For that matter, while your staff may not have a viewpoint that a doctorate in dentistry confers, couldn’t they at least have enough information about dental problems and their applicable treatments to adequately communicate their importance?
To that end, I want to share a successful action with you that will help educate your staff while at the same time improve customer service. It has to do with specific education on the services provided by your practice.
From an importance perspective, I can’t stress this enough. An office is a complete business organism. Everyone needs to be on the same page. And in many cases, some of your staff probably don’t know your services as well as you think they might!
(Related: Suggestions on Training Your Staff)
And in the last 12 years I’ve spent in the dental industry, I’ve seen this quite a bit. I don’t know how many times I’ve been in an office and watched a patient ask a staff member about a particular service that the staff member wasn’t properly prepared to answer. “Do I really need to get these crowns?” “How do root canals work?” “Does it really matter if I get an implant versus a bridge?”
In some cases the staff member had a brief introduction/overview of these procedures, but they didn’t understand enough to answer the patient’s question satisfactorily – which resulted in some instances of patients walking away unconvinced about doing the service.
The solution I’ve used for this was for the doctor to do a “lunch and learn” every week with the entire staff.
In one of the practices I managed, we would schedule a longer lunch for Wednesdays – about an hour and a half – and we’d have food brought in for everybody. During that time, the doctor would cover a particular service in depth – e.g., crowns, implants, root canals, perio treatment, etc.
The doctor would discuss just about every aspect of the procedure: what it was, why people would need it, how it was done, how long it took and why it was important. Then throughout the week we would follow up on that service with the staff, sometimes do a quiz, and discuss any further questions that may have come up about it individually or during our morning meeting. The next week we’d pick a new service and cover that. And so on. And most offices work 50 weeks a year. You can get through a lot in that time period!
I’d urge you to do this with your staff so as to ensure they have a good grounding on the basics of dentistry. You really can’t spend enough time educating your staff on these topics. It’s absolutely worth it, and can go a long way toward case acceptance and completed treatment plans.
This is also why MGE is currently producing a “Dentistry 101” segment on our online training platform at www.ddssuccess.com, which will cover the basic dental terminology and overviews of all the primary dental services. Stay tuned for the release date! That will be invaluable, but it’s still something you should be doing personally with the staff to make sure they really understand it and get their questions answered.
I hope this tip has helped! If you have any questions, call us at (800) 640-1140 and we’ll be happy to help!