”If you think about it, what other than good intent or the one on one stuff is going to break through in a world where so much is being thrown at us?”
 –Gary Vaynerchuk, The Thank You Economy

What is practice culture?

Over the years, orthodontists have heard the same speeches from the same consultants, listened to the same clinical lectures or subscribed from the same industry monthly journals. They are up to date on the latest technological advances, methodologies and trends. So what is truly going to set your practice apart from the others? What is your niche? The answer is in your practice culture. The subtle tone of your office – the people, workmanship, aesthetics, smells, technology, communication, location, music, and more go into the practice culture. It’s the overall feeling your patients experience when they think of your office. This feeling is what will motivate their advocacy for your business and compel their referrals.

Who is involved?

Everyone is involved, including the doctor, every team member, your referring dentists and even your patients!

Why is it important?

If your practice culture is clear and consistent, word spreads to your referral sources and into the hands of your prospective new patients. Those new patients experience your culture for themselves, convert into practice advocates, and refer more new patients through their family dentist and close friends. This creates a self-perpetuating engine.  However, if your practice culture is inconsistent or something you only project on your ‘good days’, the engine will break down, and possibly back-fire. It starts from the beginning, the moment the patient was referred to your office, to last retainer check appointment. The new patient call must create a sense of excitement that facilitates the treatment acceptance. The consultation solidifies a new friendship and the appliance placement is an enthusiastic milestone that demands notice. Routine visits throughout the treatment are not routine at all, and are something the family looks forward to. There’s a celebration when the braces are removed, remembering all the hard work that went into the transformation. By this point, it is only natural that the patient would replace his empty seat with at least one of his friends, wanting push for the practice’s growth and success. And the cycle begins again. This is only achieved when every interaction with the office is positive, personal and memorable. Scripting and roleplaying can prepare your team more than you can imagine, but make certain the execution is genuine and thoughtful.  Your patients want to do business with their friends, make sure you are a dear one.