Be honest. Do you call Joey’s mother by her name or by “Mom” when you want to discuss his treatment or show her how to turn the expander? That is one of those simple changes that make a huge impact on your customer service and practice culture. It takes two seconds to look up her name in his chart. By making it a habit to call your patient’s parents by name, it promotes the thought that we are friends, and friends like to do business with friends!
Let’s look closer at the role of Mom, and her involvement in your practice. In our experience as TCs, Moms hold most of the cards. That’s not to say that Joey doesn’t have a major say, in fact he holds the most important card in your deck, but just one. She will want his stamp of approval, but it’s the parent your TC needs to market to. Finding the rhythm that gets both the parent AND patient on board is how we increase our clients’ case acceptance. So what appeals to the child patient and what is his/her parent looking for?
Patient. Entertainment, entertainment, entertainment. Is your office fun? Obviously this includes prizes, game stations, movies, contests, etc… What many Docs forget is that the patient is looking for entertainment by the team as well. That means that the Doc needs to have a quick connection during the office tour and show that you are likable throughout the consultation. Now for my analytical Docs, this can be very difficult. For those, we make sure to help them find an over-the-top TC. The majority of our clients don’t have an issue with this, but they relax in another area. How often have you noticed days where your clinical team seats the patient, unties them, checks the chart, lets them know the Doc will be to them shortly and then walk away to the “communal spot”? Sometimes this is in the sterilization room, main computer in the clinic, the lab or even the break room. This is a crucial mistake. It’s that wait time that your assistant could be finding out Jenny’s softball team is about to play the hardest team of the year, Kari is traveling to Europe with her 6th grade class and that Daniel was the DJ in the high school talent show last weekend. Did you even know Daniel was a DJ? How cool. Most importantly, you are exuding a practice culture of Personal Interest and also gathering intel for your marketing coordinator on where to focus part of your marketing budget for the greatest impact. To sum up, Patient = Entertainment.
Parent. Your patient’s parent is looking for a bit more. Towards the top of the list is convenience. Do you have text and email reminders? What are your hours? Do we have to miss work or school? How hard is it to reschedule an appointment? Do you run on time? Then it moves to comfort. Is your office kept clean? What amenities do you offer while we wait? Is the process easy? Who do we talk to when we have a problem? Are your results spectacular? Cause let’s be honest, this IS my kid’s face. Most importantly, is the treatment affordable? Parents feel most comfortable when you make finances EASY. Straight Wire clients are coached to make money small. They do this a number of ways, but the most effective way is by connecting to the parent and patient throughout the New Patient process enough times that by the time we get to the fee presentation, we are friends, and friends like to do business with friends!
So when your TC is prepping for her day of exams or providing the Doc with an overview of the New Patients in the morning huddle, make it a point to focus in on the parents. These days, they really carry the weight that will make or break your conversion rate, and that’s what leads to our favorite word, Production!