By Roger P. Levin, DDS
What makes parents agree to bring their child to your office for ortho treatment? Your clinical skill? Not necessarily.
In fact, parents expect excellent clinical quality no matter where they go. Consequently, they aren’t shopping for what they consider to be the best orthodontist. As disappointing as it may sound, parents are increasingly shopping around for the best deal.
The recession and an uninspiring recovery have permanently changed how parents spent their money. The truth is that they are often scheduling an initial consultation appointment in your office at the same time they are visiting other ortho practices.
To discourage ortho shopping:
1. Your team needs to build value for ortho treatment in your office
More than ever before, parents are shopping around for an ortho practice. When your front desk team builds value for the orthodontist and the practice, patients/parents are more likely to schedule an appointment and accept recommended treatment. It is critical to give your team the verbal skills they need to impress potential patients/parents.
Should front desk staff members sound bored or rushed on the phone, callers sense that they are not the practice’s top priority. That should never happen.
The first phone call to the practice should be regarded as a major opportunity for the practice. Team members should begin building value as soon as they answer the phone. Script a warm greeting to put first-time callers at ease. In addition, asking questions about the patient’s background is crucial to building a strong relationship.
2. You must schedule both new patient consults and appointments within seven days
Motivated parents do not stay motivated for long. New patients should be seen for consultation within seven days after contacting the office. Once treatment is accepted, patients should also be scheduled within seven days. This should occur without exception to maintain a steady flow of new patients in the practice. If parents or patients have to wait a long time for treatment to begin, many lose motivation, postpone treatment, or start to think about fees and decide to shop around at other ortho practices.
You can turn ortho shoppers into ortho starts. These two strategies will make it happen.
To learn how to run a more profitable, efficient and satisfying practice, visit the Levin Group Resource Center at www.levingroup.com/ortho—a free online resource with tips, videos and other valuable information. You can also connect with Levin Group on Facebook and Twitter (@Levin_Group) to learn strategies and share ideas.
Dr. Roger Levin is a third-generation dentist and the Chairman and CEO of Levin Group, Inc., the largest dental practice management and marketing firm in the United States. As a leading authority on orthodontic practice management and marketing, he has developed the scientific systems-based consulting method that will increase ortho practice production and profitability, while lowering stress.
Dr. Levin has authored more than 65 books and over 3,200 articles. He presents 100 seminars worldwide each year.