The great, magnificent and jolly clever fellow, Mr. Dale Carnegie (R.I.P) said these immortal words in his stupendous book, ‘how to win friends and influence people,’
‘Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to!’
I love all of Dale Carnegie’s books and read them on a regular basis – I would advise you to do the same… anyway moving on.
These are wise words indeed, but how does this apply to your Dental Practice? (I hear you mutter…)
Well firstly, you really should get the job titles right within the Practice:
1) STOP calling people “Staff” – Team Member (‘s) is much more appropriate and up to date,
2) STOP saying “Reception” – it’s ‘Front of House,’ a much more positive and accurate title in 2017,
3) STOP calling your Front of House Team, “Receptionists,” it’s far more than that in this day and age – perhaps “Customer Care Coordinator,” (or similar) would be more appropriate? Customer Care is an absolutely crucial aspect of your Practice’s operation… right?
What benefits or positives does this bring me? (I hear you hola, as your taste buds are tickled by this concept?! Figuratively speaking obviously…)
1) The word ‘Team’ speaks for itself – it engenders thoughts & feelings of togetherness, working harmony, team work, shared goals, shared workload, collaboration and fun! Are these vibes negative? I think not dear friend…
2) We had reception desks in the 80’s and 90’s – answer the phone, send the odd fax and sign-post people to the right areas of a building – this is no longer the case! Your ‘Front of House’ is a busy, diverse, care focused, crucial (and often undervalued might I add!) area of your Practice. The first and last touch point for patients old and new, Front of House can make or break your reputation, operational efficiency and ultimately, your profitability. Give the Front of House Team that fine reputation of being the ‘Deal Makers’ of your Practice, stress how important their interactions with patients at the touch points are and stress how excellent you think the Team Member (‘s) can be in this area – positive re-enforcement!
3) I detest the title, “Receptionist” in Dental Practices of 2017 (and onward) – such a simplistic and I think, demeaning description of a job (my opinion only there). At C&E Consult, we are in the process of building a training course for non clinical members of the front of House Team, to enable them to complete new patient consultations superbly and be experts in ‘people interaction’ – making “selling” your services (*communal gasps of horror from the readers*) second nature – Customer Care Champions will be a revelation – you mark my words. Anyway I digress…
Why not give your “Receptionist (‘s)” a fine reputation to live up to – “Sheila/Chris, you are my number 1 – you are the cog that makes our customer service machine tick – I want to reward you by recognising the magnificent contributions that you make to our Practice & Team on a daily basis. This will include a new and more positive job description and associated job title, “Customer Care Champion.” I am positive you can do this to a most excellent standard – and to keep our side of the bargain we will train you to the highest levels to make sure that you can fully utilise those great people and customer service skills, that we all already know you possess! The patients will love you!” Or similar…. Do you not think that might help moral or maybe re-incentivise your Front of House Team in general…? Just a thought really.
The key is to be relentlessly positive, strive for the gold standard and bring ourselves up to date! It won’t be easy and fine reputations aren’t built over night – but the sooner we all get cracking with this the better!
And I haven’t even started on the clinical team yet…. watch this space!
Edd (Partner, C&E Consult).