Does this sound like you – you just want to do good dentistry, make a good living and go home and enjoy your life.
Is that what you pictured for yourself when you enrolled in dental school?
Hands up if that is the way it turned out? Hmm I guess not everyone is living their dream – why is that? Why is running a dental office more complex than drilling teeth, making enough money and being able to go home and enjoy your life?
Well nearly every dentist I speak to their number one complaint of challenge is dealing with their team.
So what’s going on in our dental office why do the things we try to get out team working better never seem to work?
Problems With The Dental Team
The problem is we are not training our team; we are not equipping them with the skills to do what they need to do. We think if they have two arms, two legs and a pulse then they should be able to do the job.
For example how hard is it to answer the phone and book an appointment – it not hard you pick up the call, speak and book them in. So we throw a young girl into the hot seat tell her that’s what she needs to do and then when she fails to do it you can’t work it out. And blame her for being no good at the job…
But did you show her how to do it, teach her what to say and train her in sales? – no you didn’t!!
So this poor kid gets fired, you lost loads of potential business and you still have no clue as to why you can’t get someone to answer the phone and book appointments.
Training for Success
Well do you think subway just let you come in and say here this is where you make the sandwiches there you go? No way, those kids have to do 8 hours online video training and complete a Q and A sheet before they are let any where near those baguettes and fillings. So why is someone who is making a sandwich getting more training than your team?
And why are you just sticking anyone in the most important sales role in your practice and expecting them to do well when you have set them up to fail?
No wonder your dental office team is dysfunctional and underperforming – you are not giving them the tools they need to win.
Hire, Train and Onboard Them
So if you want to see and implement improvements in your practice and you bottom line you need to change how you hire, train and onboard your team.
Would two hours training someone how to answer your calls properly to close the deal to have that call become a patient in your chair be worth it?
So firstly – you need to recognise and admit the problem is that you need do to training and have everyone on the same page.
Secondly you need to implement and get things done – not just to have an idea.
Onboard and get everyone up to speed within 30 days – have a process to train your team and get them to know what is needed. You can’t just throw them in and say sit here and just pick up the phone when it rings. Well how much is that costing you in lost potential revenue thousands and thousands of dollars!
So invest in training your people so you are ultimately investing in your office.
Do you want to put a new person on your phone with no training when they don’t know what they are doing – how does that look for your brand and how you want your patients to perceive your office.
Comprehensive training will give you the edge – keep training every week, there is always room for improvement. High performance sports teams train every week and have a game plan.
Then you need to evaluate your team and how they are performing and correct mistakes and encourage them to do more of what they are doing well.
You can create an online library so they can revisit it and relearn and then you can use this going forward as your training and onboarding process.
Develop Your Dental Teams Skills
This needs a high level of input from you initially but ongoing you will have a highly trained team that can cross train each other and onboard new staff as you have a system and a plan that they can follow.
Is it fair to moan about and blame your team when you don’t help them develop the skills that they need?
If you want a better team – you need to become a better teacher and empower and support your team to do what the need to do and do it well.
Train them in increments so that they do a bit at time so they can take it in and be successful. We are here to serve our patient and give them the best experience.
You can’t just wing it and hope they will do their job or feel the same way about your dental office as you do.
You need your team to be professional and be their best and give it their all – create a standard so you can train them and get them to go the extra mile.
If you have no protocol or no backbone your team will become dominant and they will be telling you how it will be done– you need to become the alpha of the pack and provide the vision and lead.
You need to be firm but fair, you don’t need to be aggressive but you are also not there to be their friend – love ya like ya but hey this is my business and this is the way we do things here. You can speak softly and still carry a big stick. You can have your team respect and admire you without you having to let them walk all over you.
You can’t compete on price you can win on service but you can only do this if you have a good team. But you need to audit yourself first to see how you are showing up, then look at your numbers and see what they are really telling you and then lead your team to help you implement the changes you need.
Train, train, train, train – make it so your team knows exactly what is needed, how it’s to be delivered and why.
Your can train your team in the skills that they need but if you hire or have a team player with a poor attitude you can never change that. So hire for attitude and train them in the skills that they need.
Just doing enough to not get fired should not be the standard in your office. Your team needs to want to go above and beyond this and only you can inspire and encourage this.
Implement a culture of professionalism and incremental growth – look for ways to improve your service and your teams’ skills.
In service based business the people aspect is key so your team need to be able to be professional and offer exceptional service but if you don’t teach them what that looks like and how to do it then you only have yourself to blame and not your team.
And if you don’t lead by example, have a vision and set the culture and values in your office then your team will never know what rules they need to play by and you will always have an underperforming dysfunctional team that will never allow you to do your dentistry, make enough money and enjoy your life.