Published on November 7, 2018
By: Trude Henderson
In our last blog (“3 Reasons Why Collaboration Can Pay Off for Your Dental Practices,” November 1, 2018), we discussed Ryan Kh’s views (see “How Effective Collaboration Equals Great Customer Experience,” Customer Think, October 9, 2018”) on the rationale for collaboration in an organization. Today, we talk about another topic that interests him, “What are the secrets to a collaborative customer service?” His answers (1,2) and one from us (3) that we recommend for your dental practice:
As a quick test, ask yourself, “Is my practice easy to do business with?” For a better and more accurate test, ask your patients the following: “ How can we improve communication with you?” “What can we do to improve your experience with us?” “How can we make your visit more enjoyable?” We recommend a good e-survey platform, in use year-round, to ensure you’re always listening and responding to patients’ wants, needs and concerns.
You might ask, “What are some ways that I can eliminate silos within my practice?” At ToothFairy we recommend a couple of steps. First, do your best to hire people who would rather work in a team environment as opposed to working alone. They are less likely to adopt the “us against them” mentality. From our experience from conducting Hogan Personality Profiles, those who score low on the “Sociability Scale” prefer to work alone, and are also quieter and more reluctant to seize the initiative - in short, the kind of employee unlikely to 'consistently' win patients over. Hiring the right people is always a high bar; don’t be fooled by the fact that most candidates can be taught to say exactly what you want to hear during an interview. We encourage you to check out our October 2nd blog, (Part3) More Root Causes and Lack of Empathy in Your Dental Practice for a more in-depth discussion, and tips that can help you hire people who are the right fit for your dental practice.
Some effective interview questions recommended by Hogan that we ourselves have utilized include:
Finally, consider adopting ‘collaboration’ as a core value of your practice. This can optimize the capacity of your team members to extend beyond their comfort zone (something that is not easy for most people), develop, and in turn, stretch the boundaries of the practice. This can give your dental practice a competitive advantage because knowledge helps prevent missed opportunities including those that commonly leave money on the table.
We recommend that you appoint at least one champion of collaboration (preferably a practice manager or owner) charged with showing the practice’s commitment to it, as well as with working on continuous improvement of the practice as a whole. Change and leadership author John P. Kotter (2012) said, “Major change is often said to be impossible unless the head of the organization is an active supporter.” From our experience, when the conversation about an initiative ends, so does the initiative. Our advice: keep it fresh on their minds through fun daily conversations and colorful graphics and metrics so that your priorities and initiatives remain top-of-mind.
Now that you know these ‘secrets’, we hope that you will avail yourself of this knowledge to boost collaboration among the members of your dental practice team, thus improving your customer experience and giving your practice a competitive edge.
Read our other articles regarding High Reliability Concepts below:
Ten Steps You Can Take Right Away to Improve the Reliability of Your Dental Practice
High Reliability Concepts: Insights of Value to any organization.
Trude Henderson is the co-founder of ToothFairy, a startup elective dental and medical practice improvement software company which delivers an unparalleled customer experience that inspires delight, loyalty and positive emotional connections to improve the lives of patients and the practices they visit. In 2016, she was the first to introduce High-Reliability Organizational Concepts to the dental industry. For questions, contact her directly at Trude@GetToothFairy.com. Follow Trude on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/trudehenderson/ (no email required).
Go to ToothFairy's website: www.ToothFairySoftware.com.
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