For many, this is a loaded question… If your front desk is a mess, literally or figuratively it is time to get it straightened up.
Let’s start with the physical appearance of your reception area and front desk: What does it say about your practice? Keeping the desk and waiting area clean and organized should be top priority for your front office team; and your team should look refined and professional. Being busy is not an excuse for sacrificing this important aspect of the patient experience. Your patients will have substantially more trust and confidence in a treatment coordinator who is polished with a neatly organized workspace than they will with an exasperatedly “busy” coordinator with a disheveled exterior, piles of papers and an excess of post-notes surrounding their computer monitor.
Inspect your front desk area today… If you find piles, post-its and dust bunnies, it is time to set some new expectations. Take a look at your team…are they polished and professional or rumpled and sloppy? Do they all have beautiful smiles? The front office is the face and gateway of your practice. This is important!
Now if your front desk is a figurative “mess”, this is a bit trickier but no less important. If you know there are problems with function and management of your front desk, but are reluctant to address it I would like to give you some conviction to tackle it.
First, think of your patients. The multitude of ways that your front office team can negatively impact your patients’ experience is devastating. Nothing will alienate patients faster than poor customer service, especially as it pertains to their time and/or money. Many front office teams lack training and guidance and operate strangely independent of the clinical team. If your front desk team does not have a strong and consistent system for financial arrangements, scheduling, new patients and recare the chances for patient loss and call conversion failures are frighteningly high.
Second, think of your business. The opportunity and dollars sacrificed with a dysfunctional business office are staggering. Many dentists spend lots of time and money on continuing education and training for themselves and their clinical team, but fail to make a similar (or any) investment in their front office team. The practice efficiency and profitability that can be derived from a well-trained and consistent front office team is almost unbelievable. It is the key to productive schedules, case acceptance and practice growth.
If you need a little help to get your team on track, call me! I would love to help you!