Do you want to increase your case conversion? Well being nice just isn’t good enough.
A successful patient journey begins long before the patient has crossed your threshold. It starts even before they’ve picked up the phone to call you. The patient’s journey begins when they smile. When they look in the mirror and aren’t happy with what they see and decide to do something about it. It might begin when they walk past your practice or are referred to you. Whatever the impetus, when their smile becomes the focus of their thoughts, it marks the beginning of the patient journey.
How confident are you that your orthodontic practice is seizing every opportunity a prospective patient represents? Many practices are very good at attracting new patients but a shocking amount waste the money spent on attracting these patients by failing to convert a new enquiry to an actual patient. Case acceptance is not going to increase by merely answering the phone in a polite manner.
Being nice isn’t good enough!
What separates ordinary from extraordinary performance?
What is it that successful businesses know and do consistently that gives them their competitive edge?
What drives a high case acceptance ratio?
I work with many orthodontic and dental practices across Europe helping them increase their case acceptance. Every practice is different and will adapt my advice accordingly but every practice is united in its aim to deliver patient satisfaction and increase profit. Increasing case acceptance is not just knowing how to ask for the order; it happens through a combination of systems, processes and people. But what really ensures practice success is delivering an outstanding patient journey, one that not only meets, but exceeds a patient’s expectations.
Everyone is the team plays a crucial role in the patient’s journey. However, every practice needs to have a dedicated person or people within their team that their sole role is to support the new patients. One way to do that is to introduce a Treatment Coordinator (TC) into the team or if you already have one then offer appropriate training.
A TC is someone in your practice who, with the right skills and training, will facilitate the new patient (NP) process. A TC bridges the gap between the NP and the practice and staff. The TC promotes and sells the practice and its services by revealing their true value to prospective patients, frees up the practitioner’s time, increases case acceptance ratios and resultantly, increases practice proﬁts. Consider the time spent by the practitioner with the NP and think how much of that time is non-diagnostic? A TC can often reduce up to 60% of ‘practitioner/patient time’.
The Treatment Coordinator role in brief:
- A TC assumes responsibility for the new patient process. A good TC will manage all aspects of the patient journey from referral to case start and potentially increasing your case starts
- They are the first point of contact. People buy from people so the development of a relationship and establishing rapport between the TC and the new patient is crucial to the success of your conversion from new patient to start of treatment.
- The TC informally chats ad builds rapport with the new patient prior to their consultation. This not only helps to build rapport but also to build a better picture of the patient’s needs and wants.
- I recommend all my TCs to be present during the consultation to listen and understand clinically what is and isn’t possible and to allow the TC to form a better picture of how he/she will conduct a top-notch case presentation.
- The TC carries out the case presentation. The TC reiterates treatment options; answers any questions the patient may have; discusses all options available to the patient; clarifies proposed treatments; discusses the informed consent; shows before and after photos of similar cases and breaks down any barriers or concerns the patient may have.
- A TC also explains the financial options and finds the most suitable payment method which fits the patient’s needs.
- A TC prepares the ‘walk-out’ pack. The value of a walk-out pack should not be underestimated.
- A good tracks and follows up! Too many new patients are lost due to lack of follow-up.
- A TC also provides monthly information on patient conversions to assist with strategic planning. All practices should have a patient journey tracker.
The basis for a successful introduction of the TC role is a well thought-out job description. The right person, given the correct blend of responsibilities, will help the practice to reap huge rewards in terms of eradicating inefficiencies surrounding the new patient process and increasing case acceptance ratios and patient satisfaction. Every enquiry and each new patient is an opportunity that should be fully harnessed, and the introduction of a TC is the ideal solution. There are no hard and fast rules; the role of your TC should fit in with your practice’s culture and aspirations for patient care.
Treatment Coordinator – A winning role
Augmenting your team with a well-trained treatment coordinator can reap tremendous rewards for you, the team and your patients. A TC’s tailored and personal approach to care, follow-up and communication with patients fosters trust and increases patient satisfaction and retention.
If you would like help increasing your case acceptance in your orthodontic practice then please speak to us on 01296 748692.