How to Achieve Synergy Between the Front and Back Office

Practice Management, Team Building and Clinical Coaching

dental practice synergy

Have you ever thought about how much synergy can improve your dental practice? Maybe you have no idea what dental practice synergy is all about.

Synergy—(sinərjē)—the cooperation or interaction of two or more substances, organizations, or agents that produce a combined effect that is greater than the sum of their parts.

In other words, 1+1=3.

My name is Jennifer Pearce. I am the CEO and founder of Prosperity Dental Solutions, and my passion is to help dental practice owners make the most of all the amazing opportunities available. With almost two decades of dental experience, I know how to make your dental practice successful.

And I can tell you, one of the most often overlooked and misunderstood concepts is that of synergy. I believe a successful dental practice requires a multi-pronged, synergistic approach to improve beyond what each team member offers individually.

Today, I’m going to discuss how your team can truly come together to improve patient satisfaction, profitability, and productivity.

What is dental practice synergy?

When everyone in the front office and back office works together, it creates an outcome that is much greater than the sum of its parts.

So, how does dental practice synergy start?

The first thing you should ask yourself is, how well do all your team members know each other? The second question? How much do they understand their fellow teammates’ roles?

When all your team members know each other and understand the roles others play, it greatly improves synergy. It is tremendously important for everyone to realize how all the moving parts fit together.

After all, even if everyone on the team is working toward the same goals, if they don’t understand the importance of every member, it can be hard to see. And if team members don’t see the importance of other team players, it becomes easy for them to focus on what they do personally while giving little value to others.

To improve synergy in your dental practice, prioritize the following four objectives:

  1. Improve Relationships and Communication in the Team
  2. Understand Your Objective
  3. Encourage Contribution
  4. Make it Fun

Dental Practice Synergy Goal #1: Improve Relationships and Communication in the Team

Make an effort to improve relationship building amongst your team members. This could include any type of team-building activities. Go bowling together, volunteer as a team for a charitable event, or encourage potluck lunches. Anything that gets your team members gathering together while having fun will improve their relationships.

Hold a meeting and offer transparent goals that everyone should strive for. Give each team member a chance to describe their role in achieving those goals. Then, encourage questions, so everyone has the best opportunity to learn more about their colleagues. Allow the discussion to go beyond the workplace so your team can truly get to know each other.

Schedule regular team meetings, giving everyone has a chance to share their opinions and input. Listen and hear each voice, making sure everyone feels like an important member of the team. Encourage discussions about how they can help each other reach their goals.

Dental Practice Synergy Goal #2: Understand Your Objective

Everyone on the team contributes differently within the practice, and sometimes their goals may seem to compete. For instance, one team member may focus only on patient care, while another focuses on budget and expenses.

It’s important for everyone to come together and keep their eye on the prize. Patient satisfaction is a worthy goal, but so is keeping down costs when possible.

Your leadership team should make sure that everyone is aware of your practice’s objectives and goals. These objectives and goals should be crystal clear, reviewed regularly, and communicated frequently.

Dental Practice Synergy Goal #3: Encourage Contribution

Your seasoned, experienced team members have a lot to offer, but sometimes the best ideas come from the newest team member. Make sure everyone knows you value and want their input. Let them know you are always willing to consider new ideas.

And when team members offer input, consider it fully. If you implement a new system or idea, give the team member credit. If you reject an idea, let the team member know why.

It’s important to do everything possible to let everyone feel comfortable about coming forward with their thoughts.

Dental Practice Synergy Goal #5: Make it Fun

Have you ever heard the saying that couples who play together stay together? Well, the same is true with your team members.

If you have a team member who tends to be outgoing, take advantage of that! Enlist her as your CFO—Chief Fun Officer.

Your CFO can create fun games that involve everyone, like trivia or a scavenger hunt. Or maybe build a social corkboard where everyone answers fun facts about themselves. Or your practice could run contests, like who can come up with the best social media post for your Facebook business page. Or maybe even a “Where in the world is Waldo?” contest.

Creative people can turn something as simple as a potluck lunch into a Hawaiian Lua or day at the beach.

The point is, when you have team members who laugh and have fun together, they also appreciate each other. And when they appreciate each other, they work better than the sum of their parts.

That is synergy.

Improve the Synergy in Your Dental Practice

If you are interested in more ways to improve your dental practice profitability and productivity, I would love the chance to speak with you.

Call (817) 975-4576 today to schedule a complimentary call, where we can get to know each other and decide if we have what it takes to work together to achieve your goals!

4 Tips for Getting New Patients in Your Dental Practice

Practice Management, Team Building and Clinical Coaching

getting new patients

Are you interested in getting new patients for your dental practice? Did you know that attracting new patients and retaining the ones you already have requires more than great marketing and excellent dentistry?

No matter how much you market or excel at providing superior oral health care to your patients, increasing new patients and maintaining current ones can be a struggle. Don’t let keeping up with daily operations become an interference with the most important goal—an exceptional patient experience.

You can be organized and deliver top-notch dental treatments, but if you don’t keep patient experience as a top priority, you could not only lose out on new patients but jeopardize the ones you already have.

As the lead prosperity coach, CEO, and founder of Prosperity Dental Solutions, I have over two decades of dentistry experience. My passion is to help dentists create a simplified path to predictable success.

Today I would like to offer 4 tips for improving your patient experience. Implementing each of these will help you attain a full patient schedule:

  1. Properly Train Your Front Office Team
  2. Make Your Practice Unique
  3. Create an Office Culture
  4. Flexible Financing Options

Tip #1 for Getting New Patients: Properly Train Your Front Office Team

Your front office team provides your patients with their first experience of your practice. This includes phone calls and the first time they walk through your door. Moreover, they provide a continuing experience with each phone call and patient visit.

Does your team know how to greet your patients and make them feel welcome? Do they understand the importance of every phone call made to your dental practice? Does everyone understand that the reception and response to new patient calls define your practice?

Attitude, professionalism, and good communication are paramount. Has your front office team received proper training to handle this? Do they know how to convert potential new patients who call with a question into a patient booked for an appointment?

Phone and face-to-face interactions between patients and your front office team leave a lasting impression that can make or break your practice.

Tip #2 for Getting New Patients: Make Your Practice Unique

What does your dental practice offer that other dentists don’t?

Do you know your vision? If not, Prosperity Dental Solutions can help. One of our main goals is to help dentists define their specific goals and dreams when it comes to their unique vision.

Do you have competitive advantages? Specific goals to achieve patient satisfaction? Maybe you offer a specialty service?

When you find a niche in your practice, you attract patients much more effectively than a “one-size-fits-all” mentality.

And once you know your vision and niche, you want to promote and market them consistently. This will set you apart as an authoritative choice and bring you new patients.

Tip #3 for Getting New Patients: Create an Office Culture

Do you realize every detail about your practice plays a role in your office culture? The treatment and care provided, your team attitudes, the physical environment, and even office décor all matter.

Patients interpret your values based on their overall patient experience, including how the team treats them and how your practice runs and looks.

Do the colors in your practice speak what you want to say? When patients call your office or come in for treatment, do they experience organization and timeliness or chaos and long waits? Does your team communicate your values and beliefs to patients with every thought, action, and word?

The first step involves defining your beliefs and values, which requires understanding your unique vision and mission. Next, you need to communicate this important information to your team and make sure they believe in it and understand your expectations.

When everyone works together at conveying your vision and mission to your patients, it increases team building and improves patient experiences. This helps your practice to thrive by boosting productivity, attracting quality staff, bringing in new patients, and keeping current patients coming back.

Tip #4 for Getting New Patients: Flexible Financing Options

Most successful dentists provide their patients with a variety of payment options.

Dental treatments can be expensive, and while patients may understand the need, they may believe they can’t afford it.

For instance, some patients don’t have dental insurance, and they are searching for a membership plan. Do you offer one? How about options for payment plans, such as Care Credit or low-interest payments?

The more options you offer, the more likely you are to hear “yes” to treatment plans.

Do you want to increase profitability and productivity in your dental practice?

If you don’t fully understand your vision, mission, beliefs, and values, or if you are interested in finding a niche, I can help!

Call (817) 975-4576 today to schedule a complimentary phone call with me so we can find out if we have what it takes to improve your profits together.

3 Team Building Ideas for Dentist Offices

Practice Management, Team Building and Clinical Coaching

team building in your dentist office

While creating beautiful smiles for your patients may be what you do best, it’s just as important to keep your team smiling!

If your dental practice is not running smoothly and productively, there could be a problem with the office culture.

Here’s a question for you: What is the culture of your dental practice?

Do employees show up each day to work? Does everyone occasionally attend a staff meeting? Do the workers call each other co-worker?

Or does everyone share part of their life as a member of a team, coming together with support, assistance, and encouragement to improve smiles? There’s a popular saying that is popular because it is so true: Teamwork is the dream work. But also understand—teamwork doesn’t have to be a dream. You can make it a reality.

When you have a team, everyone is happier. Including your patients.

My name is Jennifer Pearce, and I’m the owner, founder, and lead executive coach at Prosperity Dental Solutions. I’ve been involved in dentistry for almost a quarter of a century, including 18 years as a practice administrator and four years as co-owner of several successful practices. Trust me when I say—I know the dental industry and what it takes to have a successful team.

In this article, I’m going to let you in on some great tips and ideas, including 3 team building ideas for your dentist office.

  • Idea #1: Open Communication
  • Idea #2: Create a Team Atmosphere
  • Idea #3: Offer Rewards and Incentives

Team Building Idea #1: Open Communication

One of the most common reasons people feel like they are going to work as an employee rather than being part of a team is lack of communication. Each team member should feel comfortable and confident about talking to every other member of the team.

Sure, an “open-door policy” is a great start, but it’s not enough.

Communication needs to be ongoing and all-encompassing. Think of it like hygiene. You don’t just wash your hands once in the morning, and then you’re good all day. You also don’t just wash your hands. You take a shower. Wash your hair. Brush and floss.

Make a commitment to promote healthy communication between all team members. To begin the process, hold a team meeting.

The team meeting should include:

  • A safe, positive atmosphere
  • Let everyone know they will be heard
  • Squash any judgment, negativity, or finger-pointing
  • Make sure each team member knows the vision and mission of your practice
  • Layout your expectations and goals
  • Ask them for their input regarding what works well and what doesn’t
  • Ask outright the team’s perception of current communication
  • Get their ideas for improving communication
  • Encourage them to address any problems as they arise
  • Inquire if the team members feel they receive adequate feedback about performance

Now that the lines of communication are open, keep it going. Schedule regular team meetings. This shows your availability and proves your commitment to the team. You could do shorter, more focused meetings each week, and longer, more open ones once a month.

At the monthly meetings, consider asking open questions. For instance:

  • What was the biggest challenge you faced this month?
  • What did we accomplish, or what goal did we meet?
  • What is working well or not working well?
  • Is there anything we can do to improve things?

Have a daily morning huddle. If you’ve ever watched a sports team in action, you’ve seen them huddle. The huddle allows them to communicate and encourage each other. Keep it brief—maybe 10 minutes—focused, and on-time. This allows the team to check-in, set daily goals, and discuss what the day looks like.

Team Building Idea #2: Create a Team Atmosphere

When people like each other, they feel more like a team member. Okay, so not everyone can always get along with everyone else, but when people have a chance to get to know each other, harmony comes easier.

Create opportunities for non-work-related activities to boost friendships. This increases morale and productivity.

Help your team members build friendships and harmony. Consider some of the following in and out of office ideas:

  • Plan regular fun activities outside the office—or put someone else in charge of doing this. Bowling, mini-golf, happy hour, a cooking class, a baseball game, batting cages, roller skating. The sky is the limit. Get creative. You will soon appreciate how much getting silly and laughing together builds a team.
  • Buy them lunch. You’d be surprised how much your team members will appreciate a free meal! You can bring in lunch for everyone at once or treat one member at a time as you get to know them.
  • Encourage potlucks. The fastest way to someone’s heart is through the stomach. Let the team members who love to cook or have a prized recipe shine. Those who don’t cook can contribute drinks, chips, or bread. Consider holiday potlucks and birthday month celebrations.
  • Bring in an ice cream truck to treat everyone with their favorite option.
  • Have dress-up days based on themes and offer prizes for the most creative, best design, etc. Consider superhero day, pajama day, silly socks, luau theme, favorite sports team, etc.
  • Get everyone involved in volunteering. Serve the less-fortunate together at a soup kitchen or enter a 5K as a team.
  • Experience continuing education together. This not only encourages bonding, but it helps improve the care for your patients. It could be a seminar, webinar, learning lunch, or in-office training.
  • Want to go really crazy? Close the office for a day and use work hours for a fun, non-CE event, such as opening day at the ballpark or a day trip somewhere.

Once you get to know your team better through open communication, you can tailor activities to fit them better.

BONUS:

When you do fun activities, post pictures and videos on social media. Share it in newsletters and on your website. Patients like to know the people who care for their oral health enjoy having fun together.

Team Building Idea #3: Offer Rewards and Incentives

People work for paychecks. While many employers believe the paycheck is enough of reward, know you can do better. It doesn’t have to be big, dramatic, or expensive. You just want to acknowledge outstanding performance.

Look for ways to boost morale by offering rewards and incentives. Some may be known, such as a bonus or team event for hitting a certain goal. But you should also consider handing out unexpected acknowledgments.

Here are some ideas:

  • Have a stack of gift cards or awards for things like an ice cream break and hand them out as you catch team members going above and beyond.
  • Recognize team members for doing well publicly.
  • Have a corkboard in the breakroom to post notes regarding the positive behaviors of team members. Encourage everyone to write notes to each other.
  • Consider gifts for reaching goals. This could be something like tickets to an event, amusement park, or movie, flowers, a fruit basket, a trip to the spa, or gift cards to a restaurant. Again, get creative.
  • Consistently encourage team members.

Get Started on Building Your Team Today

If you want to get serious about building a team that works well together and makes your practice more enjoyable, I can help. Contact me online or call (817) 975-4576 today to get started!

Happy team building!

Take your first step towards achieving a prosperous dental practice.

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Practice Management, Implementation and Mentoring of Systems

 

Testimonials

Practice Management, Implementation and Mentoring of Systems

"I highly recommend Jennifer as a dental coach and as a person who understands what it takes to drive improvement. She has a wealth of experience and knowledge that makes her an invaluable tool in strengthening a practice. My practice has been successful, however, I knew that I wanted to take it to another level. Jennifer has a keen understanding of the ins and outs of running a practice, and what it takes to elevate all aspects of the practice. Whether it's a desire to improve treatment case acceptance, create more harmony and positive energy at the office, or implement the vision of the practice, Jennifer has the know how to make it happen. She says it as it is, and is down to earth and honest. I have already seen improvements across the board in my practice since we have been working together. I'm excited about the growth opportunity and confident that I have chosen a partner who understands the practice needs, and the intricacies needed to achieve the change I'm seeking. My team loves her and she has been a huge component in the success of my practice."

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