1-10 with ten being the highest, how does your office rate? This does not mean that every person answering the telephone must sound like a fresh Alka-Seltzer dropped into a glass of water. Quite the contrary! What it does mean is that the tone of voice must be sincere, energetic, friendly, and knowledgeable.
In short: it’s all about energy!
- When patients walk into the reception area of your practice do they know you are in the dental business? Energize your reception area by displaying beautiful artwork of the smiles you hope to create or have already created. There should be no question in the minds of the people who enter (even the mail delivery person) that you are not just another dentist, but THE dentist. This energy walks out of your office and back to work or home with every visitor each day.
- When the dental assistant or hygienist seats their patients daily, do they lumber into the reception area or do they have a spring in their walk and talk? Is this just another day in the life of a burned out professional, or is this the golden opportunity that presents itself one to two dozen times per day to make a sincere difference in the lives of the patients they serve? Are the clinical staff members excited about modern dentistry and what it can do to change the lives of these patients? Have they been trained and trusted to get really involved with the chair-side communication skills? Patients accept treatment plans when the person proposing them is more excited about the end results than they are.
- During the procedures when staff members are alone with the patients, are they encouraged to “talk dentistry” or do they spend 75% of this opportunity chatting socially? In the new roles for the dental team, offices that excel in communication skills spend 75% of their time “talking dentistry” and only 25% talking socially. When this ratio is adhered to, case acceptance increases tremendously.
- Dentists can’t expect their staff to be more excited about dentistry than they are. Pick out the most successful dentists in your community and they all have one thing in common: a passion for what they do and how they do it. They exude confidence to their patients and staff. They see their work as an art form that brings joy and value to those who receive it. The staff gets energy just by being in the same facility with them each day. They continuously upgrade their skills and knowledge by going to seminars and understand that “school is never out for the pro”. They realize that giving back to the well that they drink from is what dentistry and life is all about.
Do your patients and practice a favor and make 2015 the year that you put ENERGY into your lives and daily existence!