I often receive inquiries from doctors who want to make huge, rapid changes in their practice. Some want to make more money; others want increased efficiency. Many are after better team performance, a better hygiene program, improved reimbursements, etc. These are important goals, and they should be addressed, but underneath all those large areas for improvement, we should also pay attention to the power of little things.
Why little things?
When we do little positive things for other people, we often don’t recognize how powerfully we have touched them. We all know people whose schoolteacher made one comment that set them on the trajectory of their career.
“You’re good at math.”
“You seem to love singing.”
“That’s a beautiful picture that you drew.”
“You should think about becoming a dentist.”
Little things are not accidents. They are conscious habits that people do over and over to touch other people. Here is a great example. I recently went to a newly opened bagel shop. I had never been in before, and when I first arrived I was unhappy because the line was incredibly long. I assumed I would be there for a half hour or longer and thought about quickly leaving. Suddenly a nice person walked up to me and asked to help place my order.
She took me over to a computer screen; placed the order and told me it would be about four minutes. I thought that sounded impossible because there are so many people waiting, but what I hadn’t seen was the large team of employees working to make the food and complete the orders. Sure enough, a few minutes later she walked over and handed me my order. The person who helped me repeated that same “little thing” hundreds of times that day, allowing for many people to have a wonderful experience.
You may be saying, as you read this “so what, big deal.“
That is the main point. Little things, like this person helping me place my order, can be extremely powerful.
My suggestion is that you select three little things you can implement into your practice immediately.
Here are some examples:
- Thank every patient for being a part of your practice every time they come in. People love to be appreciated for their loyalty. Simply saying “Mrs. Jones, we are so delighted that you are a patient in our practice,” goes a long way.
- Select three patients every day to text something you learned about them at their visit. Congratulate them on an accomplishment. Wish them well on their next trip or vacation. Send a good luck text if they are going to be in a sporting event or other type of contest. To do this, you must take the time to ask your patients, even the kids, about what is going on in their lives, and record it for later reference.
- Call every big case completed one week after you finish. Ask how they’re doing and ask them if they love their new smile. They will greatly appreciate the little gesture and it also gives them a chance to reinforce satisfaction. This is the type of action that can also lead to other referrals. When people tell you how happy they are, they are highly likely to tell others.
There are hundreds of other little things you could come up with.
- Every patient gets a wristband with your practice name and a motivational statement on it.
- Make small donations for every patient in the practice to a charity.
- Give out big case completion celebration packages that include a small bottle of champagne for the patient to take home.
- Call a patient who missed an appointment because of an illness to check on them.
- The list goes on…
Never underestimate the power of little things. The best practices do a lot of these little things because they know that little things can make a big difference.
About the Author
Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the CEO and founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 clients to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written more than 60 books and over 4,000 articles. He regularly presents seminars in the U.S. and around the world.
To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit www.levingroup.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.